2014 ALA Las Vegas – RESOLUTION ON PRESERVING PUBLIC ACCESS TO SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL REPORTS AVAILABLE THROUGH THE NATIONAL TECHNICAL INFORMATION SERVICE

The most recent resolution for ALA Annual 2014.  There is already some discussion that as NTIS has a cost-recovery model there is a strong likelyhood that the “free-of-charge” aspect will be withdrawn from this resolution before we even see it on the floor in Council.

Rob Banks, ALA Councilor

 

This resolution is from the GODORT Legislation Committee. It is likely to be part of the Committee on Legislation report.

RESOLUTION ON PRESERVING PUBLIC ACCESS TO SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL REPORTS AVAILABLE

THROUGH THE NATIONAL TECHNICAL INFORMATION SERVICE

Whereas some three million scientific and technical reports are held by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), thereby promoting research, innovation, and business;

Whereas since 1940, NTIS has been co-operating with federal agencies to collect, preserve, catalog, and provide their reports in paper, microform, and digital formats;

Whereas many federal agencies choose not to maintain collections of their own reports and to depend upon NTIS to provide these reports;

Whereas many federal agencies do not have statutory responsibility or the resources to provide permanent access to these reports and depend upon NTIS to provide them to other government agencies and the public;

Whereas the process of federal agencies entrusting their reports to NTIS ensures permanent access to the public, eliminates duplication of effort, and saves tax dollars;

Whereas since many of the federal agencies that published these reports no longer exist, many of their reports are only available through NTIS;

Whereas over two million of these reports are held only in paper or microform by NTIS and are not available in digital form from any source;

Whereas NTIS has the statutory authority to provide information management services to other federal agencies, including such programs as the Social Security Administration Death Master File used by insurance and annuity companies and the Drug Enforcement Agency Controlled Substances Registrants Data Base, which enables members of the medical community to prescribe and handle controlled substances, and the Federal Science Repository Service which supports the preservation and long-term access of participating agencies content;

Whereas the “Let Me Google That For You Act” ( S. 2206 and H. R. 4382) would abolish NTIS, and the “Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act” (H. R. 4186), as amended in the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, would repeal the law that authorizes NTIS;

Whereas these bills make no provision for the preservation of the reports and their cataloging data;

Whereas these bills do not provide libraries such as the Library of Congress, the national libraries, and libraries in the Federal Depository Library Program an opportunity to help “determine if any functions of NTIS are critical to the economy of the United States”; and

Whereas the American Library Association has long supported the provision of all federal government reports and publications, at no charge, to the public through libraries and other services; now, therefore be it

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA)

1.       urges the United States Congress to appropriate funds to ensure that the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) continues to act as a central repository for scientific and technical reports and is able to provide these reports to federal agencies and the public at no charge;

2.       urges the United States Congress to consult with librarians at the Library of Congress, the national libraries, corporate libraries, and the federal depository library program in determining “if any functions of NTIS are critical to the economy of the United States”;

3.       urges the United States Congress to put NTIS under the umbrella of the Office of Science Technology Policy (OSTP) directive, “increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research” (February 22, 2013); and

4.       urges the United States Congress to fund a digital preservation plan for scientific and technical reports, which would be developed by NTIS, CENDI, the Government Printing Office, the National Archives, federal publishing agencies, and the library community;

draft, 6-20-14

Whereas some three million scientific and technical reports are held by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), thereby promoting research, innovation, and business;

Whereas since 1940, NTIS has been co-operating with federal agencies to collect, preserve, catalog, and provide their reports in paper, microform, and digital formats;

Whereas many federal agencies choose not to maintain collections of their own reports and to depend upon NTIS to provide these reports;

Whereas many federal agencies do not have statutory responsibility or the resources to provide permanent access to these reports and depend upon NTIS to provide them to other government agencies and the public;

Whereas the process of federal agencies entrusting their reports to NTIS ensures permanent access to the public, eliminates duplication of effort, and saves tax dollars;

