The New York Times (may require registration) reports that the American government is apparently reclassifying documents which were previously offered to the public. One wonders how this can be done, since researchers already have copies of many of the documents. This news comes after a recent article that stated that the US government was releasing the largest amount of documents by the end of the year.
Government documents have been taking a beating in the past few years. Electronic versions of documents provided nightmares for gov docs librarians. The issues in preservation and access are astounding and yet more and more gov pubs end up as online versions only. The Bush administration is the most secretive administration yet. Gov pubs librarians are trying their best to address the problems but it seems an uphill battle. I could rant on about the problems facing gov pubs in the next while, but sufficit to say, I’m looking forward to my upcoming conferences (CLA, ALA), both of which have gov pubs tracks. It will be nice to talk about these issues with others who have the same concerns. I’ll keep you posted of any solutions on the horizon.