Throughout the month of July, the Harris County Law Library is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Information Act, the landmark bill that expanded access to public records and paved the way for greater accountability in government affairs. In the years since President Lyndon B. Johnson reluctantly signed the bill into law, FOIA has been amended several times. The Watergate scandal and the 9/11 attacks brought significant changes, as did the digital age. And on June 30, 2016, President Obama signed the FOIA Reform Bill, further expanding access to government documents and establishing the creation of a single online portal for all FOIA requests.
For a detailed history of this watershed legislation, an interactive timeline of its complete evolution is available here. Please check our blog, Ex Libris Juris, throughout the month for additional FOIA resources and content, or visit us in person to explore our relevant print materials, currently on display. Two such titles include Federal Information Disclosure, a three-volume set that covers open access and transparency in government, and the Locating U.S. Government Information Handbook, an indispensable guide to government documents and other public records.