Tips for Future Librarians

Posted by: on Feb 17, 2008 | No Comments

What to teach to future government information librarians: Escape from the Blackboard Jungle John Shuler in Free Government Information, Fri, 2008-01-18 13. Granted the title might not grab every web surfer it’s a great article – starting with the fact that gov’t librarians need to understand government and people more than they need to master the skills of organizing the stuff. The author is on the faculty at Dominican University, an academic institution familiar to lots of Minnesota library types.

Army Blocks Public Access to Digital Library

Posted by: on Feb 17, 2008 | No Comments

Army Blocks Public Access to Digital Library
Public access to the Reimer Digital Library, which is the largest online collection of U.S. Army doctrinal publications, has been blocked by the Army, which last week moved the collection behind a password-protected firewall. This was a surprise move since none of the materials in the library are or ever have been classified…The Federation of American Scientists filed a Freedom of Information Act request asking the Army to provide a copy of the entire unclassified Library so that it could be posted on the FAS web site.

Congressional committee probes killing of Great Lakes cancer report

Posted by: on Feb 17, 2008 | No Comments

Congressional committee probes killing of Great Lakes cancer report
A recent Minnesota Monitor article by Robin Marty describes House Committee on Science and Technology investigations of allegations of government misinformation re. contaminants in the Great Lakes.

Sunshine Week 2008 hits the campaign trail

Posted by: on Feb 17, 2008 | No Comments

Candidates from president to mayor to be quizzed on access issues.
Washington – The Sunshine Week alliance has begun a yearlong Sunshine Campaign project to bring the discussion of open government issues to election campaigns from president to local city council. While the initiative expands the scope of Sunshine Week to cover the entire election season, specific events and coverage are still planned for Sunshine Week, March 16-22, 20

Best Practices For Immigrant Outreach

Posted by: on Feb 16, 2008 | No Comments
ULC Captures Best Practices For Immigrant Outreach in New Publication“Welcome Stranger” Though this new publication may not seem relevant at first blush, it is absolutely on target — public libraries should provide formal and informal (read government) information about immigrant communities, serve as conduits to local resources and services, and “jump-start” civic engagement. Includes a free download.

AP and the nation’s newspapers

Posted by: on Feb 16, 2008 | No Comments

The article presents well the tension between AP and the nation’s newspapers. Interesting questions about how citizens will continue to get close-up information about their state and local goverment. This reference came from Media Reform – and following the link was well worth the (minimal) effort!

Ask-a-Librarian at Government Information Online

Posted by: on Feb 13, 2008 | No Comments

Thanks to Karen Thompson and the SLA mailing list for sending the following our way:

Does the prospect of searching for government information give you the heebie-jeebies? Well, I have a pleasant surprise for you. It is a free online information service called Government Information Online (GIO): Ask a Librarian at This live chat and e-mail service began in 2004, so it may already be in your favorites. If it is not, you might take it out for a spin or a five-minute exploration.

“…you can ask government information librarians who are experts at finding information from government agencies of all levels (local, state, regional, national international) on almost any subject…”

“GIO is … supported by nearly twenty public, state and academic libraries throughout the United States. All participants are designated Federal depository libraries in the U.S. Government Printing Office’s Federal Depository Library Program. Many are also official depository libraries for their other types of governments and public agencies.”

Grants awarded to Minnesota health care providers

Posted by: on Nov 6, 2007 | No Comments

The Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Rural Health and Primary Care today announced they have awarded grants totaling $3.5 million to help Minnesota providers develop electronic patient health records systems.

Minnesota law requires all Minnesota health care providers to use electronic patient health records by January 1, 2015. The Interconnected Electronic Health Record Grant Program is intended to help community collaboratives, community clinics, rural hospitals, small town physician clinics, nursing homes, and other small health care providers transition from paper records to electronic systems. These interoperable electronic health records will allow health care providers to exchange patient health information and deliver optimal care at all points of the health care system.

Learn more…

Government Information has wide impacts

Posted by: on Apr 4, 2007 | No Comments

Anyone paying attention to the news recently ahs noticed that the topic of home mortgage foreclosures is hot. Lots of ink (and electricity for pixels) has been used to document the tide of mortgage foreclosures and their impact on families, cities and the international financial markets.

If you (as a memebr of the public) want to udnerstand where all this is coming from, you need government information. Data on foreclosure sales comes from local sheriff’s departments (Hennepin & Ramsey Counties locally). Data on home mortgages, borrowers and lenders comes from Home Mortgaged Disclosure data (HMDA) compiled by the federal government.

Analyses of these data show who is being afffected, how it is impacting our communities and what’s likely to happen in the next few years.

If you want to do something about this problem (either as a softhearted liberal or a tough minded investor), you should thank the public agencies who collect and report this information.

Public access – it’s not academic, it’s the real world, the real economy.

Imagine if this information was NOT public!