March 16th is Freedom of Information Day

Observe Freedom of Information Day on Monday, March 16th by acknowledging your right to public information. Freedom of Information Day is celebrated each year on or around March 16th, the birthday of James Madison, the fourth President of the United States. Madison is recognized as the Father of the Constitution, and a strong proponent of the openness of government (ALA). Madison wrote, in a letter to W.T. Barry dated August 4, 1822, “A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

Celebrate Madison’s words and influence by researching the prominent laws surrounding the public’s right to information. At Jenkins, we have titles available on both the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law.

For information on FOIA try these titles:

  • Guidebook to The Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts - This three volume set is divided into parts that provide detail on the Freedom of Information Act, The Privacy Act, and making FOIA requests. The appendicies include state summaries and sample state request forms.
  • Federal Information Disclosure - “This book explains how the public disclosure of government information works, in theory and in practice. It is aimed to facilitate the sharing of power, because in government today, possession of information means possession of power.” (pg. 1).
  • The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) - This PBI title contains chapters on The Scope of FOIA and Its Promise, FOIA Exemptions and Exclusions, The Government’s View, FOIA Requests in Action, and Sample FOIA Requests/ Acknowledgements.

For Right-to-Know Law information check these out:

  • The Right to Know Law: A Practice Guide - “The intention of this book is to provide exhaustive and practical guidance regarding Pennsylvania’s Right-to-Know Law for members of the public requesting records, governmental agencies required to provide access to public records, and governmental contractors that may be required to provide records in response to requests filed with a governmental agency.” (pg. 1).
  • PA’s Right to Know Law 2017 Update -  This PBI title provides case law updates and information on privacy rights with Right-to-Know, as well as an overview of law enforcement records.

Looking for additional resources on FOIA or Right-to-Know? Ask us!

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In celebration of James Madison, an advocate for open government, his birthday is recognized as Freedom of Information Day. Celebrate with Jenkins' collection of resources on FOIA requests.