At the beginning of this year, President Trump signed into law the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary Government Data Act, requiring that nonsensitive government data be made available in machine-readable, open formats by default. As researchers who study data governance and cyber law [Anjanette Raymond, Beth Cate and Scott Shackelford] we are excited by the possibilities of the new act. But much effort is needed to fill in missing details – especially since these data can be used in unpredictable or unintended ways. The federal government would benefit from considering lessons learned from open government activities in other countries and at state and local levels.
Brandon Wright Adler addresses the destruction of Presidential documents and records brought to our attention this past week in a rather startling article published by Politico – “The president’s unofficial ‘filing system’ involves tearing up documents into pieces, even when they’re supposed to be preserved.” As law librarians, we clearly understand the duty and responsibility to uphold the Presidential Records Act and to advocate that all such documents remain available to the public and researchers.
Melissa Levine’s article articulates for us the historic significance and professional impact of the recent announcement by the Library of Congress that 25 million digital catalog records are now available to the public, at no cost. This remarkable treasure trove of free descriptive data sets includes records from 1968 to 2014.
This is an introduction to a critical effort to support local public libraries throughout the United States, not in competition with any other efforts, programs or initiatives, but with the goal to fund a robust, long lived and essential endowment in response to ongoing defunding of critical library staffing and resources in our communities, especially poor land rural localities.
In Warren Buffetts own backyard: Underfunded Omaha libraries. National digital library endowment, anyone?
David Rothman calls out an increasingly pervasive dichotomy of action by some of America’s wealthiest corporate philanthropists in regard to supporting libraries, literacy and equal access to comprehensive public library collections. As Rothman documents, Omaha Public Libraries’ spending per capita is substantially below that of surrounding communities and the current national average on library content spending is $4 per capita – or less than the price of a Big Mac. The National digital library endowment is certainly in need of public and private support on a significant and transparent level, and Rothman continues to advocate for progress to achieve this goal.
David Rothman describes why the BiblioTech library in Bexar County, Texas is a landmark achievement worthy of implementation and iteration in towns and cities throughout the US. His article describes the success of this variation on a library system detailed in a new book authored by Nelson Wolff, the visionary behind the country’s first all-digital public library system. Wolff is the judge of Bexar County, which includes the city of San Antonio. The title is roughly equivalent to the head of a county board. Judge Wolff and his wife, Tracy, are donors and fund-raisers for BiblioTech and other civic causes, and his book is a how-to pathfinder to “bridge the literacy and technology gaps.”
More and more lawyers are moving to Web-based legal software because it’s convenient, provides 24/7 on-the-go-access to case-related information, and is affordable. Lawyer and legal tech expert Nicole Black says the good news is now that cloud computing is becoming more familiar and accepted, new platforms are being introduced into the legal marketplace at record speed. She explains how to make effective business choices when determining how and what cloud based applications to use.
How the Hernandez family will benefit from two well-stocked national digital library systems and a digital library endowment
This is Part Two of LibraryCity’s series, by David Rothman, mapping out a digital future for U.S. libraries to better our lives. Part One is on the need for librarians to open their minds to innovations like the BiblioTech digital library. Part Three is on strategies to make well-stocked national digital libraries a reality and help the Hernandezes, not just the American elite.
The risks if the DPLA wont create a full-strength national digital library system: Setbacks for K-12, family literacy, local libraries, preservation, digital divide efforts?
David H. Rothman maintains that the Harvard-originated national digital library initiative is an underachiever in K-12 matters and identifies other areas where the DPLA could better serve America’s libraries and their users. These areas range from family literacy to the content creation needs of local libraries, preservation and digital divide efforts. Rothman details specific remedies to these challenges consistent with his strong advocacy on behalf of strengthening national digital library systems.
Breaking Down Link Rot: The Chesapeake Project Legal Information Archive’s Examination of URL Stability*
This guide for researches by Sarah Rhodes focuses on the highly significant impact of “link rot”, which refers to the loss or removal of content at a particular Uniform Resource Locator (URL) over time. When an attempt is made to open a documented link, either different or irrelevant information has replaced the expected content, or else the link is found to be broken, typically expressed by a 404 or “not found” error message. This is not an uncommon occurrence. Web-based materials often disappear as URLs change and web sites are changed, updated, or deleted.