SRRT (Social Responsibilities Round Table) RoundTable
At the last ALA conference held 2 weeks ago, the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) passed a resolution in support of the NTIS. The text of the resolution is below. While the resolution passed GODORT, it has been sent back to ALA’s Committee on Legislation (COL) to work on some wording before being sent to ALA Council.
Though it hasn't passed big ALA yet, we’re sharing the text of the resolution now in the hopes that readers — especially those in OK, MO, NE, AZ, MT and WI — will contact their representatives to tell them to SAVE THE NTIS!
RESOLUTION ON PRESERVING PUBLIC ACCESS TO SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL REPORTS AVAILABLE THROUGH THE NATIONAL TECHNICAL INFORMATION SERVICE
Whereas some three million scientific and technical reports are held by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), thereby promoting research, innovation, and business;
Whereas since 1940, NTIS has been co-operating with federal agencies to collect, preserve, catalog, and provide their reports in paper, microform, and digital formats;
Whereas many federal agencies choose not to maintain collections of their own reports and to depend upon NTIS to provide these reports;
Whereas many federal agencies do not have statutory responsibility or the resources to provide permanent access to these reports and depend upon NTIS to provide them to other government agencies and the public;
Whereas the process of federal agencies entrusting their reports to NTIS ensures permanent access to the public, eliminates duplication of effort, and saves tax dollars;
Whereas since many of the federal agencies that published these reports no longer exist, many of their reports are only available through NTIS;
Whereas over two million of these reports are held only in paper or microform by NTIS and are not available in digital form from any source;
Whereas NTIS has the statutory authority to provide information management services to other federal agencies, including such programs as the Social Security Administration Death Master File used by insurance and annuity companies and the Drug Enforcement Agency Controlled Substances Registrants Data Base, which enables members of the medical community to prescribe and handle controlled substances, and the Federal Science Repository Service which supports the preservation and long-term access of participating agencies content;
Whereas the “Let Me Google That For You Act” ( S. 2206 and H. R. 4382) would abolish NTIS, and the “Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act” (H. R. 4186), as amended in the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, would repeal the law that authorizes NTIS;
Whereas these bills make no provision for the preservation of the reports and their cataloging data;
Whereas these bills do not provide libraries such as the Library of Congress, the national libraries, and libraries in the Federal Depository Library Program an opportunity to help “determine if any functions of NTIS are critical to the economy of the United States”;
Whereas the American Library Association has long supported the provision of all federal government reports and publications, at no charge, to the public through libraries and other services;
now, therefore be it
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA)
1. urges the United States Congress to appropriate funds to ensure that the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) continues to act as a central repository for scientific and technical reports;
2. urges United States Congress to fund the provision of these reports to the federal agencies and the public at no charge;
3. urges the United States Congress to consult with librarians at the Library of Congress, the national libraries, corporate libraries, and the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) in determining “if any functions of NTIS are critical to the economy of the United States”;
4. urges the United States Congress to put NTIS under the umbrella of the Office of Science Technology Policy (OSTP) directive, “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research” (February 22, 2013); and
5. urges the United States Congress to fund a digital preservation plan for scientific and technical reports, which would be developed by NTIS, CENDI (formerly Commerce, Energy, NASA, Defense Information Managers Group), the Government Printing Office, the National Archives, federal publishing agencies, and the library community.
Jim Jacobs and I have analyzed and have some comments on the FDLP Task Force's final report. You can find the comments at http://freegovinfo.info/node/8840 or below. We hope our comments are taken as constructive criticism. We appreciate the committee's work, but were left wanting so much more. Hopefully our comments will spur the committee, ALA, and the documents community forward to a better FDLP.
Sunday, June 29, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m., Las Vegas Convention Center N211
Denise Scott, 2014 winner of the Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize, will give a brief presentation about her paper “Deconstructing the ‘Books for Boys’ Discourse.” Scott’s paper examines the “Books for Boys” rhetoric, which labels some books as being specifically “boy books” in order to encourage boys to read. The paper analyzes the prescriptive nature of gendering and the problems that accompany the discourse’s reliance on gender stereotyping.
Also on the agenda: John Chrastka, Executive Director at EveryLibrary, the first nationwide Political Action Committee for libraries, will speak about EveryLibrary and answer questions. EveryLibrary is an organization dedicated exclusively to political action at a local level to create, renew, and protect public funding for libraries of all types. It provides tactical and operational support to local voter awareness campaigns, seed and sustaining monies to local ballot committees and PACs, as well as conducting direct voter advocacy in support of library taxing, bonding, and referendum.
For more information:
2014 Braverman Award Winner Announcement
EveryLibrary: Building Voter Support for Libraries
Please make plans to attend the Progressive Librarians Guild Meeting and Conversation at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia.
Sunday, January 26, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m., Pennsylvania Convention Center 202A
Conversation Topic: Libraries and Poverty
ALA’s Policy Statement “Library Services to the Poor” states that “it is crucial that libraries recognize their role in enabling poor people to participate fully in a democratic society, by utilizing a wide variety of available resources and strategies.” What policies, services and programs do you think libraries should be implementing to respond to the crisis of increasing economic inequality and the needs of low-income people in the communities we serve?
For those interested, here are two readings to give our conversation a shared point of departure:
Classism in the Stacks: Libraries and Poverty
2005 Jean E. Coleman Library Outreach Lecture by Sanford Berman
Extending Our Reach: Reducing Homelessness Through Library Engagement
As part of Sunshine Week -- and in conjunction with the White House's new policy on Open Access to federally funded scientific information -- a small group of government information librarians has started a petition on petitions.whitehouse.gov asking the Obama Administration to assure that there is free permanent public access to ALL authentic government information.
we hope you'll sign the petition and forward on to all your friends and social networks to help us reach our goal of 100,000 signatures by April 11, 2013! Thanks in advance!!
WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
Require free online permanent public access to ALL federal government information and publications.
1. Assure that GPO has the funds to continue to maintain and develop the Federal Digital System (FDsys).
2. Raise ALL Congressional, Executive & Judicial branch information, publications & data to the level of federally funded scientific information & publish ALL government information as "Open Access."
3. Mandate the free permanent public access to other Federal information currently maintained in fee-based databases - including the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER), the National Technical Reports Library (NTRL), & USA Trade Online.
4. Establish an interagency, govt-wide strategy to manage the entire lifecycle of digital government information w/ FDLP Libraries - publication, access, usability, bulk download, long-term preservation, standards & metadata.
Our guest speaker at the PLG meeting in Anaheim will be Sara Zettervall, LIS candidate at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. Sara is the winner of the 2012 Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize and will discuss her prize-winning essay "Through a Distant Lens: Visions of Native Hawaiians in Children's Picture Books." In her essay, Zettervall takes a critical view of the depiction of Hawaii in children's picture books available to her from her local library in the Midwest, beginning with the premise that children's literature is one way in which Hawaii is exoticized by and for mainland Americans.
Hyatt Regency Orange County, Royal Ballroom A