NEWS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY:
MARCH 1996

Table of Contents

  1. Midwinter 1996 Godort Highlights
  2. Electronic Distribution of Electronic Documents Begins
  3. Members Boot Up New Internet Caucus,
    Begin De-Bugging Hill High-Tech Issues
  4. CDA and Federal Depository Libraries
  5. Will the Census Bureau Use Your Library
    to Distribute 2000 Census Forms?
  6. 2000 Census Questionnaires, Part II
  7. NTIS Works Out Agreement with KINKO's
  8. Documents Librarian Creates New Web Sites
  9. New Book by Tom Blanton
  10. East European Legislative Monitor


(1) GPO's Electronic FDLP Transition Plan
Dominated Midwinter 1996 GODORT Meetings

The discussion at most of the 1996 Midwinter GODORT meetings was about GPO's transition plan for the Electronic Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) which appeared in Administrative Notes, vol 16, no. 18, December 29, 1996.

Wayne Kelley, Superintendent of Documents, was the first of a number of GPO officials to speak at the semi-annual Federal Documents Task Force (FDTF) Update. He began his talk by saying that for those of us who believe in free, equitable public access to federal government information, we have some important issues to discuss. Such as GPO's electronic transition plan - one of the first outcomes of the discussions which have occurred during GPO's study to identify measures necessary for a successful transition to a more electronic depository library program. During the FY 1996 Legislative Branch Appropriations process, the conference committee called for GPO's 1997 budget submission to 1) be consistent with the strategic plan included in the study mandated by Senate Report 104-114; 2) assure substantial progress toward maximum use of electronic information dissemination; and 3) formulated so as to require that any entity of the government that does not comply with the movement to electronics would have to bear the cost of its information dissemination by other than electronic means.

The current government information environment is changing so rapidly with numerous forces at play - electronic technology, shrinking budgets, government restructuring, new leadership in the House and Senate, conflicting legislative priorities, clash of fundamentally different philosophies of the purpose and goals of government. On the one hand, government agencies, as competitors to each other and to the private sector, are using their information as a source of revenue to maintain their operations in tight budget times. On the other hand, agencies are cooperating to service the public by providing free access to information. Kelley described the current scene as an action movie on fast forward. It does no good to freeze one frame to try to draw an impression of what is going on. Kelley thinks that as far as government information policy goes we have a new set of rules and the first rule is "there are no rules."

As an example, Kelley talked about the recent Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration publication Big Emerging Markets: 1996 Outlook and Sourcebook. Produced at taxpayers expense but published by a private press under a partnership agreement with the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), this title will not be coming through the DLP. Had GPO handled the competitive bid of the printing of this book, any government agency that wanted copies could have placed a rider and received copies at the cost of printing, paper and binding. Had GPO handled the procurement, any private sector publisher could have obtained reproducible materials and reproduced and sold the book themselves. Had GPO handle this work it would have been distributed to depository libraries free of charge.

Another example is "Export Administration Regulations" which are no longer a subscription item from GPO. The Under Secretary for Export Administration decided that NTIS is uniquely qualified to be the exclusive provider of this title. GPO had a subscriber list of some 9,000 people and about 500 depository libraries selected and received this publication. There has been no word from the agency as to what they will do about the depository libraries.

NTIS does have statutory authority to establish partnership agreements. In fact, they have issued a solicitation for a private sector publisher to do the next edition of the U.S. Industrial Outlook. Under this solicitation, this book would not be a depository item.

Kelley reminded us that on June 25, 1993, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued its revised Circular A-130 which told agencies to avoid establishing exclusive, restrictive or other distribution arrangements that interfere with the availability of information dissemination products on a timely and equitable basis. This circular also directed agencies to ensure that government publications are made available to depository libraries through the facilities of the GPO as required by law. One would think that Circular A-130 established rules for government agencies, but remember rule number one - there are no rules. Or at least the rules are different under different circumstances.

Kelley pointed out that NTIS is not the whole picture. We are going through a period of confusion; there is no accountability for electronics, budgets, or restructuring. Each federal agency has a mission and certain responsibilities to carry out that mission. Keep in mind the current information environment. Government agencies produce information at taxpayers' expense to fulfill their mission. As their first priority, they make this information available to a specific target audience. When agencies' resources are stretched, the agency uses them in their own best interests. This is a law of nature that outranks Title 44 of the U.S. Code. An agency may seek authority to sell its information products to use the revenue to support its operation. An agency may cease to publish certain titles all together. What is the mission of the DLP? It is not targeted to a specific audience, rather, it is public access to government documents on a wide range of issues over a sustained period of time.

