“Donald Hawkins and Miriam A. Drake, along with various knowledgeable contributors, present a comprehensive view of government information and access to this information through key agencies and libraries. Public Knowledge is a useful resource for librarians, information professionals, and the general public—we all need government information.”
—Eileen G. Abels
dean and professor, School of Library
and Information Science, Simmons College
Public Knowledge: Access and Benefits, edited by the late Miriam A. Drake together with Donald T. Hawkins, is the first book in years to explore trends and issues for researchers and organizations that rely on U.S. public information. More than a dozen topic experts, information specialists, and government documents librarians discuss the challenges inherent in collecting, preserving, updating, and disseminating a deluge of information generated daily by public sources.
Contributors describe agencies at the forefront of managing the information, explore the role of the federal government and its corps of information professionals, and highlight how public data are being consumed by a surprising range of stakeholders in the digital information age. They remind us of the value and diversity of public information, and of the imperative to make it readily available to all American citizens, to whom it belongs. No reader interested in the latter topic can afford to miss Barbie Keiser’s closing chapter on open government, Big Data, and the future of public information.
“As a government documents librarian I have a special appreciation for the coverage in this book of agencies that make research and policy information available to the public. Public Knowledge describes the breadth and scope of information provided by the federal government, from the many documents and increasing volume of data produced by agencies to the incredible wealth of research in science, space, health, energy, and agriculture that are freely available to a global audience. A wonderful book and an excellent tribute to Mimi Drake’s lifelong interests and work.”
president, Informed Strategies, LLC