On government and libraries – two important things

1. Supreme Court KIRTSAENG v WILEY decision came down, supporting first sale doctrine even for copyrighted works made abroad. This is good news for Team Library. Here’s more analysis from ACRL that declares it “a total victory for libraries”

2. Now that we’ve gotten a nice little bump from the We the People petition to increase the public’s access to the results of publicly funded science research, let’s keep pushing for more access to (and funding for) government information.

Petition: Require free online permanent public access to ALL federal government information and publications.

More explanation over at FreeGovInfo.

Access to Congressional Research Service reports is important but not guaranteed

I’ve talked here before about CRS reports and how even though they’re created on the public’s dime, there’s no easy and simple way to search for and actually access them without requesting them one by one via your congresspeople. This is frustrating. Apparently, it’s not even widely known that this is not the case. Secrecy News Blog, from the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy, reports that the Librarian of Congress isn’t even quite clear on this.

Members of the public enjoy unrestricted access to all reports of the Congressional Research Service, according to the Librarian of Congress, Dr. James H. Billington.

Though CRS has no direct public mission, at present the public has unfettered access to the full inventory of CRS Reports for the Congress at no cost through the office of any Member or committee,” he wrote in an April 4 letter (pdf) to Amy Bennett of Openthegovernment.org.

Unfortunately, that assertion is quite wrong. The public does not have access to the full inventory of CRS Reports. There is not even a public index of CRS reports that would enable people to request specific reports by title.

If you find this sort of thing totally fascinating, please familiarize yourself with the work that OpenCRS is doing and see if there is a way you can help them. Just look at all this good stuff. [freegovinfo]

why would anyone hate the library? Amy Poehler explains

Amy Poehler mentions, in an interview, that they just made up their anti-library stance in order to make a joke. But it turns out that they found many government officials actually shared those sentiments.

How much does Parks and Recreation hate the library?
The library represents that branch of government that’s like the smart kid—the teacher’s favorite. And the library always wins. They get whatever they want. Everybody loves them—nobody can say anything. People who work in the library think they are so much better than everyone else. And what’s really funny is we’ve been doing Q&A’s about our show, and people from local governments have said, “You guys nailed it about the library.” We were just making it up as a joke on the show, but I guess everyone hates the library.

[via]

IMLS and the new administration

I’m sure I’ll be dribbling out these little notices for the next few months, but I just learned that Bill Ivey has been appointed “to lead the Obama transition team with responsibility for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.” Here’s an interesting article about Ivey discussing how cultural pushes by administrations are not seem in the same way as actual public policies.

EPA Libraries coming back… sort of

Via resourceshelf, this account of the Memorandum of Agreement that was the result of arbitration between the American Federation of Government Employees Council 238 and the EPA. Please see the linked documents for information from Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility on why the EPAs compliance — which they termed “grudging” — was not acceptable to EPA library workers.

“Even as many collections remain in crates, EPA has decided to micromanage what is left,” [PEER Director Carol] Goldberg added, noting that the agency has still not accounted for many of the library holdings it had removed. “Professional librarians should be making these management decisions, not political appointees.”