In this new electronic environment, agencies will be responsible for the authenticity, currency, and availability of their own electronic information. Kelley suggested a need for an authoritative study on how agencies are going to address these responsibilities. In the past, when an agency printed a document, it was assumed the head of the agency had authorized the printing and the very fact that the document came off the presses and was sent to your library makes it an authoritative, authentic government document. With electronics, an agency can put something up on their server, and with one keystroke change history. How do you know which document was the authoritative document?

Historically, depository libraries had the responsibility for storing government information on-site and providing free access to the public. In the electronic age, we will see a change - lots of information will be stored by the agencies who created it, or GPO, or even others through third party agreements. Depository libraries will have to provide access, not necessarily storage of information.

Kelley concluded by saying that this period of chaos needs to end up with the American public having equitable free access to information about what its government is doing. We can't have the legacy of the electronic information era be the pulling of the plug on public access to government information.

Gil Baldwin, Chief, Library Division, gave an overview of the electronic transition plan. It is a "tactical" plan covering the remainder of FY 1996 through FY 1998, and is based on GPO's understanding of Congressional intent and direction, technological developments, and operational and budgetary realities. GPO's basic assumptions and policies are laid out in their FY 1997 budget request, as well as an outline of actions necessary to accomplish the rapid transition to an electronic FDLP. All of the partners in the electronic FDLP will be significantly impacted in terms of new resource requirements, roles, and responsibilities. Public service will become the defining characteristic of a depository library. GPO is very interested in comments on two general areas related to the plan: 1) the impact of this transition on the users of government information, on libraries in general, and specifically on depository libraries; and 2) the role of the agencies and GPO's relationship with, and services to, them.

PLAN HIGHLIGHTS

This is an aggressive plan for a fast transition. Two key strategic issues embodied in this plan are maintaining long-term access and ensuring equitable public access. The plan only describes "what" GPO is going to do; it does not address the "how" or the "who." The basic assumptions guiding GPO for the transition to an electronic FDLP are as follows:

  1. Expect that nearly all of the information provided through the FDLP will be electronic by the end of FY 1998. During the transition period, GPO intends to convert publications received in paper to an electronic format.
  2. A few select titles will continue to be available in paper as well as electronically.
  3. Costs of the transition will be funded by reducing the distribution of paper and microfiche.
  4. Responsibility for ensuring long-term access shifts from depository libraries to the Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs). Note, GPO is defining long-term access as at least 5 years, with an upper limit based on an assessment of demand.
  5. GPO Access services will be the foundation for providing electronic access for the FDLP.
  6. Direct, no-fee access to government information will be provided to the public by GPO Access services as a function of the FDLP, and will be funded by the Program.
  7. SuDocs will coordinate with other agencies for depository library access to their electronic data. For those agency databases which are sold, the FDLP may not necessarily provide for direct, no-charge public access. However, depository libraries will be able to provide public access to these databases, either on-site, or by connecting through a gateway.
  8. SuDocs is requesting funding earmarked for "technology grants" to assure at least one electronically-capable depository in each Congressional district.
  9. Priority in the transition will be given to electronic access to materials already in the FDLP, with highest priority on high-demand titles. Current electronic information not presently in FDLP will be given the next priority, with retrospective data receiving the lowest priority.
  10. Transition will require certain legislative changes.
  11. To accomplish this transition, SuDocs will need funding at approximately the FY 1996 level, although much of this money will be spent in different ways.

KEY FEATURES OF THE TRANSITION PLAN

TRANSITION CHRONOLOGY

For the remainder of FY 1996, LPS will concentrate on the following:

FDLP SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS FOR ELECTRONIC ACCESS

GPO will require the capability to not only scan print format products, but also accept scanned information and mount it on their system. In addition, there is a potential requirement to establish, online or "near line" access to CD-ROMs which have been, or could be, physically distributed through the FDLP.

CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM ISSUES

GPO expects that the application of the SuDocs classification system will be reduced as the number of physical products in the FDLP declines. The "locating" function of the SuDocs number will be replaced by including the URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) date element in GPO's records.

LEGISLATIVE CHANGES

To assure long-term access to electronic government information, GPO has proposed specific language for 5 new sections for Chapter 19, Title 44 of the U.S. Code. GPO feels that the most critical definition is that proposed for "on-line public access" -- information is made accessible electronically over the Internet, or any successor network, without regard for the storage media which holds the data, or the searching mechanisms employed to access it.

