Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) to Launch April 18-19, 2013

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) — which is intended to lead “the first concrete steps toward” making “the cultural and scientific record available to all” (please see here) — is scheduled to open with a series of “launch” events on April 18-19, 2013 at the Boston Public Library.

Please see:

With New Leader, Digital Public Library of America Prepares for Its Debut

Hat tip to ResourceShelf.com.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

New Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Case to Protect Free Speech Rights of Online Archive Public.Resource.org

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed a complaint on behalf of Public.Resource.Org — under signature of Lead Attorney for EFF Corynne McSherry, a Stanford Law School graduate — in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California:

Public.Resource.Org v. Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association, Inc. [SMACNA] (N.D. Cal. Dkt. No. 13-00815)

EFF has:

asked a federal judge today to protect the free speech rights of an online archive of laws and legal standards after a wrongheaded copyright claim forced the removal of a document detailing important technical standards required by the federal government and several states.

Please see: “Free Speech Battle Over Publication of Federal Law” (February 22, 2013)

And please find the complaint here.

For more information about Public.Resource.Org, please see here.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

Major New White House Policy on Open Access Announced

John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, issued a memorandum — “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research” — last Friday, February 22, 2013, the first sentence of which states:

The Administration is committed to ensuring that, to the greatest extent and with the fewest constraints possible and consistent with law and the objectives set out below, the direct results of federally funded scientific research are made available to and useful for the public, industry, and the scientific community.

Please see here for the entire memorandum.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

Bill proposed to have the California Code of Regulations bear an open access creative commons attribution license

Palm Desert, Riverside County/San Bernardino County, California Republican State Assemblyman Brian Nestande [42nd Assembly District] has introduced a bill [AB 292] to have the California Code of Regulations bear an open access creative commons attribution license.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) Report on U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO)

The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) has recently published a 166-page report on the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), prepared for the GPO, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and the U.S. Congress — please see:

Rebooting the Government Printing Office: Keeping America Informed in the Digital Age (January 2013)

Among other things, the report contains 15 recommendations:

  • Recommendation 1. To enable the federal government to carry out its role of providing information to its citizens, Congress should establish a collaborative interagency process, and designate a lead agency or interagency organization, to develop and implement a government-wide strategy for managing the lifecycle of digital government information.
  • Recommendation 2. To ensure GPO can carry out its mandate of providing permanent public access to government information, GPO should enhance its position and capabilities by offering an expanded set of services on a cost-recovery basis that contribute to the lifecycle management of government information. These services could include content management, metadata creation, authentication, preservation, and cataloging. GPO should develop strategies to encourage executive branch agencies to provide publications to GPO to enable permanent public access.
  • Recommendation 3. To safeguard the historical documents of our democracy for future generations, GPO should work with depository libraries and other library groups to develop a comprehensive plan for preserving the print collection of government documents. This plan should include cataloging, digitizing, and preserving tangible copies of government publications, a timeline for completion, and options for supporting the effort financially, as well as a process for ingesting digitized copies into the Federal Digital System. Congress should appropriate funds for the purpose of cataloging, digitizing, and preserving the government collection.
  • Recommendation 4. To ensure the long-term preservation and access of digital government publications, GPO and Congress should explore alternative funding models for the Federal Digital System in order to ensure a stable and sufficient funding source.
  • Recommendation 5. To preserve the relevance and viability of the Federal Depository Library Program, GPO should continue to collaborate with depository libraries and the broader library community to develop a national strategic plan for the program that gives libraries the flexibility and tools they need to provide permanent public access to government information in the digital age.
  • Recommendation 6. To ensure the Publication and Information Sales Program continues to play a role in information dissemination and is able to recover costs, GPO should continue to aggressively research and expand into new markets.
  • Recommendation 7. To enable further cost reductions, Congress should consider changes in its demand for print. GPO should develop estimates of cost savings that could be realized through potential changes in the requirements for printing the Congressional Record. GPO should quantify the savings that could be realized through such options as printing fewer copies of the Congressional Record or ending the daily start-of-business print requirement while continuing to provide electronic access.
  • Recommendation 8. To continue to realize government-wide benefits, GPO should continue to perform executive branch printing, while further reducing costs and improving customer service.
  • Recommendation 9. To generate additional revenue, GPO should continue to pursue smart card business. To assist GPO in growing this business and to leverage GPO’s smart card expertise for public benefit, Congress should consider whether to
  • Recommendation 10. To effectively integrate and align the agency’s human resource policies, programs, and practices with its strategies for achieving mission success and desired programmatic results, GPO should develop and institutionalize a human capital planning capacity. GPO should make strategic human capital planning a high priority and use multiple strategies to ensure the recruitment, retention, development, and rewarding of a highly motivated and diverse workforce.
  • Recommendation 11. To ensure it is able to continue to plan for and respond to future changes, GPO should continue its transformation by enhancing its strategic planning capabilities, broadening its change management efforts, and continually reviewing customer product and service needs.
  • Recommendation 12. To achieve future organizational and operational cost savings in the Customer Services program, GPO should further consolidate regional office locations, space, and staff and continue to identify and implement best management practices (such as cross training, telework, work sharing arrangements, and increasing managerial spans of control) and available technologies to the greatest extent possible.
  • Recommendation 13. To realize significant potential savings and enhance revenues (as well as improve customer service), GPO should accelerate the development and deployment of a new automated print procurement system.
  • Recommendation 14. To reduce GPO’s facilities footprint while increasing the leasing of unused building space, GPO should continue pursuing incremental lease arrangements.
  • Recommendation 15. To address workforce skills imbalances, GPO should continue to pursue targeted, gradual staffing reductions in specific areas, as well as functional consolidations, when feasible and appropriate.

