Blogshine Sunday: Freedom of information, online

Gavin Baker writes "On March 13, news organizations across the United States will participate in "Sunshine Sunday" by running stories and editorials in support of public access to government information. Simultaneously, bloggers throughout the U.S. and beyond will spotlight their own experiences with obtaining access to government documents. This "Blogshine Sunday" has been organized by FreeCulture.org, an international group of student activists, to ensure that government remains accessible to tomorrow's journalists. See the announcement on the Free Culture blog, press release, or coverage at Sunshine Week."

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Librarians. ALA. Freedom of Information practices.

Librarians fail to observe the best Freedom of Information practices at our cities' public libraries throughout North America. American Library Association professional guidelines fail to demonstrate the balance between public records and records privacy. You cannot observe either without understanding the balance between what is exempt from public view and what is public information. One should be able to expect our city public libraries' reference desk departments to respond within the Library Bill of Rights when asked for public documentation on their department itself even though that might be considered recursive, internal information. If it is public information, grey literature it should be made available without delay. Regrettably, Boston Public Library is a model of a bad example in that regard. For instance, try asking as has the BPL professional union has tried asking, for the Reorganization Plan. BPL board claims they will make it available. But BPL Assistant Director R. Kowal and President Bernie Margolis do not follow through. The Real Sheet newsletter available via senger@bpl.org senger at bpl.org documents this in the past 12 issues.

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