Whereas since many of the federal agencies that published these reports no longer exist, many of their reports are only available through NTIS;

Whereas over two million of these reports are held only in paper or microform by NTIS and are not available in digital form from any source;

Whereas NTIS has the statutory authority to provide information management services to other federal agencies, including such programs as the Social Security Administration Death Master File used by insurance and annuity companies and the Drug Enforcement Agency Controlled Substances Registrants Data Base, which enables members of the medical community to prescribe and handle controlled substances, and the Federal Science Repository Service which supports the preservation and long-term access of participating agencies content;

Whereas the “Let Me Google That For You Act” ( S. 2206 and H. R. 4382) would abolish NTIS, and the “Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act” (H. R. 4186), as amended in the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, would repeal the law that authorizes NTIS;

Whereas these bills make no provision for the preservation of the reports and their cataloging data;

Whereas these bills do not provide libraries such as the Library of Congress, the national libraries, and libraries in the Federal Depository Library Program an opportunity to help “determine if any functions of NTIS are critical to the economy of the United States”; and

Whereas the American Library Association has long supported the provision of all federal government reports and publications, at no charge, to the public through libraries and other services; now, therefore be it

Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA)

1.       urges the United States Congress to appropriate funds to ensure that the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) continues to act as a central repository for scientific and technical reports and is able to provide these reports to federal agencies and the public at no charge;

2.       urges the United States Congress to consult with librarians at the Library of Congress, the national libraries, corporate libraries, and the federal depository library program in determining “if any functions of NTIS are critical to the economy of the United States”;

3.       urges the United States Congress to put NTIS under the umbrella of the Office of Science Technology Policy (OSTP) directive, “increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research” (February 22, 2013); and

4.       urges the United States Congress to fund a digital preservation plan for scientific and technical reports, which would be developed by NTIS, CENDI, the Government Printing Office, the National Archives, federal publishing agencies, and the library community;

draft, 6-20-14

Resolution on Granting the District of Columbia Government Budget Autonomy Allowing City Services, Including Libraries, to Remain Open During a Federal Government Shutdown

Resolution on Granting the District of Columbia Government Budget Autonomy Allowing City Services, Including Libraries, to Remain Open During a Federal Government Shutdown

Whereas while Congress and the President could not come to terms on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government during the beginning of fiscal year 2014, the District of Columbia (D.C.) had passed its budget for that year,

Whereas currently, D.C.’s government is unable to spend local tax revenue without authorization from Congress,

Whereas if not for the actions of Mayor Vincent Gray, who took the unprecedented step to declare all D.C. government employees to be essential, D.C.’s nearly 700,000 residents would have been subject to a government shutdowncoinciding with the federal government shutdownthereby depriving them of:

  1. access to the 26 public library branches throughout the city,
  2. access to the 90 meeting and study rooms in those branches,
  3. library services to patrons with disabilities including:

i.

ii. iii.

80,000 titles from the D.C. Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped,
the annual D.C. Mayoral Disability Services Exposition,
the annual Accessibility Camp

  1. resources from the library’s adult literacy division including,
    1. GED tutoring
    2. English language conversation circles for ESL learners
  2. the library’s early childhood literacy campaign,
  3. access to the drop in jobs seekers clinics for D.C. residents seeking employment,
  4. homework help from Tudor.com,

Resolved:

I. The American Library Association recognizes the District of Columbia’s budget as separate from the federal government’s and calls on the Congress and the President to:

A. Grant the District of Columbia budget autonomy thereby,
i. Preventing the unnecessary closer of public libraries in the event of a federal government shutdown which would allow,
ii. District of Columbia residents much needed access services the DC Public Library provides.

II. Commends the administration of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray who used the city’s reserve fund to keep the government and libraries open to D.C. residents.
III. Recognizes the hard work of all D.C. Public Library staff members who steadfastly served their community during the uncertain times of October 2013.