Abstract - The Information Society 5(1)

Public Laws and Public Access

Robert Lee Chartrand

The roles of traditional libraries and the newer multipurpose information centers in offering the type of access desired by their patrons will continue to evolve with technological advances and changing user needs. In view of these changes, the issue of access is becoming more important. Information professionals have focused close attention on national information access policies and the increasing complexity of formulating such policies. Over 500 bills and resolutions that focused on information-related matters were introduced during the 99th Congress, most concerning the areas of: 1. library and archives policy, 2. information disclosure, confidentiality, and right of privacy, and 3. government information systems, clearinghouses, and dissemination. Policymakers are beginning to view information as a commodity and as a national resource that must be protected and cultivated.

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