After late night wrangling failed to produce a short term spending bill that could pass both the Senate and House of Representatives, the U.S. federal government has shut down for the first time in nearly two decades. As of this morning, federal agencies that support the mission of libraries around the country — from the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences to the Library of Congress have found themselves forced to close their doors and furlough the majority of their staffers.
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) is offering a library amendment to the immigration bill that the Senate is considering this week. The amendment, #1223, would make public libraries eligible for funding for English language instruction and civics education, and would also add Susan Hildreth, the director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to the Task Force on New Americans. The American Library Association (ALA) is asking its members to call their Senators in support of Reed’s amendment.
On May 9, President Obama signed an open data executive order and released an open data policy. Only a couple of weeks later, on May 22, Data.gov responded by launching a new data catalog on an open source data management system called CKAN, which, the site says, will enable the central implementation of the Open Data Policy, as it will harvest the data inventories that federal agencies will be creating under the directive. LJ caught up with members of the library and data-driven research communities to see what this may mean for their missions.
Thus far in 2013, the federal budget picture has been quite grim. Since March 1, the United States government has begun to adapt to the harsh reality of across-the-board budget cuts to particular categories of federal spending. This series of cuts—now commonly referred to as the sequestration—were enacted as part of the Budget Control Act [...]
According to the Sunlight Foundation, on March 20 the House Oversight and Government Reform committee green-lighted a bill that would make public presidential library donation records. The bill would require disclosure of all donations over $200, whereas currently no donations are required to be disclosed.
The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) was introduced on February 14 in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. If passed, FASTR would require government agencies with annual extramural research expenditures of more than $100 million make electronic manuscripts of peer-reviewed journal articles based on their research freely available on the Internet within six months of publication in a peer-reviewed journal.