« The Google deal (down on the Farm) | Main | Stanford FAQs »

Bits of news

As evidenced by my lack of gushing enthusiasm, I am not attending Midwinter. The end of last year left me incredibly tired and I just didn't have it in me to go to Boston in the middle of winter and ride busses to go to meetings I'd be too tired to even care about.

I do look forward to reading about Midwinter from various usual and unusual suspects, including the new official ALA blog by PLA.

In the meantime, now here's something I hope you really like [yes, it's paraphrasing a semi-famous quote]:

1) Sunshine Week

Opening a dialogue about the public�s right of access to government information is the focus of Sunshine Sunday and Sunshine Week: Your Right to Know, which kick off March 13, 2005, and continue through the following week.

Participating daily and weekly newspapers, magazines, online sites, and radio and television broadcasters will feature editorials, op-eds, editorial cartoons, and news and feature stories that drive public discussion about why open government is important to everyone, not just to journalists.

I know there are some news librarians that are already alerted to this effect. I think this should be a big deal for Gov Docs librarians as well.

ALA has what appears to be limited involvement:

In addition to media efforts, a partnership with the American Library Association will provide the opportunity for education and community discussion of Freedom of Information issues on the local level. Sunshine Week also ties in with the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center�s 2005 FOI Day on March 16, 2005 in Arlington, Va.

The Sunshine Week website will be rolling out content (hopefully soon) and will become a clearinghouse for materials on open government/FOI efforts and obstacles.

2) SLA has launched an online Legislative Action Center as part of their overall Advocacy program. From the SLA announcement, the Center is "a grassroots advocacy service for SLA members to use in learning about, and acting on, public policy matters affecting the information profession."

When visiting the Center, members can review legislation, learn how to communicate effectively with legislators, identify the appropriate elected officials and media with whom to communicate, and share views with lawmakers via targeted e-mail, fax, phone and wire service.

The SLA Legislative Action Center is also equipped with a comprehensive full-service election component, including detailed candidate bios, state-by-state voter registration forms, and absentee ballot explanations. The expected result: a more informed and engaged SLA membership that participates in the legislative and electoral processes.

The service is currently configured to support communication between members in the United States and their elected representatives. As content and technology allow, SLA will explore the integration of other nations� legislative contact systems into the Legislative Action Center.

3) A good compendium of updates on the Salinas situation from Conversational Reading. 'Nuff said (for now).