Sunshine Week, March 13 - 19, 2011

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Originally appeared March 1, 2011 (http://www.wo.ala.org/districtdispatch/?p=5713) and obtained from their web site (http://sunshineweek.org.)

Sunshine Week – the time to celebrate and investigate open government – is coming up soon!

Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, nonprofits, schools and others interested in the public's right to know. 

Though created by journalists, Sunshine Week is about the public's right to know what its government is doing, and why. Sunshine Week seeks to enlighten and empower people to play an active role in their government at all levels, and to give them access to information that makes their lives better and their communities stronger. Sunshine Week is a nonpartisan, non-profit initiative.

For this year's Sunshine week, ALA is participating in two events:

The first is the Freedom of Information Day celebration on March 16, where ALA President Roberta Stevens will present the Madison Award to honor this year’s recipient’s work to promote public access to government information and the public’s right to know during the March 16th Freedom of Information Day celebration at the Newseum. The full day of events includes panel discussions and presentations.  Lunch will also be provided.  If you live in or are planning to visit the DC Metro area and want to attend the event, please register today!

This event is sponsored by the American Library Association, the First Amendment Center, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, OMB Watch, OpenTheGovernment.org, and the National Security Archive at George Washington University; and in cooperation with the annual Sunshine Week initiative sponsored by the American Society of News Editors.

There is no charge to attend, but because there is somewhat limited space, participants must register individually in advance. To register for the 2011 conference, e-mail or telephone Ashlie Hampton of the First Amendment Center at ahampton@freedomforum.org, or (202) 292-6288. When registering, please provide your name, title, affiliation and contact information.

The second event is the annual OpenTheGovernment.org Sunshine Week Webcast. This year’s event, titled “ The Road Forward on Open Government,” will take place on March 18, from noon to 1:30 p.m.  To learn more about the event and discover how you can host a viewing party at your library, visit http://www.openthegovernment.org/article/articleview/463.

How have libraries impacted you?  Take part in Sunshine week or any week and let your local government officials or ALA's I Love Libraries (http://www.ilovelibraries.org/contact-us/index.cfm) know the vital role libraries have played or do play in your life.

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