Monday, March 16, 2009

Freedom of Information Day

On March 16, celebrate Freedom of Information Day and your right to know! The American Library Association commemorates this day to call attention to the importance of "public access to government information" and "the public's right to know." This year will mark the 43rd time Freedom of Information Day has been celebrated. The event falls around the birthday of former president James Madison, who was known as the Father of the Constitution and called for an open government. Madison authored the First Amendment to the Constitution, which gives Americans the right to free speech.

Freedom of information can mean many things: access to any type of material, regardless of content; documents that are uncensored; and the freedom of citizens and the press to express all ideas, however unpopular or controversial they may be. President Lyndon Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in 1966. This federal law establishes the public's right to obtain information from government agencies, and is often invoked by investigative journalists. For a list of news stories that would have been impossible to report without the help of the FOIA law, visit George Washington University's National Security Archive web site.

The NCC Libraries have a variety of materials related to these issues, including:

Freedom of Expression: Resistance and Repression in the Age of Intellectual Property [DVD]
by Kembrew McLeod
KF 2979 .F744 2007 Media Tower

Censored 2007: The Top 25 Censored Stories
by Peter Phillips
Z 658 .U5 C35 2006 Stacks

Information Ethics: Privacy, Property, and Power
by Adam D. Moore
JC 585 .I59 2005 Stacks

Secrecy Wars: National Security, Privacy, and the Public's Right to Know
by Philip H. Melanson
JK 468 .S4 M45 2001 Stacks

Freedom of Information Act Guide & Privacy Act Overview
by the U.S. Dept. of Justice Office of Information and Privacy
KF 5753 .A315 F7 2000 Reference

Freedom of Information and the Right to Know: The Origins and Applications of the Freedom of Information Act
by Herbert N. Foerstel
KF 5753 .F64 1999 Stacks, Main and Monroe

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