On Monday, December 2, ARL joined others in the library community in a letter (PDF) requesting that the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) make its primary legal materials and publicly available comments accessible via the Government Printing Office (GPO) Federal Digital System, FDsys. The signatories noted that, “In doing so, the Commission stands not only to improve the public’s access to official government information and ability to participate in critical governmental processes during periods of crisis, but serve as a model for other agencies to implement the principles of President Obama’s Open Government Initiative.”
The letter cites the fact that FDsys remained accessible during the prolonged government shutdown in October, giving the public access to such government information as the Congressional Record, the Federal Register, and bills and laws. Furthermore, GPO partners with the LOCKSS-USDOCS program, a private LOCKSS (“Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe”) network, which replicates content to various geographic locations, providing an additional redundant mechanism for making information publicly accessible in the event of a shutdown.
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 125 research libraries in the US and Canada. Its mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.