Cross-posted at Law Library Blog.

A Worthy Bill of Note: The Open PACER Act of 2013

“To provide the public with open access to electronic federal court records.”

Please see here for more information, including by way of some explanation:

The Open PACER Act provides for free and open access to electronic federal court records. The courts currently offer an expensive and difficult-to-use web site. They charge more than their cost of offering the service—more than Congress has authorized—violating the E-Government Act of 2002This [proposed] Act seeks to, once and for all, compel the courts to fulfill Congress‘ longstanding vision of making this information “freely available to the greatest extent possible.”

and

PACER was designed before the turn of the [21st] century, and hasn’t been updated much. It is difficult to search, confusing to use, and is not indexed by search engines like Google. The biggest problem is that it charges for access. Every time you search, view a docket report, or download a document, you pay. These little charges add up quickly and make it impossible to do large-scale searching or analysis. This is bad for democracy.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

U.S. Courts Expand Access to Judicial Opinions

Third Branch News of the United States Courts has today posted the following:

Access to Court Opinions Expands

Browse USCOURTS

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

U.S. Library of Congress Adds the Congressional Record to Congress.gov

The U.S. Library of Congress has added — among other things — the Congressional Record to Congress.gov.

Please see here.

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.

FDsys [Federal Digital System] Adds Enhancements to U.S. Statutes at Large

From the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO):

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) recently enhanced the U.S. Statutes at Large collection on FDsys by adding descriptive metadata for public laws, private laws, concurrent resolutions, and presidential proclamations. For approximately 32,000 individual documents, the enhancements allow researchers improved searchability and retrieval by searching such metadata fields as title, SuDocs classification number, date, category, etc. The U.S. Statutes at Large collection includes volumes 65-115, covering the 82nd -107th Congresses, from 1951-2002.

The additional descriptive data was added by both manual and automatic processes. A team of GPO staff members from Library Services and Content Management (LSCM), including catalogers and automation librarians, added descriptive metadata for titles, public law numbers, and dates.

In 2011, GPO announced the release of digitized volumes of the U.S. Statutes at Large, in partnership with the Library of Congress. The U.S. Statutes at Large is the permanent collection of all laws and resolutions enacted during each session of Congress.

To browse U.S. Government publications at FDsys, please see here.

 

Cross-posted at Law Library Blog.

CRS Report — “The Protection of Classified Information: The Legal Framework”

This past December 17th, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) released a new report

“The Protection of Classified Information: The Legal Framework”
[No. RS21900] by Jennifer K. Elsea, Legislative Attorney

From the report’s summary:

The publication of secret information by WikiLeaks and multiple media outlets, followed by news coverage of leaks involving high-profile national security operations, has heightened interest in the legal framework that governs security classification and declassification, access to classified information, agency procedures for preventing and responding to unauthorized disclosures, and penalties for improper disclosure. Classification authority generally rests with the executive branch, although Congress has enacted legislation regarding the protection of certain sensitive information. While the Supreme Court has stated that the President has inherent constitutional authority to control access to sensitive information relating to the national defense or to foreign affairs, no court has found that Congress is without authority to legislate in this area.

This report provides an overview of the relationship between executive and legislative authority over national security information, and summarizes the current laws that form the legal framework protecting classified information, including current executive orders and some agency regulations pertaining to the handling of unauthorized disclosures of classified information by government officers and employees. The report also summarizes criminal laws that pertain specifically to the unauthorized disclosure of classified information, as well as civil and administrative penalties. Finally, the report describes some recent developments in executive branch security policies and legislation currently before Congress (S. 3454).

Cross-posted on Law Library Blog.