Please see the following message from Emily Feltren, Director of Government Relations for AALL, and contact her if you have any examples to share.
Last week, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee reported out the Federal Register Modernization Act (HR 4195). The bill, introduced the night before the mark up, changes the requirement to print the Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations to “publish” them, eliminates the statutory requirement that the CFR be printed and bound, and eliminates the requirement to produce an index to the Federal Register and CFR. The Administrative Committee of the Federal Register governs how the FR and CFR are published and distributed to the public, and will continue to do so.
While the entire bill is troubling, I most urgently need examples of why the Federal Register and CFR indexes are useful and how you use them. Stories in the next week would be of the most benefit, but later examples will help, too. I already have a few excellent examples from our Print Usage Resource Log – thanks to all of you who submitted entries! But the more cases I can point to, the better.
Interestingly, the Office of the Federal Register itself touted the usefulness of its index when it announced the retooled index last year: https://www.federalregister.gov/blog/2013/03/new-federal-register-index.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Director of Government Relations
American Association of Law Libraries
25 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20001
Follow AALL’s Government Relations Office on Twitter.
by Cheryl Nyberg
This post has been reposted on the Gallagher Law Library blog
Reference librarian Anna Endter has created a new guide to Washington State’s LLLT program. It chronicles the history and development of the concept and its adoption by and through the Washington Supreme Court and the Washington State Bar Association.
The guide describes and links to court orders, Board of Governors’ meetings, magazine articles, and a YouTube video.
This fall, the University of Washington School of Law will offer a family law curriculum to qualified applicants.
A companion guide covers State Activities Related to Limited License Legal Professionals. This page addresses developments in California, New York, and Oregon.
Both sites will be updated as additional developments occur.
by Grace Feldman
Public access to legal materials, digitization and authentication of legal materials, and budget cuts are frequent topics covered in conferences, literature and blogs like this one. These interrelated issues have been discussed and debated ad nauseum, so when Hollee Schwartz Temple’s Are Digitization and Budget Cuts Compromising History? was published in the ABA Journal, the article may have looked like one you already read several times. While some of the stories were familiar, Temple’s coverage of LLMC’s preserved print collection in salt mines 650 feet below ground gave a whole new meaning to the expression, “back to the salt mines.”
Recognizing debates over public access, digitization, authentication and budget cuts will continue indefinitely, for a moment let’s appreciate the ingenuity these problems have inspired: preservation in salt mines, UELMA, collaboration (like that between California and LLMC to digitize all of the state’s session laws), etc.
Okay, now back to the salt mines… really.
by Anna L. Endter
This post has been reposted on the Gallagher Law Library blog
Gary Somerset of the Government Printing Office reports that FDsys has achieved 500 million retrievals:
The U.S. Government Printing Office’s (GPO) Federal Digital System (FDsys) has achieved the milestone of 500 million document retrievals. FDsys is a one-stop site for authentic, published information on the three branches of the Federal Government. Retrievals are measured by the number of times content is viewed or downloaded from FDsys. GPO launched FDsys in January 2009 and since that time it has expanded to include 800 thousand searchable titles. Examples of content found on FDsys include: the post-President Kennedy’s assassination tape recordings, President Nixon’s Watergate grand jury testimony, the Budget of the U.S. Government, the Congressional Record, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, and congressional bills, hearings, and reports. GPO is continually adding content and working with agencies on new collection opportunities.
Don’t overlook FDsys when researching federal material. There are a few ways to search FDsys (search box, browsing, by citation, etc.) and the underlying documents are authentic and free.
by Anna Endter
As noted in a recent AALL Washington Blawg post, FDsys now includes a collection of lower Federal court opinions as part of a pilot project between the Government Printing Office and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. The USCOURTS collection provides public access to authenticated Federal court opinions from selected appellate, district and bankruptcy courts back to April 2004. GPO authenticates these opinions with digital signatures, just as it does for all other collections within FDsys.
