February 03, 2012

FCC Requests Public Comments on Sports Blackout Rule

footballgame.jpgThis Sunday is SuperBowl XLVI, marking the end of another exciting football season. If you're a football fan, or a fan of other sports, you may want to be aware of the Federal Communication Commission's Request for Public Comments on the Sports Blackout Rule, found at 47 CFR Part 76, Subpart F. According to the request for comments, several organizations are petitioning the FCC to eliminate the blackout rule.

Comments are due by February 13, 2012. You can file your comments electronically or by mail.

January 27, 2012

New Congressional Record App

GPO Logo.bmpThe U.S. Government Printing Office has partnered with the Library of Congress to create a new iPad app to access the Congressional Record. The iPad app lets you run keyword searches, browse issues by date, and share documents by email.

If you don't have an iPad, you can access daily issues of the Congressional Record through the Federal Digital System. The website provides access to issues from 1994-present.

October 27, 2011

Halloween Resources and Events

jackolantern.jpgNext Monday is Halloween. The U.S. Census Bureau has put together an interesting facts page for the popular holiday, including the number of businesses where you can rent or buy costumes (1,719 in 2009) and how many pounds of pumpkins are produced in the U.S. (1.1 billion pounds in 2010).

Many Utah cities and police departments have put together safety tip guides for trick or treaters and parents, including Layton, Sandy, and Lehi.

In addition to trick or treat activities, Utah cities, libraries, and schools may also be hosting Halloween activities. Contact your local city or county office, public library, or school district to see if there are Halloween related activities for you and your family. You can also search for events on the Utah Office of Tourism online calendar.

October 21, 2011

Federal Court Opinions on FDSys

CourtOpinionsFDSys.bmpThe U.S. Government Printing Office's (GPO) Federal Digital System (FDSys) is offering a beta version of a database of federal court opinions for three federal courts:

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit (2001-present)
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island (2005-present)
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida (2006-present)

GPO encourages users to try it out and submit comments.

September 26, 2011

Free Federal Rules Ebooks

free federal rules.JPGThe Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and Federal Rules of Evidence are now available for free as ebooks thanks to a partnership between the Legal Information Institute and the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction.

The ebooks are compatible with iPads, iPhones, Nooks and Kindles and any device that supports .epub files.

The three ebooks are complete through December 1, 2010, and contain all Advisory Committee notes. Use the table of contents, internal links to cross-referenced rules and external links to the U.S. Code for easy navigation and research.

For more information and to download the free publications, visit Ebooks for Legal Education.

August 17, 2011

Department of Justice Federal Legislative Histories

DOJ.bmpThe U.S. Department of Justice has a new resource online for legal researchers and the general public: Federal Legislative Histories. These legislative histories were compiled by Department of Justice staff for internal employees, but are now available for anyone to read.

Each legislative history includes primary resources that describe the intent of the laws, such as the text of the law, house and/or senate bill reports, transcripts of legislative hearings hearings, and debates published in the Congressional Record.

Some of these legislative histories include publications that may not be publicly available online, such as an excerpt of a 1955 Report of the Attorney General's Committee to Study the Antitrust Laws, part of the history of the Antitrust Civil Process Act of 1962, or a 1985 Office of Technology Assessment Report titled Electronic Surveillance and Civil Liberties, part of the history of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986.

April 27, 2011

The CFR's new color

CFRCover.jpgEvery year, the print Code of Federal Regulations comes to us with a new cover color. This year, it's magenta. According to the Office of the Federal Register, which publishes the CFR, the volumes are made a different color each year for quick reference.

This year's set also comes with a new cover design, including a new font.

The Code of Federal Regulations is available online (1996-present) through FDSys.

If you're a State of Utah employee, you can access the entire historical collection of CFRs (back to 1938) via HeinOnline from your work computer. If you're having trouble accessing HeinOnline, contact us for assistance. Or, you can access it free by visiting the law library.

March 11, 2011

New Book: Guide to Research in Federal Judicial History

cover0001.jpgWe recently received Guide to Research in Federal Judicial History, a comprehensive guide to sources of judicial records, as part of the Federal Depository Library Program.

This resource describes the records of the federal courts themselves, as well as records of other branches of government that provide information about federal judicial history. These include records of Congress and executive branch agencies. Many of the records are held by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

Record types range from case files to images of federal courthouses to personal records of federal judges.

