In a recent Tweet by Carl Malamud, he suggested (in < 140 characters) that if librarians want to improve public access [to court records], we need to do *something* about it….
So, step one in our advocacy plan: Start a petition.
Paul Lomio and I crafted a very short petition directed at the Administrative Office of the US Courts to improve PACER.
The petition is online here: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/improve-PACER
We ask the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to improve PACER by enhancing the authenticity, usability and availability of the system.
We the undersigned, urge the Administrative Office of the US Courts (AO) to make the following changes to the PACER system:
- For verification and reliability, the AO should digitally sign every document put into PACER using readily available technology.
- PACER needs to be much more readily accessible if it is to be usable for research, education, and the practice of law. Improved accessibility includes both lowering the costs for using PACER and enhancing the web interfaces.
- Depository libraries should also have free access to PACER.
Please sign the petition, comment on the ideas and share the petition with your friends and colleagues!