National Freedom of Information Day
Happy Birthday, James Madison--born March 16, 1751! If that name doesn't ring a bell, what about the phrase We the People? Madison is widely regarded as the father of the Constitution of the United States. The author of the Bill of Rights. Now, that bell surely is ringing loud and clear!
Freedom of Information Day is an annual event dedicated to raise the profile of the principles of openness and transparency in civil administration. It is a day marked by conferences and conventions that explore and debate the subject of Freedom of Information (known as FOI). This is regarded as an important discussion area by the legal community, the press, policy makers, and public interest groups.
The issues around FOI have changed considerably since the era of James Madison, and in contemporary politics new questions are being asked about what data national agencies holds on its citizens, how this data is obtained and how it is being used. As a subject of political debate, FOI has never been more topical.
On Freedom of Information Day, March 16, the American Library Association urges libraries and librarians across America to join in celebrating the public's "right to know" by sponsoring activities to educate their communities about the importance of promoting and protecting freedom of information
Americans come to libraries to find census and other statistics to help them plan new businesses and marketing strategies, to research environmental issues and hazards, to study major social and governmental policy issues, and to research the laws and regulations applicable to an issue or problem. So today celebrate Freedom of Information by educating yourself on your rights to government information. It's your government.
This is America! This is Freedom!