Judy Russell, Director of Electronic Information Dissemination Services, then gave an update on GPO Access and the Study of the FDLP. GPO still wants and needs gateways to GPO Access despite it now having free public access. GPO is now acting as a service bureau to agencies to help create and disseminate their GILS records. One agency is using GPO's web site as their primary site. GPO is actively picking up the highest level records from every agency who is distributing their own GILS records so there will be a comprehensive point of entry. Another GILS application is being done in partnership with NARA and the Office of the Federal Register. Through a web link, if someone does a search on the Privacy Act Records compilation they can then search in GPO's online Federal Register to see if there are any updates. GPO has up a new database prototype for distribution of hearings online. It is expected that one will be able to search by committee or topic across all committees. The next database to come up will be the GAO Comptroller General decisions. The Federal Bulletin Board is available as an FTP site, in addition to dial-in and telnet. The 1996 databases for the Congressional Record and Federal Register will not have TIFF files and GPO will be removing TIFF files for the 1995 versions. TIFF files will remain for the U.S. Code and the older database files. U.S. Budget will be delayed until March. It will be available in paper and CD-ROM - both of which will go to depository libraries. GPO is taking delivery of the Phase 2 software in February. The first major application for the new software will be the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), but it may take 12-18 months to get the full CFR online.

With regard to the GPO Study, the task group reports are currently being edited and drafts should be up on GOVDOC-L soon. Get your comments to task group leaders quickly, since a meeting of the advisors is scheduled for February 6, 1996 to discuss these draft reports as well as a proposed organization for the final report due in March.

Maggie Parhamovich and Raeann Dossett, Internet Specialists in Electronic Transition Services (ETS), gave a demonstration of what they have accomplished at the halfway point of their project at GPO, concentrating on Pathway Services only. ETS has developed an experimental web page to demonstrate their concept, experiment with ideas, and test some of their Internet applications. The goal of their Pathway project is to develop Internet resources that facilitate access to government information. One aspect of their work is to develop a system which applies some characteristics of research in a traditional library to the electronic environment. Typically patrons find information by 2 methods - browsing through the stacks or the card catalog; the other is to search for a specific topic or keyword. Applying these patterns to their project, they are building a pathway index to facilitate searching by keyword across government databases. Additionally, they are analyzing sites, assigning subjects and listing sites under appropriate topics. Users can then come to the topic list, browse through it and then select the subject that is of interest to them.

Another application for the web site is a list of agencies for which they have created pathway GILS records. These are simply records that are in GILS format which describe agencies and point to their GILS and main web pages. They have customized the records to point to resources in the FDLP.

Sheila McGarr, Depository Services Staff, highlighted the activities of her department. The revised Guidelines for depository libraries will be issued as Federal Depository Library Manual Supplement 2; the revised Self-Study will be Supplement 3. An enlarged Superseded List is expected by fall 1996. If you were last inspected in 1989-90, you might be inspected soon.

Dan O'Mahony, Chair of Depository Library Council (DLC), concluded the update session by outlining DLC's activities with respect to the transition plan. DLC devoted its fall 1995 meeting to discussion of the transition in three areas: legislative issues, library related issues, GPO related issues. DLC also had a series of facilitated discussions that tried to define the role of libraries in the new electronic age. The results of the discussions were two fold - some incorporation into DLC recommendations and a special report to the executive working group of the study - both of which appear in Dec. 5, 1995 Admin Notes. Initial reaction to GPO's plan by some DLC members is that the plan does accomplish what Congress asked GPO to do - it moves the program towards electronic dissemination; it tries to hold costs to the federal government in line; and it lays out some steps needed to effect the transition to this new environment. Not everyone agrees with all of the plan; it has good points and alarming points. Input is critical.

In order for GODORT to respond to the transition plan, the FDTF Work Groups divided up into the following areas: preservation, bibliographic control, legislation, public service, organization, standards, and training and user education. By the end of the conference, FDTF had a draft summary of the 7 work group discussions and a smaller group is continuing to work on a longer response to GPO. It is expected that this work will be disseminated on GOVDOC-L for further comment. Please make your comments/concerns known.

