Resolution In Support of Full FY 1997 Superintendent of Documents Salaries and Expenses Appropriations

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Endorsed by the AALL Executive Board, July 19, 1996

WHEREAS, The Federal Depository Library Program has proven to be an effective partnership between libraries and the federal government for 139 years; and

WHEREAS, The Federal Depository Library Program provides the American public with equitable, no-fee access to government information from all branches of government; and

WHEREAS, The 1400 depository libraries located in nearly all Congressional districts contribute space, equipment, training and professional assistance to provide the public with no-fee access to current and historical records in a variety of print, microfiche, CD-ROM and other electronic formats; and

WHEREAS, The Government Printing Office has recently released the Congressionally-mandated Study to Identify Measures Necessary for a Successful Transition to a More Electronic Federal Depository Library Program; and

WHEREAS, The Study provides the framework for the government to increase electronic access to information and suggests that approximately 50% of depository information will be in electronic formats by the end of FY 1998; and

WHEREAS, Congress mandated this year-long comprehensive Study in order to take full advantage of new technologies to increase and enhance the public's access to government information; and

WHEREAS, The Study has identified several issues of concern, including bibliographic control, authenticity and long-term access, as well as a lack of data to support the time frame; and

WHEREAS, The Government Printing Office has submitted a budget request of $30,827,000 for the Superintendent of Documents Salaries and Expenses that is necessary to maintain current services and implement the transition to a more electronic Federal Depository Library Program according to the 5-7 year chronology suggested in the Study; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the American Association of Law Libraries urge Congress to support fully the Government Printing Office's Superintendent of Documents Salaries and Expenses appropriations request for FY 1997 that is necessary to maintain the Federal Depository Library Program as the transition to a more electronic program proceeds; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the American Association of Law Libraries urge Congress to affirm strongly the basic principles for Federal government information that are the cornerstone of the Federal Depository Library Program, as stated in the recent Study, that: Principle 1: The Public Has the Right of Access to Government Information. Principle 2: The Government Has an Obligation to Disseminate and Provide Broad Public Access of its Information. Principle 3: The Government Has an Obligation to Guarantee the Authenticity and Integrity of its Information. Principle 4: The Government Has an Obligation to Preserve Its Information. Principle 5: Government Information Created or Compiled by Government Employees or at Government Expense Should Remain in the Public Domain; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the American Association of Law Libraries transmit a copy of this resolution to Members of the House and Senate Legislative Appropriations Subcommittees, to other appropriate congressional committees, and to the Public Printer.