January 2000

"Intellectual freedom is the only guarantee of a scientific-democratic approach to politics, economic development, and culture." -- Andrei Sakharov (1921-1989).

"The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy; the best weapon of a democracy is openness." -- Edvard Teller (1908- ).

"Existing libraries, in their very being, seem to question the authority of those in power." -- Alberto Manguel. (1948- )

"The public is the most dangerous place in town." -- John Ciardi (1916-86).

"If your library is not 'unsafe', it probably isn't doing its job." -- John Berry III. from Library Journal, Oct. 1999.

Guiding Questions for Discussion

Information Policy definition. the set of rules, formal and informal, that directly restrict, encourage, or otherwise shape flows of information. Information policy includes:

Public policy issue: a fundamental enduring conflict among and between objectives, goals, customs, plans, activities and stakeholders, not likely to be resolved completely in favor of any polar position in that conflict, but changes in environment may require striking a fresh balance among conflicting forces from time to time.

Government Roles and Responsibilities for information.

A recent article discusses the current legislative environment in the U.S. Federal government as it influences the flow of information resources. Please read:
Fletcher, Patricia D. and Lisa K. Westerback, "Catching a Ride on the NII: The Federal Policy Vehicles Paving the Information Highway." Journal of the American society for Information Science, 50 (4 - April 1, 1999): 299-304.
The authors discuss the development of a National Information Infrastructure (NII) and examine three key pieces of legislature and an Executive Order (The Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Clinger-Cohen Act [Information Technology] Act of 1996 and Executive Order No. 13011 which integrates provisions of the three acts and creates three interagency bodies).

The same issue has another useful article:

Mcclure, Charles R., William E. Moen, and John Carlo Bertot, "Descriptive Assessment of Information Policy Initiatives: The Government Information Locator Service (GILS) as an Example," Journal of the American society for Information Science, 50 (4 - April 1, 1999): 314-330.
The emphasis is on the technques used for information policy analysis.

Digitization of Information and Internet Development. Computers, networks, and information complement one another. Investment and use of one leverages demand for the others (Kahin).

Some of the changes wrought by information technology include:

Information Issues: Some value conflicts:

Further Information about Information Policy