This one comes courtesy, once again, of FOIA ace Michael Ravnitzky. Ravnitzky posted this on the FOI listserv, a good place to keep an eye out for access news and tips.
Ravnitzky reminds us that not every federal agency is subject to the Freedom of Information Act. To begin with, it is important to remember that the act applies only to executive branch agendies. That means, for instance, that Congress, which enacted the law, is conveniently exempt from FOIA requirements. The same goes for federal courts.
And ditto, Ravnitzky notes, for the Library of Congress. “If you ask using FOIA,” Ravnitzky writes, “the Library of Congress will summarily tell you they are not subject to FOIA, and they will decline to respond.”
What to do? Ravnitzky says you must request records using Library of Congress Regulation LCR 1917-3. Here’s a handy link.
The FOI listserv, by the way, is open to anyone who’s interested. You can subscribe by sending an e-mail to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU with the command “subscribe foi-l” in the text.