GODORT Legislation Committee addressed the plan by forwarding to ALA a resolution about the transition to a more electronic federal information system. The resolution urged Congress to:

  1. continue its efforts to move towards a more electronic information and dissemination program by adopting a realistic 5-7 year time-frame for the transition;
  2. reaffirm the Government's responsibility to provide federal information in a format most appropriate to the public needs by:
    • supporting and funding the FDLP throughout the transition period at a level necessary to carry out a successful transition, and
    • disseminating information in media appropriate to the information's content, use and audience, and
    • ensuring no-fee public access to government information through depository libraries regardless of the agencies' cost recovery practices, and
    • strengthening the government's responsibility and ability to archive and preserve government information for long-term access; and
  3. hold public hearings by both authorizing and appropriating committees prior to implementing the Transition Plan and to enact the necessary statutory changes to USC Title 44 in order to implement the Plan.

Other resolutions forwarded to ALA by the GODORT Legislation Committee addressed the following:

Odds and Ends

  • check out the following web site for state and local government information : http://www.library.arizona.edu/users/arawan/stat.html
  • GODORT is sponsoring a preconference July 5, 1996 on "Demystifying Documents: Finding Federal Government Information." The main GODORT Program will be "Power to the States and Localities: Government Information on the 'Net'." In addition, GODORT is cosponsoring two programs: "Political Campaigning in Cyberspace: Selecting Leaders for the Future," and "Antique Maps on the Electronic Frontier."
  • the Ad Hoc Committee on the Internet has completed its whitepaper "Government Information in the Electronic Environment." The whitepaper will be published in the March 1996 issue of DttP and posted on the GODORT web site.
  • IDTF announced that the Guide to Country Data in IGO Publications is due to be published by CIS in March 1996.
  • a new editor is needed for Documents to the People, Jan 1997-Dec 1999. Application deadline is May 15, 1996. Contact Tim Byrne, University of Colorado, 303/492-8834, byrnet@spot.colorado.edu
  • a University of IL, Urbana-Champaign library school class has collected the checklists of most state governments and the library plans to apply for a grant to fund mounting this information on a web page.
  • GPO's CD-ROM Monthly Catalog is not ready for distribution due to software problems. Use the Internet version of the
  • Monthly Catalog- via the GPO Access web site as the most up-to- date source of MoCat information.
  • Readex is interested in reissuing its microprint edition of pre-1976 U.S. documents in microfiche.
  • a subcommittee of the GODORT Cataloging Committee is looking into the feasibility of creating pre-1976 U.S. documents cataloging products.

    As always, this is my summary of what took place over 5 days in San Antonio. If I can answer any questions or fill in any detail, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Susan E. Tulis, Univ. of Virginia Law Library, Univ. of Virginia Law Library, 580 Massie Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903-1789; Phone 804/924-3504; Fax 804/982-2232; E-Mail: set7c@virginia.edu.

    Source: Susan Tulis, GOVDOC-L, January 29, 1996.


    (2) Electronic Distribution of Electronic Documents Begins

    The transition to an electronic depository program has begun.

    On Thursday, February 29, 1996, GPO mounted Preparing for the 21st Century: An Appraisal of U.S. Intelligence on its World-Wide Web (WWW) server. This publication is the only report to be published by the Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the United States Intelligence Community. The universal resource locator (URL) is http://www.access.gpo.gov/int/index.html. The document is available in both ASCII and PDF. The document was classified Y 3.2:C 17/IN 8/INTERNET for the Monthly Catalog.

    Just like any new process, the provision of a government publication in electronic mode for the first time is not without controversy. As many people have pointed out on GOVDOC-L, the URL address given is not all that helpful in finding the document. GPO will hopefully figure out a way to make such items more easily retrievable in the near future before the drip becomes a flood.

    Source: Administrative Notes, vol. 17, no. 5, March 15, 1996.


    (3) Members Boot Up New Internet Caucus,
    Begin De-Bugging Hill High-Tech Issues

    Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga) says he wants the House to be a model of high-tech governing, but Members admit that they are finding the road to electronic enlightenment littered with obstacles.

    In an effort to combat the decidedly low-tech views of many Members, a bipartisan group of lawmakers will convene the first meeting of the Internet Caucus on March 13, 1996.

    Rep. Rick White (R-Wash), who founded the group, said that he and others began discussing the idea after Congress included the Communications Decency Act as part of the telecommunications bill last year. The measure, sponsored by Sen. James Exon (D-Neb) and Dan Coats (R-Ind), holds online service providers liable for making obscene material on the Internet accessible to minors.

