Learn about the Advocacy Committee
New Jersey Residents—Action Needed
Ask your State Senator to vote against Bill S-1784 and to reunite the Division of Records Management and the New Jersey State Archives!
The following position paper from the Advocates for New Jersey History, fully supported by the League of Historical Societies of New Jersey and the Genealogical Society of New Jersey discusses the background to this bill and the full implications should it pass. We urge you to read it in its entirety and call or email your State Senator. Thank you.
The position paper can be found here: http://gsnj.org/pdf/NJ-Bill-S-1784-%282016%29-Advocates-for-New-Jersey-History-Position-Paper.pdf
Find your State Senator by municipality:
or by interactive map:
Take Action! Urge the Senate to Confirm Dr. Carla Hayden as Librarian of Congress
President Obama’s nomination of Dr. Carla Hayden to become the 14th Librarian of Congress is pending before the U.S. Senate and may be voted on at any time. Please contact your senators and urge them to support her confirmation. Dr. Hayden would become the first woman and the first African-American to lead the Library of Congress—and the first librarian to serve in the post in 60 years. Follow this link to the National Humanities Alliance’s legislative alert center, where you can contact your U.S. senators. (Or call your senators through the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.) We encourage you to personalize your message, emphasizing why the Library of Congress is important to your work, your institution, or the archives profession.
Yesterday, the House passed the FOIA Improvement Act (S.337), bringing the comprehensive FOIA reform bill one step closer to becoming law in time for FOIA's 50th birthday on July 4. The FOIA Improvement Act passed the Senate by unanimous consent in March and, in a bicameral & bipartisan effort to ensure the FOIA legislation is signed into law during this Congress, House leadership decided to vote on the Senate version, and send the bill to the White House for the President’s signature. The White House has since stated that President Obama intends to sign the bill into law.
OpenTheGovernment.org commends the efforts on the part of Congressional leaders, staff members, and open government advocates who have been working to push the FOIA reform legislation that is critical to ensuring government accountability. The FOIA Improvement Act includes important provisions that OTG and our partners in the open government community have been working for nearly a decade to codify into law, including:
- Codifying the presumption of openness for future administrations;
- Harnessing technology to improve the FOIA process;
- Limiting, to a period of 25 years, the ability of agencies to keep internal deliberations confidential; and
- Increasing the effectiveness of the FOIA by strengthening the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS).
50 Days of FOIA: Countdown to the 50th Anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act
May 17, 2016 by Jesse Franzblau
On May 15th, a broad coalition of open government and accountability organizations and media outlets are launching a “50 Days of FOIA” campaign — counting down the days to the 50th anniversary of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on July 4, 2016. The campaign aims to highlight the importance of the FOIA, while promoting the passage of meaningful reform legislation that now has the potential to become law by the time the statute turns 50 in less than two months.
For nearly 50 years, the FOIA has empowered the public by providing access to information essential for democratic governance and accountability. The law has also been used as a critical tool used to make the public aware of countless acts of waste, fraud, and abuse. With documents obtained under FOIA, countless media outlets, watchdog groups and individuals have broken stories about the withholding of informationabout hazardous drinking water in Flint, Michigan, the IRS’ civil forfeiture program, mistreatment of veteransat the VA medical offices, overdue inspections of the United States’ aging infrastructure, use of immigrant detention centers to hold minors,corporate abuse, and much more.
Please join us in the campaign to celebrate FOIA and help ensure that the nation can celebrate FOIA’s 50th anniversary with a stronger and better statute that enhances the public’s right to know and ability to hold officials accountable.
Each day the campaign will feature FOIA stories or issues that correspond loosely to the categories below. Look for tweets from these groups – and others – using#50DaysOfFOIA:
Week 1: FOIA stories (successes, part I)
May 15-21 OpenTheGovernment.org @OpenTheGov
Week 2: FOIA Tech Advances
May 22-28 MuckRock @MuckRock
Week 3: FOIA Champions
May 29-June 4 American Society of News Editors @NewsEditors
Week 4: FOIA stories (bad/obstructive agency responses)
June 5-11 The National Security Archive @NSArchive
Week 5: FOIA Resources
June 12-18 Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press @RCFP
Week 6: Reform ideas (in the legislation)
June 19-25 Sunlight Foundation @SunFoundation
Week 7: FOIA stories (successes, part II)
June 26-July 2 The Sunshine in Government Initiative @sunshineingov
We invite participants to share these stories widely on social media – and to tweet your own contributions.
To participate in the campaign, follow the #50DaysOfFOIA and #FixFOIAby50hashtags.
Webinar: Open Government at the National Archives
Please join us for a webinar with the Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, and other National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) executives on Tuesday, March 29 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time. We will discuss the agency’s next Open Government Plan and initiatives and seek your suggestions, ideas, and feedback on how we can improve.
Share your suggestions or questions in advance and during the webinar on History Hub, our pilot collaborative platform, or email email@example.com. You’ll also be able to make suggestions by chat or phone during the webinar, but we’d love to have your contributions on History Hub.
