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The Legal Beagle’s favorite book and that of dog lovers everywhere is Every Dog’s Legal Guide: A Must Have Book for Your Owner by Mary Randolph (KF390.5 .D6 R36 2005). His favorite movie is about the crime fighting pooch, Underdog! His current hero is Uno, the beagle who won Best in Show at the...

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FOIA Requests

Posted by Library Blog on 03/09/2017 at 04:58 PM

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides the public the right to request access to records from a federal agency. While colloquially requesting information from the government is often referred to as a FOIA request, FOIA is the federal statutory and regulatory scheme and individual states have their own schema. (Rhode Island calls it APRA which stands for the Access to Public Records Act).

FOIA.gov provides a significant amount of information about FOIA and the process one could undertake to gain access to government records. Another great resource on FOIA is the legislative history which is compiled and online courtesy of the National Security Archive. A book in our collection, The Federal Information Manual: How the Government Collects, Manages, and Discloses Information Under FOIA and Other Statutes by P. Stephen Gidiere, III, is also a useful tool for learning about FOIA. 

Researchers can find a treasure trove of information online about freedom of access to information. Many organizations, including journalists and government watchdogs, have websites and blogs which concentrate on FOIA and FOIA requests, such as:

If you need help finding government information or resources for crafting a FOIA request, please stop by the Reference Desk and speak with one of the librarians.

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