    Lobbying against the provision an hour before the Communications Decency Act, White said, was not effective enough to counter Members' concerns about pornography. The fight underscored the "gap in understanding among Members about the Internet," he said. "There's nothing more important in the infant stages of a new technology than properly defining its relationship to the government," said Rep. Chris Cox (R-Calif), another caucus member.

    The group, which only consists of a few Members at this point, culls lawmakers primarily from districts with a high-tech business presence. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif), who represents Silicon Valley, said Members have an easier time understanding a V-chip on a television set than restrictions on Internet access.

    "The caucus has its work cut out for it," Eshoo predicted, adding that the group could even hold a technological demonstration for Members. But although lawmakers from both parties have expressed enthusiasm for high-tech ventures, some critics argue that Congress itself has not done enough to inform its constituents.

    Republican leaders have made online access to Congressional information a top administrative priority, with Gingrich vowing that a GOP-controlled Congress would "change the rules of the House to require that all documents and all conference reports be filed electronically as well as in writing and that they cannot be filed until they are available to any citizen that wants to pull them up. Thus, information will be available to any citizen in the country at the same moment it is available to the highest paid Washington lobbyists."

    Putting this theory into practice, however, has been daunting. Rep. Vern Ehlers (R-Mich), whom Gingrich appointed to spearhead the modernization of Congress, testified last week before the House Appropriations legislative branch subcommittee that his work was far from finished.

    While a range of documents are now available through the Library of Congress's THOMAS system and via the Government Printing Office's online service, he said, "it's not very elegant or very easy to use." Noting that THOMAS received several million "hits" last year, he added that he hoped to improve the format so "not only children use it, but also adults."

    Some organizations say Congress hasn't tried hard enough with its electronic resources. On Friday the Congressional Accountability Project, along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Taxpayer Assets Project, sent a letter to Senate Rules and Administration Committee Chairman John Warner (R-Va) asking him to put more information online.

    The documents they want on the Internet include committee prints of bills and chairman's marks, hearing transcripts, prepared testimony, and amendments.

    The groups pointed out that internal maneuvering can prevent constituents from learning the details of legislation. While the GPO distributes numbered committee reports, for example, it fails to post ones that are not officially reported.

    In an interview Thursday, Ehlers said that logistical problems have hampered Congress's online efforts. He said he was considering asking the GOP leadership to instruct committee chairmen to release all reports, but noted that, for the moment, the chairmen control whether reports are made public.

    Some issues come down to a question of timing, he said. A chairman's marks are often available to Members themselves only a hour before a markup, he said. Hearing transcripts are delayed, he said, because official reporters are overburdened and "hearings are the lowest priority."

    "There's not an attempt at subversion here," he said. "We're not going to have everything up online as soon as people want it."

    Watchdog groups, however, said timing can play a key role in political debates.

    The coalition that wrote Warner last week warned, "This information failure is exceedingly bad for democracy, because it provides great advantages to Washington lobbyists - who have timely access to Congressional documents - while effectively locking out the vast majority of Americans from participating in the Congressional legislative process, who do not have timely access to these Senate documents."

    House Oversight Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif) noted that the Clerk of the House was "close" to making House records on items like Congressional spending available electronically. "Once they do it, they will be available to everybody," Thomas explained.

    And Ehlers said that he had met with Warner's staff last week to discuss coordination between the two chambers, so that they could create a "common information repository in the Library of Congress." Those resources could not only inform the public, he said, but also enhance communication between the House and Senate.

    Earlier this month, Warner said he had created a management task force as part of his "Operation Daylight" to make the Senate more accountable to the public. The group would focus much of its energy on using technology to disseminate information and improve the inner workings of the Senate, he said.

    Rep. Randy Tate (R-Wash), who wrote a letter to Gingrich last month asking him to put more information online, said he was confident Congress would act in the near future. In a recent visit to a high school back home, he recalled, students quizzed him on voting records and legislative information they had pulled off THOMAS.

    "This place moves slowly," Tate said. "We just have to prod the leadership and the administrators in the House to make sure we're not behind the curve."

    This Newscoop reprinted with permission of Juliet Eilperin, Roll Call, March 12, 1996. If you wish to call her, her phone number is (202) 289-4900.


    (4) CDA and Federal Depository Libraries

    In a nutshell, Congress recently passed and the President signed a new law called the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA). According to this law, any Internet provider (including libraries) could be held accountable for items obtained over the Internet. Thus, a federal depository library providing access to federal agency web sites over the Internet as part of its public outreach and service requirements could in fact be prosecuted if a library user also happened to find pornographic materials.