February 25, 2011

New Utah Population Statistics Released

Utah_Locator_Map.PNGThe U.S. Census Bureau has recently released new Census population totals for Utah, which were gathered during the 2010 Census. The totals show that all Utah counties had population growths between 2000 and 2010, with the top five counties being:

  • Wasatch County (54.7%)
  • Washington County (52.9%)
  • Tooele County (42.9%)
  • Utah County (40.2%)
  • Iron County (36.7%)
The cities with the most population growth are:
  • Lehi (149.1%)
  • South Jordan and Spanish Fork (tied at 71.3%)
  • Draper (67.6%)
  • Riverton (54.9%)

The data also show an increase in population diversity. The Hispanic population grew 77.8%, the African-American population grew 60.8%, and the Asian population grew 48.5%.

The population tables are available here.

January 12, 2011

New Statistical Abstract of the United States

2011statisticalabstract.jpgThe U.S. Census Bureau recently released the 2011 edition of the Statistical Abstract of the United States. This annual publication is a comprehensive collection of demographic, economic, and social information about the country. The publication of this title is mandated by the U.S. Code. 44 U.S.C. §1343, for example, specifies the number of copies of the Statistical Abstract to be printed.

The Statistical Abstract of the United States has been published nearly every year since 1878, and was originally prepared by the Bureau of Statistics, which was under the U.S. Treasury Department. This agency was transferred to the Department of Commerce and Labor when that department was created in 1903 (Public Law 57-87). and renamed the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce in 1912 (P.L. 62-299). According to the notes following 44 U.S.C. §291 (1964 edition), the Bureau of the Census became the publisher of the Statistical Abstract prior to the 1950 Reorganization Plan under the authority of 5 U.S.C. §601.

Nearly all of the older editions are available online. These older editions provide interesting historical trivial, such as the number of post offices in 1882 (46, 231) or the number of Utah divorces in 1948 (2,199).

December 29, 2010

New Book: The Citizen's Almanac

citizen'salmanac.jpgAs a Federal Depository Library, we receive many resources for new citizens. One book we've recently received is The Citizen's Almanac, which is presented to those who become U.S. citizens.

In it, you'll find summaries of key historic documents, quotes from U.S. Presidents about citizenship, and descriptions of famous U.S. Supreme Court decisions. One interesting section is about the history of patriotic anthems and symbols. The Pledge of Allegiance, for instance, was first recited by schoolchildren on October 12, 1892.

An earlier edition is available online. Or, visit the law library or a Federal Depository Library to read it in person.

December 22, 2010

New United States Code Title

US Code coverThe United States Code, which has been codified and published into fifty titles since 1926, will soon see a change. H.R. 3237, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama this month, will add a new title to the U.S. Code: Title 51, National and Commercial Space Programs.

Prior to this law, laws about space programs appeared throughout the U.S. Code, such as in 15 U.S.C. §5801 et seq. (Commercial Space Competitiveness), and 49 U.S.C. §70101 et seq. (Commercial Space Transportation). Previous attempts at enacting this title were made by H.R. 4780 introduced in the House of Representatives on December 18, 2007, and H.R. 3039 introduced in the House on June 22, 2005.

To see a table showing which sections from the current U.S. Code are moving to the new Title 51, see the House Committee on the Judiciary's report on this bill.

December 07, 2010

Airport body scanners

Airport_security_02.JPGNew airport security measures, such as the Advanced Imaging Technology body scanners, are making headlines everywhere, especially during this holiday travel season. Whether you support or disagree with the use of body scanners, airport security has an interesting legal history.

The Transportation Security Administration was created in 2001 after the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center as part of the Aviation and Security Transportation Act. It is a division of the Department of Homeland Security. The 9/11 Commission Report, published in 2004, recommended that the Congress and TSA improve passenger screening checkpoint security.

In the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, Congress implemented these regulations, authorizing a pilot program for advanced screening technology at a minimum of five airports by March, 2005, and established funding for this program (Section 4014).

The Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007 ordered additional funds for checkpoint screening establishing a Checkpoint Screening Security Fund (see 49 U.S.C. §44940(i)). The law also stated that the TSA should be screening 100% of all airline cargo should be screened no more than three years after enactment (see 49 U.S.C. §44901).

