Welcome to the U.S. Government Printing Office’s (GPO) Government Book Talk! Our goal is to raise the profile of some of the best publications from the Federal Government, past and present.  We’ll be reviewing new and popular publications, providing information about new publications in the offing, and talking about some out-of-print classics. The goal is to spotlight the amazing variety of Government publications and their impact on ourselves and our world – and have fun while doing it.

About the agency: GPO opened its doors over 150 years ago on March 4, 1861, and is part of the legislative branch of the federal government.  GPO employees have been Keeping America Informed on the documents of our democracy, in both printed and electronic form.  The agency produces the Congressional Record, Federal Register, the nation’s passports, and other Federal Government documents. It also maintains the Federal Depository Library Program to ensure public libraries nationwide have access to Federal published information.

About the authors:

  • GovBookTalk: My name is Jim Cameron (not the movie director). I’m a long-time GPO employee, working mainly for the agency’s publications sales program in the areas of writing, editing, and outreach, but I also have a good deal of  experience with the Federal depository library side of the house. I’m a serious book person – my wife claims that I own several thousand books, but I’m sure that’s an exaggeration. My interests lie mainly in the areas of history and biography – perfect for someone involved with Government books.
  • GPOBookstore: My name is Michele Bartram, and while relatively new to GPO as the head of promotions for GPO’s online bookstore, I am returning to the Federal Government after years in marketing and ecommerce in the private sector. My first round in Government, I had the opportunity to pitch and build the original web site for the United States Mint, along with an education site, and online store. I grew up in a house of books, and reading is my passion, although I now enjoying perusing  both print and digital publications. My interests are in current affairs and Federal programs, which makes it very exciting to learn about the wonderful work done by our fellow Federal agencies!

About our blog software:  GPO uses WordPress, a free blog software provider with which we have an agreement, to operate our blog, but the content belongs to us.

If you have thoughts about a post, more information about a topic, or ideas about books to discuss, let us know. We see this blog not as a single voice, but as a community of book lovers, be those books print or electronic. Let the discussion begin!

129 Responses to About

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  6. Styela says:

    Thanks for publicizing these fantastic government documents, with thoughtful and well-written reviews. It’s nice to know that the government is attempting to keep records, but I think they need to focus on educating our children better instead of spending so much on preserving things that can be infinitely replicated.

  7. Hello: I thought that your readers and colleagues might be interested in this. Please help us promote this initiative to read through a story/blog and send me a link should you use it. Also, email me or call Jennifer below if we can help you in any other way and thanks! – Mike Volpe/DOL

    Contact Name: Jennifer Marion
    Phone Number: (202) 693-5795
    Email: marion.jennifer.r@dol.gov
    Release Number: 13-2241-NAT
    From Ben Franklin to Betty Friedan, from “Of Mice and Men” to “The Devil Wears Prada,” U.S. Department of Labor launches Books that Shaped Work in America
    Centennial project invites public to compile list of books about work, workers
    and workplaces and learn about department’s mission and history

    Visit the Books that Shaped Work website

    WASHINGTON — From Ben Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Improved” to Sonia Sotomayor’s “My Beloved World,” nearly 100 titles of fiction, nonfiction, plays and poetry begin the initial roll of Books that Shaped Work in America—a Centennial project of the U.S. Department of Labor in partnership with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.
    The web-based project, http://www.dol.gov/books, launched today as part of the department’s ongoing commemoration of its 100th anniversary, aims to engage the public about the Labor Department’s mission and America’s history as a nation of workers as portrayed through published works.
    “The Books that Shaped Work in America initiative explores the dignity of work and our progress in expanding America’s fundamental promise of opportunity for all through the lens of literature,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Think of this effort as an online book club where people from all walks of life can share books that informed them about occupations and careers, molded their views about work and helped elevate the discourse about work, workers and workplaces. At the same time, the site provides a unique way for people to learn about the mission and resources of the U.S. Department of Labor.”
    Work, like our nation, is constantly evolving, and so Books that Shaped Work in America is no different. To get it started, 24 individuals, including Perez, eight former secretaries of labor from both Democratic and Republican administrations, department staff (including an intern), civil rights leaders, critics, authors, media personalities and staff from the Library of Congress submitted suggestions. Among the contributors: former Secretaries of Labor George P. Shultz and Robert Reich, authors Daniel H. Pink and Joan Acocella, Solicitor of Labor M. Patricia Smith, Liz Claman of Fox Business News, President of the National Urban League Marc Morial and Scott McGee of Turner Classic Movies. Their recommendations are included on the initiative’s website, along with brief summaries of each book and links to related U.S. Department of Labor resources.
    Now the public is invited to expand the list. A simple, online form, which can be found at http://www.dol.gov/books/form, makes it easy for anyone to suggest a book.