    As a result, the American Library Association has joined with a broad coalition of 22 organizations, called the Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition, to fight this new law. On Monday, February 26, 1996, the coalition filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

    ALA and its coalition allies are challenging the constitutionality of the CDA on the grounds that its wording is imprecise, that it makes no distinction between materials appropriate for a five year old and a 17-year-old college student, and that measures to restrict access of sexually explicit materials to minors will have a chilling effect on constitutionally protected expression. This case will be consolidated with the lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union earlier this month. A hearing on both lawsuits, before a three-judge federal panel, will take place on March 21, 1996.

    "This legislation poses special problems for libraries and their role as public access points to information," said ALA President Betty Turock. "This case will determine how we communicate in the 21st century and whether the information available will fulfill the incredibly diverse needs of all people or whether only an elite few will have access."

    Judith Krug, Director of the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom, has been one of the leaders instrumental in organizing the lawsuit and pulling this diverse coalition together. Krug pointed out that, under the Communications Decency Act, any person who knowingly sends or displays materials that could be interpreted as "indecent" or "patently offensive by contemporary community standards" in a manner available to children under the age of 18 could be imprisoned for up to two years and/or face substantial fines.

    Other named plaintiffs in the lawsuit are: America Online; American Booksellers Association; American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression; American Society of Newspaper Editors; Association of American Publishers; Association of National Advertisers; Association of Publishers, Editors and Writers; Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition; Commercial Internet Exchange Association; Compuserve; Families Against Internet Censorship; Freedom to Read Foundation; Hotwired Ventures; Interactive Services Association; Microsoft Corporation; Microsoft Network; Netcom; Newspaper Association of America; Prodigy; Society Of Professional Journalists; and Wired Ventures.

    Other members of the Citizens Internet Empowerment Coalition are: Americans for Tax Reform; Association of American University Presses, Inc.; Association of National Advertisers; Association of Research Libraries; Center for Democracy and Technology; Coalition for Networked Information; Media Access Project; Media Institute; Microsystems Software, Inc.; National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges; People for the American Way; Recording Industry Association of America; Special Libraries Association; Surfwatch, Inc.; and the University of California Santa Barbara Library.

    Although it's unlikely that a library would be the first target of a criminal prosecution, ALA has warned that the nation's libraries could face criminal prosecution for providing access to or posting materials on the Internet under the "indecency" provision of the newly enacted Telecommunications Act. The warning comes from ALA's legal counsel, attorney Bruce Ennis of Jenner & Block, based in Washington, D.C.

    Ennis advised that the prospect of criminal prosecution exists and libraries that post content on the Internet should seek the advice of legal counsel to determine the potential for criminal prosecution under the Act. He pointed out that in some cases, libraries may be forced to choose between censorship of Internet materials or the risk that a complaint could lead to criminal prosecution.

    Ennis also noted that the Act applies to words as well as graphic materials, making it possible that titles in the card catalogue might be considered "patently offensive" or "indecent" by some people. More information as this legal battle unfolds.

    Source: ALAWON, Vol. 5, no. 5, February 26, 1996.


    (5) Will the Census Bureau Use Your Library
    to Distribute 2000 Census Forms?

    And you thought you had problems with tax forms . . .

    In a Thursday, Jan. 29th New York Times (pA11) article entitled "Census, in a First, to Use Sampling in the Year 2000", the Census Bureau made the following rather startling annoucement about the 2000 Census:

    "In addition to mailing the forms, the bureau for the first time will allow people to pick them up at government buildings like libraries and police stations, as well as community centers and convenience stores."

    Let's see, where do we begin? Lets have a show of hands of how many of you were contacted by the Census Bureau about this? How many of you knew you were by their definition a "government building" apparently a federal one too? How much money have you been offered to perform this duty (the same amount you get for dispensing tax information?)

    The article raises hundreds of other policy issues for government documents librarians, public librarians, etc., but this continuing refusal to include us in the conversation, to take for granted our role as though we were an arm of the government has to be addressed by our associations and each and every one of us.

    Let the talks begin . . .

    Source: Debbie Gallagher, MLink, GOVDOC-L, March 4, 1996.


    (6) Census Questionnaires, Part II

    The Census Bureau does listen.

