UT Martin link between people, government
The Messenger 12.05.07
LINKED — Eighth District Congressman John Tanner and his wife, Betty Ann (right), recently attended a reception honoring the University of Tennessee at Martin’s Paul Meek Library as a 50-year federal depository library.
A recent reception marked the 50-year anniversary of the University of Tennessee at Martin’s Paul Meek Library as a federal depository library.
The Federal Depository Library Program was established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its government’s information. There are about 1,300 libraries in the program.
Ania Lasota, UT Martin government documents librarian, said UT Martin accepted the mandate “to serve as a gateway to government information.” She added, “Access to information is access to knowledge, too.”
Ms. Lasota said information was rigidly controlled in her native Poland, but added, “Access to information is people’s basic and fundamental right.” She praised the event “to celebrate Paul Meek (Library) being a link between ‘we the people’ and the government.”
Eighth District Congressman John Tanner attended the reception and praised the university for being “one of the crown jewels of education and higher learning.”
“In this new age of technology, I know we can go online and get some of the information, but there’s nothing like looking at documents,” Tanner said.
Reflecting on comments by Thomas Jefferson about freedom of information, Tanner added, “As long as there is the ability of the citizens of our country to actively know and participate in what’s happening with their government, then he felt reason would prevail and the republic would be safe.
“Thank you all for being a 50-year designated federal depository of government documents,” Tanner said. “It speaks to the university’s standing here in West Tennessee ... not only in our state, but in this entire region. A lot of people have made that possible through the years and you all are continuing that proud tradition here at UT Martin.”
Ms. Lasota was joined in hosting the event by Mary Carpenter, UT Martin director of library services, and the library staff. UT Martin Chancellor Tom Rakes welcomed those attending, commended the library staff for continued commitment to free and open access of government information, and introduced Tanner.
Paul Meek Library, University of Tennessee at Martin