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Gov Info and You!

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Presentation I use when talking to students or groups about gov info (intro to gov info). 2010 version.

Presentation I use when talking to students or groups about gov info (intro to gov info). 2010 version.

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  • Introduction Ask each student to write down 1 -2 items, ideas that they would like to discuss from the readings. Ask someone to define Gov Info
  • Discuss levels of government Organization of government How we collect government information and make it accessible
  • Family –birth, death, marriage Health Vaccines (funding for development and regulations) Nutritional guidelines Bioterrorism intervention Drug approval Regulation of nursing homes Medicare payment schedules for hospitals Income TAXES Equal employment opportunity guidelines Consumer price index Civil service salaries Mediation in labor disputes Social security and food stamps Housing Certifies home repair contractors and prosecutes ripoffs Building inspectors Enforces disclosure rules when getting a mortgage Consumer pamphlets on renting, buying homes, and moving companies Community Roads Zoning ordinances Water supplies Waste disposal Power and cable industry regs Toxic waste cleanup Weather alerts Disaster assistance Recreation National park system Passports Airport security Grant funding for the arts and humanities Genealogy Fishing and hunting licenses State park camping reservations Students Student loans Work study scholarships College admission court decisions Research grants for faculty and academic departments Federal depository libraries Originally sponsored the internet Copyright protections Business Regulates stock market (sometimes) Technical research Patents Trade regulations and statistics Employment regulations Safety standards Loans to start a small business
  • Publications, Information, Documents – the materials published by the government for public dissemination. Typically what we get in libraries Declassification is the process of documents that formerly were classified becoming available to the public, under the principle of freedom of information . Procedures for declassification vary by country. Public records refers to information that has been filed or recorded by local, state, federal or other government agencies, such as corporate and property records. Public records are created by the federal and local government, (vital records, immigration records, real estate records, driving records, criminal records, etc.) or by the individual (magazine subscriptions, voter registration, etc.). Most essential public records are maintained by the government and many are accessible to the public either free-of-charge or for an administrative fee. Availability is determined by federal, state, and local regulations.
  • Primary Source material Provides authoritative overview or background information for an area (Country Reports, CIA World FactBook, Statistical Abstract, Census) Usually copyright and cost free – except for born digital where printing costs are passed on to users. Many agency sites have strong legal requirements for authenticity and accuracy (we won’t get into the politics of the current administration…which could challenge that…) Covers every discipline and subject imaginable: Arts (NEA) to Sciences It affects us all – news, food we eat, air we breathe, cars we drive, beds we sleep in, people in our neighborhoods, etc. Encourages civic participation – Public Comments, write your elected officials (Save Internet Radio! Internet RADIO EQUALITY ACT, S. 1353 IN THE SENATE AND H.R. 2060 IN THE HOUSE) Major research grant funding source and research output– catalog of federal domestic assistance, NIH.
  • Talk about the relation of gov info publishing and news sources.


  • 1. Government Information and YOU! Image from The Most Famous Poster, American Treasures of the Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/trm015.html UCLA Library
  • 2. Federal, State, Local, International, Foreign, and NGOs in all formats!
  • 3. Government Information is part of our daily lives… © ® TM
  • 4. Government Information is part of our daily lives…
  • 5. Key Characteristics…
    • Primary sources
    • Authoritative sources
    • Legal requirements for authenticity and accuracy
    • Usually copyright and cost free
    • Covers every discipline and subject
    • Major source of research grant funding and research output
    • Encourages civic participation (lifelong learning)
  • 6. Government Information can answer almost anything…
    • How many El Salvadorans live in Los Angeles?
    • Is my drinking water safe?
    • What is the fine for talking on a cell phone in my car?
    • What are Cap-and-trade systems; are they really going to help the environment?
    • I want to explore the Cinderella themes in Dorothy Edwards short stories.
  • 7. Formal Definitions…
    • 44 USC § 1901
    • “ Government publication” as used in this chapter, means informational matter which is published as an individual document at Government expense, or as required by law.”
  • 8.
    • 44 USC § 3301
    • “ records” includes all books, papers, maps, photographs, machine readable materials, or other documentary materials, regardless of physical format or characteristics, made or received by an agency of the United States Government under Federal law or in connection with the transaction of public business…
  • 9. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
    • 5 U.S.C. 552, as amended, generally provides any person with the statutory right, enforceable in court, to obtain access to Government information in executive branch agency records. This right to access is limited when such information is protected from disclosure by one of FOIA's nine statutory exemptions.
    • http://www.archives.gov/foia/
  • 10. Short exercise
    • Google and USA.gov: foia reading room
    • St. Valentine's Day Massacre
  • 11. “ That’s Classified Information”
    • Executive Order 13526
    • Short exercise:
    • Find EO 13526
    • How long is can material be classified?
  • 12. 4 Approaches to Finding Gov Info
    • Known title
    • Subject
    • Agency
    • Special Technique
  • 13. The Government Information Forest Legislation: Bills, Acts, Hearings, Debates Laws: Statutes, Codes, Court decisions Regulations: Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations(CFR) Executive Branch: Executive Orders, Proclamations, Speeches Agencies: Dept. of Homeland Security, Dept. of Public Social Services, Social Security Admin. Maps: CIA, topographic, geologic, land use
  • 14. The Government Information Forest Government Officials: Barbara Boxer, Mukasey, Paulsen Statistics: Census, Statistical Abstract, Construction Starts Obvious Publication: 9-11 Report, Starr Report, Governor’s Budget Technical Reports: DOE, EPA, NASA, Research/Investigations: NIH, Criminal Justice, FDA
  • 15. Government Information and Newspapers
  • 16.
    • 1813   [3 Stat. 140] Copies of Senate/House Journals, Congressional materials to be deposited to libraries
    • 1860 Title 44 and GPO
    • 1895 Office of the Superintendent of Documents
    • 1962 Depository Library Act
    • 1996  
    • http://smu.edu/cul/gir/background/fdlp.html
  • 17. Federal Depository Library Program
    • Title 44 USC Sec. 1901-1916
    • Administered by GPO
    • Collections and Services
      • FDLP Desktop
      • GPO Access
  • 18. Follow the depository bird! Government Information @ UCLA
  • 19. UCLA Library Government Information Specialists are here to help!
    • Federal: Maria Jankowska, Kris Kasianovitz
    • State, Local, Canadian,NGOs: Kris Kasianovitz
    • International: Joseph Yue
    • British: Maria Jankowska
    • Foreign: Area Studies Librarians