Do you have ideas on how to improve the researcher experience? Do you have suggestions for better ways for NARA to collaborate, encourage public participation, or innovate? Can we provide greater transparency to our records or our processes? Let us know!
Learn more about our efforts by reviewing our previous Open Government Plan.
What: Open Government Plan briefing and listening session, a webinar with David Ferriero and other NARA executives.
When: Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time; you may join 10 minutes prior.
Register today: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/webinar-open-government-at-the-national-archives-registration-23818937082
Webinar Login: http://ems7.intellor.com/login/703482
Dial-in: After you have connected your computer, audio connection instructions will be presented. You will be connected to the conference with the AT&T Connect Web Participant Application - there is no software download or installation required.
If you are unable to connect to the conference by computer, you may listen by telephone only at 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633 using 0996865# or Find an Alternate Number.
If you need technical assistance, call the AT&T Help Desk at 1-888-796-6118 or 1-847-562-7015.
· Introduction - David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States
· Open Government Plan Process - Pamela Wright, Chief Innovation Officer
· Innovation - Pamela Wright, Chief Innovation Officer
· Research Services - Ann Cummings, Access Coordinator
· Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) - Gary M. Stern, General Counsel and Chief FOIA Officer
· Declassification - Sheryl Shenberger, Director of the National Declassification Center
· Records Management - Laurence Brewer, Acting Chief Records Officer for the U.S. Government, and Director, Records Management Operations Program
What is an archives? What does an archivist do? Why is the work important? Can you answer these questions? Can your employer answer these questions? What about your family and friends, or the person you strike up a conversation with in the elevator?
Archivists often commiserate with one another about how what we do is under-appreciated. We frequently complain that we are figuratively, and often literally, tucked away in the basement. Many archivists have worked hard to change that perception, making the case for how archivists change, enrich, and save lives, but there is so much more work to do to raise awareness about our profession. We know how important our work is, but that will never be enough.
ArchivesAWARE! is an online space where professionals and students engaged in all aspects of archival work can share their experiences of and ideas for raising public awareness of archives and the value that archives and archivists add to business, government, education, and society as a whole.The blog is hosted by SAA and managed by its Committee on Public Awareness (COPA).
David Carmicheal, COPA’s chair and Pennsylvania’s State Archivist, outlines the goals of the blog in its initial post, giving the following suggestions for how you can help make this blog a success.
Read this blog. Want to learn how to better express the importance of archives to colleagues, friends, or even strangers? Want to learn tips and techniques to help you make the case for archives to your boss or your board? Can’t quite get the hang of that elevator speech? Keep your eye on this site. You should find plenty of good advice here.
Write for this blog. Had a great outreach success or an advocacy disaster? Share it here. We’ll all learn from each others’ triumphs and failures. Care to talk about upcoming events related to outreach, advocacy, or awareness? This is your place.
Share this blog. Do you have friends or colleagues who might like to read this blog or write for it? Maybe even some non-archivists who have experience or expertise in public relations or outreach? Share the link!
Want to join the conversation on ArchivesAWARE? The editors are always looking for additional content! Read more about the submission process on the About page, and contact the editors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Documentary Heritage Program (DHP) is a statewide program established by law to provide financial support and guidance to not-for-profit organizations that hold, collect and make available New York's historical records. Funding is available to support projects that relate to groups and topics traditionally under-represented in New York’s historical record. The New York State Education Department’s (NYSED) 2016-2017 appropriation for DHP includes $92,000 for DHP Grants. DHP Grant Project Types are Documentation and Arrangement & Description. DHP is administered by the New York State Archives, a unit of the New York State Education Department.
For further information about the DHP program, including an explanation of DHP’s Priorities, visit the Documentary Heritage Program (DHP) information page.
New York State has implemented a new statewide prequalification requirement for not-for-profits applying for grants. In order to be eligible to apply, all grant applicants (including DHP grant applicants) are required to prequalify using the New York State Grants Gateway (link is external). The prequalification registration process requests information about an organization’s capacity, legal compliance, and integrity. This process may take up to a few weeks to complete. Begin the prequalification registration process immediately if you are considering applying for a 2016-2017 DHP Grant.
2016-2017 DHP Grant Application deadline is Tuesday, March 1, 2016.
For full information, see: http://www.archives.nysed.gov/grants/grants_dhp.shtml
Join the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in protest against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA).
The week of events is jointly organized by a huge coalition of diverse organizations and individuals concerned about how these undemocratic, corporate-captured trade deals lead to terrible policies for the public interest.
For more on how to participate see: https://www.eff.org/event/global-week-actions-against-tpp-ttip-tisa
Also check out the full schedule of events.
Issue Brief: Archivists and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement
This issue brief was drafted by the Society of American Archivists’ Intellectual Property Working Group, was reviewed by the SAA Committee on Advocacy and Public Policy, and was approved by the SAA Council on September 28, 2015.
The Society of American Archivists (SAA) opposes secret negotiations conducted without public consultation or debate that affect access to information. SAA opposes the following provisions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement:
For the full brief, including background on the issues, see: