This week I had an opportunity to address the World Library and Information Congress of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) on the work we have been doing here at the National Archives in support of the Administration’s Open Government Initiative. Thirty two hundred librarians, archivists, and other information professionals from 145 countries traveled to Columbus, Ohio for this week-long conversation on the themes of Connections, Collaboration, and Community.
I chose to share our experience in implementing the President’s Open Government Directive in the creation of three, soon to be four, agency Open Government Plans and how that work has contributed to the creation of the United States National Action Plan which is shared with the International Open Government Partnership. It is the story of how a small agency can not only contribute, but lead in fulfilling the vision of open government’s three principles: transparency, participation, and collaboration.
But it was more than an opportunity to celebrate our accomplishments, it was an offer to work with the attendees who are members of the International Open Government Partnership to ensure that their voices are heard in the development of their country’s plans. More importantly, it was a challenge to those who are not already members to influence their own government about the Partnership’s work and the commitments articulated in the Open Government Declaration.
You can read the entire address here. I ended with: “We share a common mission—connecting people with the information they need to improve their lives. Let’s work together to make that happen and make this a better world.”