As noted in the Preface, this is a book that advocates a particular perspective on information and on the growing discipline called Information Resources Management (IBM). It is neither a textbook nor a treatise.
This book discusses the concept and discipline of Information Resources Management (see especially Chapters 1, 2, and 7) and describes how IRM came to be, emphasizing its origins from the Conference Board Report (see Preface) and its authority from federal law.
To illustrate perspectives on information, important facets of IRM are presented as separate chapters. These facets reflect part case study, part success story, and part discussion of the issues. These chapters are intended to be illustrative only, not definitive, and can be related to the life-cycle concept of information - information is created or collected; it is used to meet individual or organizational needs; and information of historical value hay enduring use and value.
Chapter 1 discusses the background and environment for IRM, including the life-cycle concept and the role of libraries.
Chapter 2, in the discussion of the Paperwork Reduction Act and other government directives, touches on the issues surrounding the collection, creation, and compilation of information. At the same time that the public is clamoring for more access to information held by the government, consumers want less government paperwork! The Paperwork Reduction Act was given its name intentionally to satisfy customer demand, yet the Act also attempted to impose a structure on how information should be managed.
Chapter 3 discusses access to information and particularly the government's role as an active disseminator of information.
Chapter 4 describes the uses of specific information by the Bureau of Land Management to do what citizens, acting through Congress, have asked it to do. Further, this chapter illustrates how value is added as information is organized and managed to meet customer needs. Most citizens have direct dealings with their federal government through the process of paying taxes or seeking benefits.
Chapter 5 illustrates how organizing work around the flow of information will materially change the way the work is done to the benefit of the citizen.
Chapter 6 discusses the continuing use and the long-term preservation or information and records deemed to have historic value, using records about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy as the example.
This book, we hope, can be used by any practitioner or student of IRM. We hope this book will serve as a model of information management for the 21st century.