James Madison, father of the U.S. Constitution wrote, “Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right and a desire to know.”
On Friday, Sept. 13, The University of Akron Bierce Library will celebrate its 50th year of providing free public access to federal government information, safeguarding the people’s right to know.
In 1963, Bierce Library was selected to participate in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), a national network of libraries allowing the public free access to federal government documents.
By participating in this federally mandated program, Bierce Library serves as one of the vital links between the public and the government. Resources available through the University Libraries include speeches made by President Obama during his first year in office, the 9/11 Commission Report, Congressional hearings regarding the space shuttle Challenger accident, reports and data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, NASA, and the Department of Energy, and more.
Official government documents are ideal for academic research and can benefit the public in many ways. For example, leaders of businesses and non-profit organizations can use census data to better understand their communities, as well as information about government grants to help them find funding sources.
Shari Laster, associate professor of bibliography and government documents and reference librarian at The University of Akron’s Bierce Library, will lead the hour-long celebration on Sept. 13 at 10:30 a.m. on the first floor of Bierce Library. The event is free and open to the public and will be followed by refreshments.
About the University Libraries
The University Libraries provides state-of-the-art access to broad and diverse scholarly resources and innovative technologies to empower users to evaluate their information needs, identify and access reliable sources, and successfully transform information into knowledge.