…(ALA) President Sari Feldman presented OpenGov Foundation Executive Director and Co-founder Seamus Kraft with the 2016 James Madison Award today during the 18th annual Freedom of Information Day hosted by the Freedom Forum’s First Amendment Center at the Newseum.
“Seamus Kraft is an individual who has and continues to fight hard to protect and promote the public’s right to know, a man who personifies the spirit of the James Madison Award,” Feldman said in presenting Kraft with the award. “In his leadership role at the OpenGov Foundation, Seamus has been an effective and inspired champion for public access to government information, bringing greater transparency to government at all levels, including structural changes that will have long-term impacts for increasing civic engagement in government…”
Kraft has been widely recognized for a number of breakthrough initiatives aimed at opening government access and transparency to the public. Those projects include: creating America Decoded, which publishes legal codes, legislative data and existing laws in standardized data for major states and cities; launching MADISON—an open legislative data and engagement platform for writing, publishing and annotating legislation—in federal, state and local governments; being the driving force behind the recent successful bipartisan push that officially opened the House of Representatives to open-source software; and hosting four, nationwide #Hack4Congress events to catalyze progress and strengthen the open government community.
In 2012, TechCrunch named Seamus among its 20 Most Innovative People in Democracy, for developing open government legislation, breaking down barriers to open source software, and laying the technical, political and legal groundwork for a truly open Congress.
In recognizing Seamus and the OpenGov Foundation, TechCrunch described his work as seeking to “bridge the gap between citizens and government and building the tools that power lawmaking for a modern democracy.”
Prior to creating the OpenGov Foundation, Seamus served as Digital Director and Press Secretary for the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he built one of the most successful digital communications operations in government from the ground up.
Past Madison Award winners include former Vice President Al Gore, Senator Russ Feingold, philanthropist George Soros, journalist Nina Totenberg, and — most recently in 2015 — Senator John Cornyn.
According to KnowledgeSpeak “the National Federation of Advanced Information Services (NFAIS™), a global nonprofit membership organisation serving the information services community, has announced that Nancy Blair-DeLeon will become its new Director of Professional Development.
In this role, Blair-DeLeon will be responsible for directing all professional development programs for NFAIS. She will collaborate with NFAIS Committees to develop educational content, including identification of potential speakers and topics, and be responsible for planning, evaluation and implementation of professional development activities for the NFAIS membership and the larger information industry.
Blair-DeLeon has extensive knowledge of and experience in the information services field relative to database producers, primary publishers, information aggregators, commercial, public and academic libraries and workflow solution providers. As a senior manager at IEEE, among other duties, she led a team of IEEE colleagues and volunteers to launch a series of free live authorship workshops to enable engineers, faculty, researchers, authors, and industry professionals to help advance technology and their careers by enhancing their ability to get published and share their research with the broader scholarly community…”
In addition, Blair-DeLeon has long been active with NFAIS as a member volunteer, including service as a member of the NFAIS Board of Directors (2014-2015), and continuing service on its Discovery Code of Practice Task Force and Workshop Planning Committee…”
According to ALA News “the Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) congratulates Melanie Church, content services librarian at Greenlease Library, Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo., as the recipient of the 2016 First Step Award—A Wiley Professional Development Grant presented by the ALCTS Continuing Resources Section. The award will be presented on Saturday, June 25, at the ALCTS Awards Ceremony during the 2016 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference and Exposition in Orlando, Florida.
Church began her career in continuing resources management as a part of her job at Rockhurst University in July 2013. Prior to her professional position, Church served as a graduate student assistant in the Public Services Department: Research & Instruction Services at the University of Missouri, Kansas City’s Miller Nichols Library and as a public services assistant at Rockhurst University’s Greenlease Library from August 2012 to July 2013. In her current position, she is responsible for the acquisition, licensing, cataloging and access to print and electronic serials. Church enjoys the challenge of serials, especially with regards to RDA and web-scale discovery services.
Church has actively engaged in professional development activities through her service to the Missouri Library Association, where in the last two years she has served as the vice-chair and then chair of the association’s Technical Services Community of Interest, and through memberships in ALA and ALCTS. She was previously the recipient of a Show Me Steps to Continuing Education grant to attend the Acquisitions Institute at the Timberline Lodge, and the Innovative Users Group Scholarship granted by MOBIUS. The award jury is confident that her receipt of the 2016 First Step Award will further her professional development and strengthen her involvement with ALCTS and the Continuing Resources Section…”
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.