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 authorized $1 billion to the TSA for checkpoint screening technologies, $700 million of which was used for developing and implementing body-imaging scanners.

For more information on airport body scanning technology, see Changes in Airport Passenger Screening Technologies and Procedures: Frequently Asked Questions, a Congressional Research Service report on the topic.

To submit comments or complaints about the airport body scanning technology, you can submit them through the TSA Complaint Form.

November 16, 2010

New Database for Searching Federal Information

metaliblogo.bmpMetaLib is the U.S. Government Printing Office's newest database for searching information from more than fifty federal agency databases. The databases available cover a variety of topics including health, medicine, energy, transportation, and the military.

Metalib has a variety of search options, including:

  • a basic keyword search in general resources.
  • an advanced search by subject, title, author, or year.
  • an expert search where you can search multiple fields or narrow your search by database or federal agency.

From a search results screen, you can save records to a unique feature called My E-Shelf. From there you can email documents or save them.

Not finding a database you were looking for? Use the Suggest a Resource link to recommend a database you'd like to see added to MetaLib.

November 08, 2010

Federal Benefits for Veterans

fed_benefits_cover.jpgTitle 38 of the U.S. Code mandates certain benefits for returning veterans such as educational assistance, medical care, and employment services. The U.S. Government Printing Office has recently released a new guide to these resources, the Federal Benefits for Veterans, Dependents, and Survivors (also available in Spanish).

In this you can learn about a variety of veteran benefits, including:

  • home loan guarantees which can be used to buy or repair a home, purchase a condo, or refinance an existing home loan
  • programs for homeless veterans
  • medical benefits for dependents of veterans
  • veterans benefits provided by other federal agencies

    Utah's Department of Veterans Affairs has a description of Utah veterans' benefits available on their website, such as tuition waivers or reduced-fee UTA bus passes.

    The Utah State Courts' self help page on Military and Veterans has links to legal information and assistance for servicemembers facing civil litigation. We blogged about this page earlier this year.

  • August 03, 2010

    Happy Birthday Census!

    birthdaycake.jpgAugust 2nd marks the 220th birthday of the U.S. Census. August 2nd, 1790, was the date the first count of all U.S. citizens began, which is now a mandatory decennial count as required by Title 13 of the U.S. Code.

    The country has changed tremendously since the first census In 1790. Then the U.S. had only twelve states, had a population of 3.2 million (excluding slaves), and the average family size was 6 persons. According to the Census Population Clock, our current population is over 309 million!

    The U.S. Census Bureau has put hundreds of scanned pages from the first census online. You can read the original Heads of Families reports for each state, which list the names of heads of household by county, and includes how many males are over 16, under 16, who are "all other free persons" in the household, and how many slaves each household owned.

    July 07, 2010

    Freedom of Information Act: Requests and Records Access

    FOIA.bmpWe've blogged about the Guide to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which describes general procedures and rules governing federal records requests.

    FOIA requests--similar to Utah's Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) requests Marianne discussed earlier--are made to the record holding agency. Many agencies have online FOIA request submission forms, like the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission while other agencies list an email or physical address to send a request, such as the Peace Corps.

    Another reason to start your records research at a federal agency's website is because the agency may have developed a FOIA request guide. For instance, the Department of Justice's FOIA guide details how to submit requests to different components within the agency.

    Education and nonprofit organizations also produce publications about submitting FOIA requests. The National Security Archive's Effective FOIA Requesting for Everyone is a detailed guide including sample language for drafting a records request or appeal. The Public Citizen Foundation has a similar online FOIA guide.

    Want to read documents that may have already been released? Check the agency's FOIA website for links to Reading Rooms of released and frequently requested documents. For example, the CIA has an extensive archive of released documents.

    Nonprofit organizations have included FOIA documents in searchable databases. The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Freedom of Information Act Project has thousands of released documents. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington created, a website where anyone can register and comment on documents released by FOIA.

    June 22, 2010

    New Book: State and Metropolitan Area Data Book

    databook0001.jpgNeed to find recent Utah population statistics? Wondering how many homeowners there are in this state? Curious about our marriage and birth rates? Need to know the number public school teachers?

    You can find statistics for Utah and for every state in the State and Metropolitan Area Data Book published by the U.S. Government Printing Office. We receive this book as part of the Federal Depository Library.

