Government Information: United States

Stanford issues habitat conservation plan

Federal RegisterIn today's Stanford Report, the University announced it had applied to create a habitat conservation plan for campus. Habitat conservation plans (HCP), made possible by the U.S. Endangered Species Act, allow landholders to create comprehensive, long-term conservation plans, rather than rely on short-term, limited mitigations for specific projects that might affect threatened or endangered species.

So why am I writing about it here on this library blog? Because a) it's a great idea; and b) the article mentions that the proposal appeared in the Federal Register on Friday April 16.

I just want to remind our readers that the Federal Register is available online in several formats and all listed on the library's databases page under the subject Government Information: United States. It's available for free from the Government Printing Office (GPO) from 1994 - present and also historically back to Volume 1, 1936 from HeinOnline.

So here's the FR listing to the Stanford application:

EIS No. 20100121, Draft EIS, DOI, CA, Stanford University Habitat
Conservation Plan, Authorization for Incidental Take and
Implementation, San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, CA
, Comment Period
Ends: 07/15/2010, Contact: Gary Stern, 707-575-6060. (also available in PDF)

Lastly, for any of you government information geeks out there, the Federal Register is the main source for federal agencies' proposed new rules and regulations, final rules, changes to existing rules, and notices of meetings and adjudicatory proceedings. As wikipedia article on the Federal Register so aptly stated, the FR is in essence, "a way for the government to think aloud to the people, and ... gives the people a chance to participate in agency rulemaking." Final rules listed in the FR are eventually codified in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) -- which is also available on the library's databases page.

That is all.

Q&A: Athletic and Team Budgets in the NCAA and Colleges

I want to compare the amounts spent by NCAA colleges and universities on their teams and various sports. Where's the best place to look?


The United States Department of Education maintains an data analysis site called Equity in Athletics Data Analysis Cutting Tool. This allows the user to generate "rapid customized reports for [questions] relating to equity in athletics data." "The database consists of athletics data that are submitted annually as required by the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA), via a Web-based data collection, by all co-educational postsecondary institutions that receive Title IV funding (i.e., those that participate in federal student aid programs) and that have an intercollegiate athletics program." Spending on teams and athletic programs can be compared between schools, regions, etc.

Sunshine Week 2010 shines light on government transparency

Spring has sprung with a vengeance here in the bay area. And that could only mean one thing: Sunshine Week!! Yes it's time once again to feel the warm FOIA on your cheek, to discuss and raise awareness of the importance of free and open government information, transparency and the Freedom of Information Act. Be on the lookout for editorials in your local newspaper (like this one in the Cleveland Plain Dealer), and discuss FOIA with your friends and family (you'll be glad you did :-)). is having a Sunshine Week Webcast 12-2PM EST on Friday March 19 entitled "Building Transparency." The Webcast will include a host of great speakers including Norm Eisen, Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, John Wonderlich, Policy Director at the Sunlight Foundation, Kevin Goldberg, American Society of News Editors (ASNE) counsel, Miriam Nisbet, Director of the new Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), Melanie Sloan, Executive Director, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Melanie Pustay, Director of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Information Policy (OIP), Eric Gundersen, President and co-founder of Development Seed and Sean Moulton, Director of Federal Information Policy at OMB Watch. It should be a great discussion so hope you can tune in.

What libraries are doing for Sunshine Week:

  • Northern CA Association of Law Libraries (NOCALL), in association with the Special Library Association Sierra Nevada Chapter, is sponsoring 2 Sunshine Week events; one in Sacramento and one in San Francisco. Both have interesting lists of speakers and require registration for a small fee ($20 for Sacramento event and $15 for SF event). In addition, the SF event immediately precedes the NOCALL Spring Institute on information piracy, "Piracy on the Barbary Coast" which NOCALL and SLA members can attend at the NOCALL member rate, and later in the evening, a celebration of NOCALL's 30th anniversary.
  • Freedom of Information Day at the New York Public Library. Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 10:30 - noon. Conference Room 18 on the lower level of New York Public Library (188 Madison Ave. @ 34th St.).

    This year's guest speaker is Heather Joseph, Executive Director, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, (SPARC), an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communications. FOIA day has been held at NYPL annually since 1993.

  • California State University San Bernardino Pfau Library has partnered with the San Bernardino League of Women Voters to be a site for the webinar on government transparency. This is the second year that Pfau Library has participated. You can see video of last year.

[Note: I originally posted this story on Free Government Information]

Founding fathers' unpublished papers now online

Nice work U of Virginia! You can access the papers here. I hope this makes it into the FDLP digitization registry.

More than 200 years after they were written, some 5,000 previously unpublished documents of the founders of the United States — including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and James Madison — are at long last available to the public at no cost.

The Documents Compass group of the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities at the University of Virginia has spent much of the last year proofreading and transcribing thousands of pages of letters and other papers.

The documents are now available online for free at the University of Virginia Press’ digital imprint called Rotunda...

...The online project is a federal pilot study that aims to expand public access to the papers of America’s founders. It is funded by a $250,000 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, which is a division of the National Archives.

[Thanks Resource Shelf!]

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