    Following my posting on the Census Bureau's plan to distribute the Census 2000 forms in "govt buildings like libraries . . .", Mr. Vincent Koontz of the Detroit Regional Census Office called me and extended an invitation to the library community to meet with and talk to the Director of the Census, Ms. Martha Farnsworth Riche when she comes to Michigan for the Census 2000 "Rollout" meeting.

    These meetings will be held throughout the United States in April and May and all stakeholders, which now apparently includes public libraries, are invited to come and ask questions, give comment, etc. Mr. Koontz acknowledged that libraries "may not have been consulted as yet on this plan" but that it was very much in the early stages and the library community's participation would be "very necessary."

    I urge librarians everywhere to contact their regional Census Bureau office and take part in these important discussions now -- not after the policy is made. For those of you in Michigan, both the Michigan Library Association and the Library of Michigan have been contacted and will be representing Michigan's libraries at the April meeting.

    Source: Debbie Gallagher, MICHLIB-L, March 4, 1996.


    (7) NTIS Reaches an Agreement with KINKO's

    The February 19 issue of FEDERAL COMPUTER WEEK announces that NTIS has reached an agreement with Kinko's to "offer on-demand printing of NTIS publications at 300 of its 847 branches".

    Other excerpts include :

    Source: Erminio D'Onofrio, Government Information Librarian, New York Public Library, GOVDOC-L, Febrary 29, 1996.


    (8) Documents Librarian Creates New Web Sites
    for State and Local Governments:
    Public Outreach in Action

    Documents librarians around the country are starting to mount entire web sites or selected documents for federal, state, and local government agencies as part of their government information outreach activities. In past issues of RED TAPE, I have mentioned some of these efforts in the hope they might inspire our Michigan documents librarians to consider doing the same. For example, Mary Caitlan Kelly, Documents Librarian at the University of Illinois, Chicago, helped set up and maintain the U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Network (DOSFAN). Stuart F. Basefsky (a former Documents Librarian) at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations Catherwood Library has mounted selected U.S. Department of Labor reports such as the Dunlop Commission and the Glass Ceiling Commission reports.

    As an update, Mary Caitlan Kelly sent me an e-mail announcing two additional web sites she has created for state and local government agencies.

    Illinois Department of Employment Security LMI SOURCE
    http://uicdocs.lib.uic.edu/ides/index.html
    This site has labor market information for the state and counties as well as affirmative action data taken from the 1990 Census EEO files. Provided as a cooperative effort by the University of Illinois, Chicago, and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

    The Chicago Department of Public Health Network
    http://uicdocs.lib.uic.edu/cdh/
    This site currently has only one major publication on it --Leading Causes of Death in Chicago -- and an historical tour through CDPH history. We will be adding the quarterly publication "Aids Chicago" and are hoping to soon have a report on the big heatwave. Provided as a cooperative effort by the University of Illinois, Chicago, and the Chicago Department of Public Health.

    For more information, contact Mary at (312) 996-2738 or send her an e-mail at (U60005@UICVM.UIC.EDU).

    If anyone else wants to send the RED TAPE Editor similar announcements, I will be glad to share this information in future issues.


    (9) New Book by Tom Blanton
    Reveals Internal White House E-Mial Secrets
    and the Case that Established
    the Legal Status of Federal E-Mail

    Revelations from White House E-Mail: The Top Secret Computer Messages the Reagan/Bush White House Tried to Destroy,
    edited by Tom Blanton (New York: The New Press, 256 pp. plus 1.44 megabyte computer disk), distributed by W.W. Norton & Company.
    For more information, contact: the National Security Archive 202/994-7000, nsarchiv@gwis2.circ.gwu.edu

    Startling Revelations Include:

  • Secret Support for Saddam Hussein:

    Top Reagan administration officials, including Colin Powell, presided over covert intelligence support to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War, including targeting information on Iranian civilian infrastructure for Saddam's SCUD missiles. In secret e-mail messages, National Security Council staffer William Cockell recommended -- and Deputy National Security Adviser Alton Keel agreed -- they cover-up the assistance to Saddam, because "it is difficult to characterize this as defensive assistance." [pp. 36-41] Subsequently, while Powell served as Deputy National Security Adviser in 1987, the Reagan administration discussed a "shopping list" of pro-Iraq actions in order to "stiffen them up." [pp.235-237]

  • Helping Noriega "Clean Up His Image":