    The Metropolitan data section breaks down statistics into larger regions such as Provo-Orem, St. George, Salt Lake City, and Logan. There is even a Micropolitan data section (cities defined as having a population of up to 50,000 but also having an urban population of at least 10,000) providing statistics for cities such as Brigham City, Heber, and Price.

    Older versions of the State and Metropolitan Area Data Book are available online through the U.S. Census website.

    February 23, 2010

    Keeping Track of Federal Regulations

    Did you know that you can read and comment on proposed federal regulations?

    The Federal Register, which provides announcements about proposed regulations, is available on the Office of the Federal Register website and the Government Printing Office's new FDSys database. Look for the link that invites you to submit your comments.

    The Federal Register is published each week day, with notices, proposed and final regulations grouped together by agency. You can sign up to receive the Federal Register table of contents by email each day.

    You can also search Regulations.Gov (also on Twitter) for proposed or final rules, submit comments, and even search public comments by keyword. Last year over 400,000 public comments were submitted through the website. The site even provides an instructional video to help you learn more.

    Regulations.Gov accepts user suggestions. Create an account to comment on how to improve the website.

    January 22, 2010

    Immigration Law Resources

    liberty.jpgThe Federal Justice Center, the research agency of the federal court system, has recently published a new book called Immigration Law: A Primer. In this detailed book you can learn about:

    • the history of U.S. immigration laws
    • how federal courts have determined jurisdiction of immigration cases
    • the different categories noncitizens could be assigned for admission to the United States
    • grounds for deportation
    There are 54 immigration courts in the U.S., one of which is in Salt Lake City. If you're interested in learning more about immigration courts, check out information on preparing for hearings before immigration court and appealing cases to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

    December 29, 2009

    Bills on the President's Desk

    signing2.jpgAfter a bill passes both the U.S. House and Senate, where does it go? To the U.S. President, who can sign and approve the bill as law or veto it.

    The Law Library of Congress has recently made it easier to find out which bills have been delivered to the President by adding a Bills Presented to the President RSS Feed to its News & Events page.

    Subscribe to the RSS feed to stay up to date on bills that are ready for the President's signature without the hassle of searching for individual bills every day or week. The RSS feed updates automatically.

    If you're not comfortable with RSS feeds, you can receive announcements by email.

    October 27, 2009

    Keeping up with the Federal Government

    The Blogs from the U.S. Government website offers a list of federal government offices who are blogging. Topics are wide ranging and the agencies are varied and include:

    • Business and Economics
    • Defense and International Relations
    • Health and Nutrition
    • Public Safety and Law
    • Travel and Recreation

    New blogs are added all the time, and you can sign up to receive an email whenever pages are updated.

    Gov Gab is a one-stop federal government blog. Each day a different blogger posts in the areas of home and family, health, money and travel. Blog posts examine everything from the visa lottery, hand washing vs. hand sanitizers, the importance of sleep and the benefits of calcium.

    October 23, 2009

    2009 Guide to the Freedom of Information Act

    BOOK COVER0001.JPGAs a Federal Depository Library, we receive select U.S. Government Printing Office publications at no charge. One recent acquisition is the 2009 Guide to the Freedom of Information Act. FOIA, 5 U.S.C. §552, establishes which records federal agencies should and can make available to the public via request and which records can be withheld.

    The annotated 2009 Guide covers all aspects of the Freedom of Information Act, including:

    • Procedural Requirements for filing a FOIA, including fees.
    • Records exempt from a FOIA request, as described under 5 U.S.C. §552(b).
    • Litigation Considerations, including a general description of a FOIA lawsuit.

    If you don't have time to stop by the law library to read the guide, you can find the full text online at the U.S. Department of Justice FOIA page. You can also find links to FOIA pages from a variety of federal agencies and a list of Federal Agency FOIA contacts.

    September 30, 2009

    New Digitally Authenticated Collections in FDSys

    GPOauthenticationseal.JPGThe U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) has recently announced on its Federal Digital System (FDSys) blog that several collections have been digitally signed and authenticated, including the Weekly and Daily Compilations of Presidential Documents. Several of the FDSys collections are already authenticated with digital signatures, including the Congressional Directory and United States Statutes at Large.