AALL Government Relations has published a Washington E-Bulletin for September 2012. This E-Bulletin includes important updates about the status of the Congressional Research Service Electronic Accessibility Resolution on 2012, UELMA in California and other recent state legislation.
On July 10, 2012, Representatives Leonard Lance (R-NJ-07) and Mike Quigley (D-Ill-05) introduced H. Res. 727, the Public Access to Congressional Research Service Reports Resolution of 2012. The resolution would require the Congressional Research Service (CRS) to make certain reports publicly available in a searchable database. Visit AALL’s Legislative Action Center to find out more and learn how you can support H. Res. 727.
Sunshine Week Webcast: Secrecy, Disclosure and the Risks for Security and Accountability
Friday, March 16, 2012
10:15am – 12:30pm
Univ. of Washington Research Commons Green A. The Research Commons is located in the Allen Library (South Wing). Map & directions.
March 11 – 17, 2012 is Sunshine Week: Your Right to Know. Along with its partners, OpenTheGovernment.org is hosting the annual Sunshine Week national webcast on Friday, March 16. This year’s discussion, “Secrecy, Disclosure and the Risks for Security and Accountability,” will feature two panels. This first panel will focus on the topic of whistleblowers and the press. The second set of panelists will discuss secret government and secret laws. For more information on this year’s speakers, see http://www.openthegovernment.org/node/3375
Please join us on Friday, March 16 on the UW campus to watch the national webcast. No need to register. Everyone is welcome!
About Sunshine Week: Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools, and others interested in the public’s right to know. Sunshine Week 2012 National Dialogue is brought to you in celebration of Sunshine Week by the American Association of Law Libraries, American Library Association, Association of Research Libraries, League of Women Voters, National Freedom of Information Coalition, OMB Watch, OpenTheGovernment.org, Project On Government Oversight, Sunshine Week, Special Libraries Association, and the Sunlight Foundation.
The Government Relations Committee was comprised of Holly Gale and Lori Fossum, chair. This year, the committee monitored Washington state legislation affecting the printing and distribution of such primary resources as the Revised Code of Washington and also closely monitored budget legislation affecting the State Law Library.
The Washington Legislature’s 2011 Regular Session began on January 10th and adjourned April 22nd; the first Special Session of 2011 began on April 26th and adjourned May 25th. Several LLOPS members worked prior to the Session with the Statute Law Committee to help craft House Bill 1479, “Revising the publication requirements of the statute law committee.” Yet other members attended legislative committee hearings in support of the bill.
The Committee and other LLOPS members were especially concerned with proposed cuts to the State Law Library’s budget during this Session. Second Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1087 was ultimately passed, restoring the budget to a level at which the library will still be operational. Many LLOPS members and the AALL Government Relations office worked to restore the library’s allocation for the upcoming biennium.
Two LLOPS members, Tina Ching and Kay Newman, chaired the Washington Legal Inventory project: this inventory is our contribution to the development of the national inventory of primary legal resources at every level of government. Several LLOPS members also contributed their time and efforts to completing this inventory of state, county and municipal legal resources.
By L. Fossum
The Uniform Law Commission is currently holding its 2011 annual meeting in Vail, CO. Among the new uniform laws being considered is the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act, which purports to provide a clear answer to the question of who is the official publisher of a given governmental record, and how official publishers can authenticate the fact that a given electronic record is, in fact, the official record for citation and other purposes. A draft version of the Act is available here.
The Uniform Law Commission, in existence since 1892, is responsible for the drafting and passage of more than 200 uniform acts designed to solve problems common to all the states. Some examples are the Uniform Commercial Code, the Uniform Probate Code, and the Uniform Partnership Act. Just who are these commissioners? They are 350 practicing lawyers, governmental lawyers, judges, law professors, and lawyer-legislators from every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Washington has six commissioners (listed by state) here.