Government Information Service in the 21st Century

At a Glance
Project at a Glance: 
  • Status: Active
  • Launch: August 2010
  • Partners: Government Printing Office (GPO)
  • Funding Agencies: Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
  • Team: John Carlo Bertot, Paul Jaeger, John Shuler
  • Mission: To prepare a cohort of future librarians to take advantage of the evolving range of e-government services to develop government information services that are not based in physical collections.
  • Resources: FDLPGovernment information Quarterly 
  • Related iPAC projects: Libraries and E-Government 


If you are interested in applying to the current scholarship program more information can be found at

In Fall 2009, the Center for Library & Information Innovation received a Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services for 20 Master of Library Science (MLS) e-government and digital government degree scholarships to create a cohort of students from across the U.S. who would pursue their graduate degree online. This innovative program also launched the online MLS program within the University of Maryland College of Information Studies.

Now managed by iPAC, this unique program focused on students interested in careers in librarianship and other information sciences as specialists in digital government information and e-government services. The program seeks to prepare graduates to take advantage of the evolving range of e-government services to develop government information services that are not based in physical collections. The inaugural semester was Fall 2010, and the most of the students are expected to graduate in spring 2012.

In 2012 the Institute of Museum and Library Science (IMLS) awarded the University of Maryland's iSchool with the Laura Bush 21st Century Library Program grant.  This grant will be used to provide scholarships for fifteen students in a second on-line only MLS with a concentration in E-Government services.  The program will begin in the fall of 2013. More details will be available soon.

The program entails four key components that will educate the next generation of government information and e-government librarians and provide a critical foundation for the cohort students:

  • Coursework. The coursework serves as the intellectual and conceptual basis for the evolving government information environment.
  • Practice. Though virtual internships with various federal agencies, students will develop applied government information skills.
  • Professional. To become integrated into the larger government information community and engage key issues in government information, students attended the 2010 and 2011 Fall Federal Depository Library meetings in  Washington, DC.
  • Scholarship. Though inclusion in the review process of Government Information Quarterly, students will publish government resource reviews, contribute to furthering scholarship in government information, and learn the publication process. The first of the student government website reviews will appear in the April 2012 issue of GIQ, with more to follow in the July 2012 issue.

The E-government Concentration courses included:

  • Information Policy. The range of law and policy instruments that establish the rules for the access, exchange, and management of information, which have been key recurring issues throughout the history of the United States, from the Declaration of the Independence through today. In the present age of the Internet, transnational information flows, electronic databases, e-government, and other elements of the networked environment, policies that frame information are more vital than ever in shaping society. This course focuses on the scholarly discourse that examines the delivery of government information and e-government services within the larger policy environment and political context. The study of information policy is essential to understanding the broad roles of information in society, as well as the evolving social, technical, legal, and policy contexts in which access to government information is delivered.
  • E-government. The use of the Internet and other information and communication technologies to provide government information and services, as well as channels of communication to citizens, businesses, and other governments. This course examines the nature, issues, and impacts of electronically created and stored government information, such as emails, websites, and social networking technologies. Specific areas of study will include the e-government’s relation to government information, what populations are and are not using e-government, challenges to access and provision, and the unique role of libraries in the provision of access to government information and e-governent services. Key emphasis will be given to the relationships, similarities, and differences between e-government sources and physical sources in the context of providing and preserving government information, with the goal of helping students develop strategies to effectively integrate the myriad sources of tangible (e.g., print, microfiche) and electronic government information services/sources.
  • Planning and Evaluation for Government Information Services. The application of quantitative and qualitative methods for planning and evaluating library and information services to the specific context of government information. Through a range of research, planning, and assessment methods, students will learn the process of identifying, evaluating, and adopting best practices in government information librarianship. Key emphasis will be given to the development of innovative approaches to the delivery of government information that increase access to underserved populations. All issues examined in this course will explore planning and evaluation of government information issues within the context of legal issues related to the management of information, such as how information is required to be protected, maintained, collected, and stored.
  • E-librarianship. The practice of providing government information and services through electronic means. Just electronic formats are now central to the delivery of and access to government information, service interactions about government information are increasingly occurring through email, chat, twitter, virtual worlds, and other social networking tools. Studying the methods, practices, and research about e-librarianship will prepare students to address the challenges created by the shifting formats and distribution schemes of government information and services. This course includes the study of the use of relevant technologies and the provision of services in electronic environments. This course is intended to prepare students to be equally proficient in services related to tangible and electronic government information services/sources.
  • Access to Federal Government Information. Research methods, information needs, information production and structure, information sources and services, and selection policies related to federal government information. The course serves as a foundation for the structure of government information sources, organization, delivery, and access.
  • Internships. Designed to provide the culminating experience of the course of study, allowing students to gain firsthand experience in government information librarianship and apply their coursework to actual library settings, working with a range of user populations. By working with established government information librarians, students learn how their work can contribute and influence the governance of federal, state and local government information programs. The experience they gain will help them understand the evolution of government information research and practice through grounded application and scholarship. Occurring at government information libraries or departments of libraries, these internship opportunities will be available at participating institutions around the country. Internships have been arranged with the Government Printing Office and the Goverment Information Online digital reference service.


Selected E-government Education Publications



  • Bertot, J. C., & Jaeger, P. T. (2012). Implementing and managing public library networks, connectivity, and partnerships to promote e-government access and education. In S. Aikins (Ed.), Managing e-government projects: Concepts, issues and best practices (pp. 183-199). Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
  • Jaeger, P. T. (2008). Building e-government into the Library & Information Science curriculum: The future of government information and services. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 49, 167-179.
  • Jaeger, P. T., & Bertot, J. C. (2009). E-government education in public libraries: New service roles and expanding social responsibilities. Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 50, 40-50.
  • Jaeger, P. T., Bertot, J. C., Shuler, J. A., & McGilvray, J. A. (2011). Case study in e-government education programs: Preparing future government information professionals. Proceedings of the 12th Annual International Digital Government Research Conference: Digital Government Innovation in Challenging Times. ACM New York, NY. doi 10.1145/2037556.2037593