    What does digital authentication mean? Documents published online can be manipulated or copied, so there is a risk of finding inaccurate government information online. The U.S. GPO adds digital authentication signatures to ensure that its online publications have not been altered or copied. When you open any digitally authenticated document on GPO Access or FDSys, you will see a pop-up box giving you detailed information about the document's authentication status.

    You can find out more about digital signatures of government publications at the U.S. GPO Authentication page.

    August 28, 2009

    House Health Care Reform Bill Available Online

    fdpllogo.jpgHealth Care Reform has been everywhere in the news lately. No matter what your opinion is on the subject, you can read the full bill online at GPO Access. H.R. 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, is the official text of the health care reform bill.

    Don't want to download and read the entire 1,017 page PDF document? You can browse and read specific sections at THOMAS.

    If you're more interested in the news surrounding the bill, lets you follow news and blog postings about the bill from diverse sources.

    August 10, 2009

    Learn About the National Labor Relations Board

    NLRB PAGE.JPGEver wonder what the National Labor Relations Board does? It's the federal agency that handles disputes related to the National Labor Relations Act, including the rights of both employers and employees. You can learn about workplace rights, case procedures, and file a complaint or petition against an employer or union online.

    The NLRB has created two new videos to help the public learn more about the organization and its website features. The first, a Site Tour, helps people learn about the organization and what the website offers, such as filing case documents online. The second, Using CiteNet, instructs people in how to search the Classified Index of NLRB Board Decisions by unique subject heading, digest, or case number.

    The Utah State Law Library has print volumes of National Labor Relations Board decisions, which we receive as a Federal Depository Library, spanning from 1942 to 2008. If you can't come into the library, you can browse volumes online and read any full text opinion from 1936-present.

    July 28, 2009

    Utah Governor's Ambassador Nomination Hearing

    smsenateseal.gifLast Thursday, Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr., nominated by President Obama to be Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, appeared before the U.S. Senate Commitee on Foreign Relations.

    Confirmation of Gov. Huntsman's ambassadorship could occur as early as this week, according to reports from the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News.

    In case you missed the nomination hearing, you can watch recorded video from the U.S. Senate Commitee on Foreign Relations's hearing page for Thursday, July 23rd. Click on Nominations to start the recording.

    You can also read Gov. Hunstman's statement to the Foreign Relations Committee.

    June 23, 2009

    The United States Code

    US Code coverThe official U.S. Code is completely republished every 6 years, with annual supplement volumes published between editions. The complete 2006 edition is now available from the U.S. Government Printing Office.

    The official U.S. Code is notoriously slow to be published, as you might have guessed from the news that the 2006 edtion has just been completed. As a Federal Depository Library we receive the paper copy of the U.S. Code, but our 2006 set is not yet complete.

    Bluebook rules require citation to the offical U.S. Code whenever possible, but researchers rely on commercial annotated versions - U.S. Code Annotated (USCA) from West, or U.S. Code Service (USCS) from Lexis - for current federal law.

    The U.S. Code is also available online from a variety of sources:

    • The official U.S. Code (1994-2006 editions) are available from the U.S. Government Printing Office website.
    • The U.S. House of Representative's Office of the Law Revision Counsel provides the official U.S. Code back to the 1988 edition.
    • Cornell University's Legal Information Institute website provides an unofficial version based on the U.S. House of Representative's website, and provides a "How Current is This?" feature which helps you figure out when the section you are looking at was last updated.

    June 19, 2009

    The 2008 CIA World Factbook

    2008-front.jpgDid you know that the Cayman Islands have an estimated 17,000 cellular phone lines in use? Or that Indonesia has 652 airports? You can learn these and other facts about each country in the 2008 CIA World Factbook, which we recently received in the law library.

    The World Factbook has a fascinating history. It was first an annual supplement to the CIA's National Intelligence Survey. In 1962, the first classified Factbook was published, and the first unclassified version was published in 1972. It became available to the public in 1975.

    The Factbook lists each country in alphabetical order, and each country's entry is divided into several sections including Geography, People, Government, and Economy.

    You can browse the CIA World Factbook on the CIA's website.

    June 17, 2009

    Supreme Court Nominations

    Front of Supreme Court BuildingPresident Obama recently nominated U.S. District Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

    Confirming a Supreme Court Justice is a historic event. Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constution states in part: "[The President] shall have power . . . by and with the advice and consent of the Senate . . . [to] appoint . . . judges of the Supreme Court . . . ."