    Three months after Seymour Hersh and The New York Times exposed Manuel Noriega's involvement in drugrunning and murder, Noriega approached the National Security Council staff with an offer to assassinate the Nicaraguan Sandinista leadership. Oliver North relayed the offer to his boss, National Security Adviser John Poindexter, writing that "you will recall that over the years Manuel Noriega in Panama and I have developed a fairly good relationship." Poindexter replies, "I have nothing against him other than his illegal activities" and approves a North meeting with Noriega -- as does Secretary of State George Shultz. The bottom line? The White House agrees to help Noriega "clean up his image" in return for Panamanian sabotage operations against the Nicaraguan Sandinistas. [pp. 23-25]

  • The White House Sends a Cocaine Conspirator to Club Fed:

    Top Reagan administration officials from the White House, Pentagon, and Justice Department just said yes to a reduced prison sentence (in a minimum security facility) for a Honduran colonel and sometime CIA asset who was convicted of cocaine trafficking and conspiracy to assassinate the civilian president of Honduras, because otherwise the colonel might "start singing songs nobody wants to hear" about covert operations in Honduras. [pp. 42-48]

  • Secret Deals with Lobbyists on a Controversial Congressional Vote:

    The White House struck a secret deal with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in the spring of 1986 to avoid an AWACS-style all-out battle on a Saudi arms deal vote, and in return got AIPAC's help on foreign aid funding and on the Iran- contra scandal. But National Security Council staffer Howard Teicher warned, "whatever one may think of the jewish leadership, the 'masses' are rarely if ever swayed by what the rational, reasonable leaders say. instead, it is the israel right or wrong demagogues at the grassroots level that will try to take advantage of the leadership's pusillanimity." [pp. 150-157]

  • Hidden Failures of the Polygraph (Precursors of Aldrich Ames):

    According to the National Security Council's top counterintelligence official in 1985, career FBI agent David Major, two out of the 48 individuals indicted, arrested and/or convicted of espionage against the U.S. in the years 1975-85, had successfully deceived the CIA's favorite screening tool, the polygraph (lie detector) -- a 4% error rate. (Aldrich Ames subsequently beat the polygraph twice.) [p.220]

  • Ross Perot's Ego Rides Again:

    Ross Perot "sandbagged" the Reagan White House at a 1986 Congressional hearing on the POW-MIA issue, according to the lead White House staffer on the issue, Col. Richard Childress, who also wrote, "he has played into Hanoi's hands for his ego and doesn't even know it." [p. 162]

  • And More White House E-mail Stories:

    To receive more information about the case (PROFS Case), send an E-mail to ebecker@cni.org with the word "SUB" in the subject line and your name and E-mail address in the message body.

    Source: Aimee C. Quinn, GOVDOC-L, January 11, 1996.


    (10) Eastern European Legislative Monitor

    The Constitutional and Legislative Policy Institute is pleased to announce free subscriptions to the EELM.

    Every month the EELM will review all the activity in the parliaments from around the region, and report on the following four categories: bills, passed legislation, changes in the house rules, and party caucuses. Making use of both professional journalists and employees from the parliaments, the EELM can offer an insider's perspective on often habitually closed institutions. The EELM will serve as a tool for those NGOs and activists seeking to make an impact on the legislative process, by giving them access to bills early enough for publicizing and proposing alternatives or amendments. It will also benefit academics and journalists who study the region by providing them with the most immediate source of new legislation coming out of the parliaments.

    To reach the widest audience possible, the EELM will be published through email, and subscriptions are free. The first issue of the EELM will be sent out February 10, covering Russia (with special attention to the recent Duma elections), Lithuania, and Hungary. Every month two new countries will be added to the EELM`s coverage. In March, for example, we will be adding Albania and Ukraine. For those who wish for more information than is contained in the EELM, The Constitutional and Legislative Policy Institute (COLPI) will also be providing a database of recently passed legislation from all these parliaments on our World Wide Web Homepage which will appear on the Internet in March. Furthermore, each issue of the EELM will contain easy-to-follow instructions for accessing our database by FTP Mail for those who do not have Internet capability.

    To subscribe send an e-mail message to "taylorj@osi.hu"; in the subject box type "EELM"; and in the message section type "subscribe". For more information, contact : Robert Horvitz, International Coordinator, OSI Internet Program, Motokov Building, Room 1920, Na Strzi 63, 140 62 Praha 4, Czech Rep., tel 42 2 6114-2751, fax 6114-2750, email horvitzr@omri.cz.

    Source : LAWSRC-L, February 8, 1996.

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