    It is U.S. Senate's responsibility to confirm Judge Sotomayor's nomination. Her nomination hearing starts July 13, and the hearings will be available via webcast.

    The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has information about the nomination process, including its history. You can learn more about the nominee by reading the mandatory bipartisan Committee Questionnaire, which a nominee must answer and return to the Commitee before nomination hearings begin.

    Want to get an idea of what may happen at a Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearing? GPOAccess has links to full text hearings from 1971-present.

    Additional information about Judge Sotomayor and the confirmation process is available from the Law Library of Congress' website.

    April 23, 2009

    New book: Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Report

    deposicn.gifOn February 1st, 2003, the space shuttle Columbia STS-107 was returning to Earth after several weeks in space. Disaster struck and the shuttle disintegrated upon re-entry over Texas, and all seven crew members were lost.

    We have just received NASA's Columbia Crew Survival Investigation Report from the U.S. Government Printing Office as part of our Federal Depository Library collection.

    You can read this report at the State Law Library, or you can get the report online. The report analyzes every component of this tragic event, including structural malfunctions and crew training.

    We also have the 2003 Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report in our collection, and it too is available online.

    If you're interested in more information, NASA maintains a website dedicated to the Columbia, including crew member profiles, news reports, and records released under the Freedom of Information Act.

    March 27, 2009

    Passport Requirement Changes

    On June 1, 2009, U.S. citizens will have to present a passport book, passport card, or other travel documents approved by the U.S. government in order to enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.

    In an effort to help people get the required documents before this change goes into effect, regional Passport Agencies and local Passport Acceptance Facilities will be open Saturday, March 28th as part of Passport Day in the USA.

    From the press release:

    U.S. citizens will receive passport information and can apply for their passport at “Passport Day in the USA” events. For this day only, appointments and expedite fees are not required for those applying at a Passport Agency. Applicants can expect to receive their passport in approximately four weeks for routine service and about two to three weeks for expedited service.

    These Utah passport offices are participating in Passport Day in the USA:

    Davis County Clerk/Auditor
    28 East State Street
    (801) 451‐3213

    Iron County Clerk
    68 South 100 East
    (435) 477‐8340

    Uintah County Clerk/Auditor
    147 E Main
    (435) 781‐5361

    March 19, 2009

    CFR 2009

    CFR2.JPG Every year at this time library staff all over the country ask one burning question: "What color will the Code of Federal Regulations be this year?"

    We now have the answer for 2009: light olive green.

    The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is updated annually on a quarterly schedule. The set has now begun its transition from last year's salmon to this year's olive green.

    The latest CFR - and previous versions back to 1997 - are available via GPO Access.

    If you're a State of Utah employee, you can access the entire historical collection of CFRs (back to 1938) via HeinOnline from your work computer. If you're having trouble accessing HeinOnline, contact us for assistance.

    February 23, 2009

    FDSys: A New Way to Access Federal Government Information

    The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) recently launched FDSys (Federal Digital System), a portal to online federal government information.

    FDSys will replace GPO's current website - GPO Access - by the middle of 2009. You can search available collections by basic keyword or advanced search options such as publication date, branch, title, or full-text. Collections currently available include the Federal Register and Congressional Record (1994-present).

    FDSys is available as a public beta, which means you can test its features and help improve this valuable website! The public is encouraged to email feedback to

    January 23, 2009

    Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is Now Daily

    The Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents is now the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents. This change became effective with the new presidential administration on January 20, 2009.

    Whatever its title, this is the official publication of executive orders, proclamations, presidential statements, messages, remarks, and other materials released by the White House Press Secretary, and is published by the Office of the Federal Register.

    From the Daily Compilation page you can browse documents by date or search by keyword.

    December 10, 2008

    Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007

    One of our most recent federal document acquisitions is titled Black Americans in Congress, 1870-2007. This book, published by the U.S. House of Representatives, presents biographies on all African-Americans who have served and currently serve in the U.S. Congress. Feel free to browse this book at the law library, or access a full text version available through the U.S. Government Printing Office.

    For those who may be more interested in this historic topic, The U.S. Capitol's Office of the Clerk has even created a website for the book with extra features, including lesson plans for teachers.