    View the video on YouTube

    “From a simple tale for children like ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’ to a scholarly tome like ‘Quality, Productivity and Competitive Position,’ the books on the list demonstrate the rich breadth and depth of work in America,” said Carl Fillichio, the department’s senior adviser for public affairs and chair of its Centennial. “As we continue to mark the Department of Labor’s 100 years of service to workers in our country, this project is a terrific way to educate the public about work, workers and the work of the Labor Department. Watching the list grow, and hearing the discussion broaden, is going to be very exciting.” Read Fillichio’s Get Out Your Work Books blog post.
    The project was inspired by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress’ 2012 Books That Shaped America exhibition, which explored the impact of books on American life and culture. Many of the books in that exhibition had work as a central theme, bringing to light the significant role published works have played in shaping America’s view of workers and workplaces throughout its history.
    Created in 1913, the mission of the U.S. Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights. To learn more about the department’s history, visit http://www.dol.gov/100/.

  8. crédit à la says:

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  10. Nicky says:

    Hi from Nambour, Australia. My name is Nicky. I am a nineteen year old law student. I stumbled across this blog when I was doing some research for my university assignment. Thanks for your work. I now have a lot more direction. :)

  11. watch online says:

    Mr. Cameron,

    Is there any reason why GPO publications are not sold in regular bookstores? A prohibition in law or regs?


    • Actually, many of our publications are sold in commercial retail and online bookstores, including Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Books, Google Books, and some overseas outlets as well. Our GPO Sales Program works with book distributors to get these publications out into as many sales channels as possible. However, it is up to the individual business as to whether it wants to purchase any particular title. Thus, GPO also distributes Federal Government titles through our Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). You can look up a title to find if it is in a library near you at http://www.worldcat.org. I hope this helps!

  12. Mike Brosio says:

    I would like to include the photograph of John Kennedy standing with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on the White House lawn in a book I am writing. Is this allowed or is their another channel I should work through.

  13. actualarticles says:

    Hello, would you please allow me to put this on my website? If there is no any problem with this, please let me know via my e-mail…

  14. Door Controls says:

    Do you have a newsletter I can subscribe to? Where would I go about doing it?

    • Stacy: Have we got newsletters? Yes! The US Government Bookstore has a number of options for newsletters. You can go to our Online Bookstore site at http://bookstore.gpo.gov and then click on the My Email Subscriptions link in the footer at the bottom of the page to sign up for our email list and select as many of the 255 topics we have available, from International & Foreign Affairs to Nursing. You will only be emailed when a new Federal publication is released that belongs to the newsletter category to which you have subscribed.

      Additionally, you can subscribe to this Government BookTalk blog by clicking on the subscribe to this blog link on the right column near the top of this blog, and you will be automatically emailed each of our blog posts.

      Finally, if you are interested in the US Government Printing Office overall, you can Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or on Pinterest.

      Thanks so much for asking!

  15. szkuta i dłubanka says:

    Again good article. Thanks for that.

  16. james permpum says:

    It’s nice to know that the government is attempting to keep records, but I think they need to focus on educating our children better instead of spending so much on preserving things that can be infinitely replicated.

  17. Rob Towner says:

    Would be great to see more useful tools for children’s book writers.

  18. Jeffrey Bidle says:

    A very well written and informative post, thanks very much

  19. sakinabobro says:

    nice blog you have here, come and visit me someday if you want, cheers

  20. Tony says:

    How long has the GPO Online bookstore been in operations?

    • GPOBookstore says:

      Tony- Here’s the lowdown on the Online Bookstore. The first ecommerce site went live in 2000, and received its current dark blue graphical facelift in 2006.

      You will be happy to know that today we are launching the beta website of our brand new U.S. Government Bookstore at http://newbookstore.gpo.gov/!

      It will live at this temporary URL while it is in beta review… Afterwards, it will replace our current online bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov/,

      Check it out and tell us what you think!!!

      • ashleykade says:

        New site looks A LOT easier to manage to be honest. Congrats on the update.

      • GPOBookstore says:

        Thanks, Ashley! You are very right about that! The old site is totally manual and missing a lot of modern ecommerce necessities like a content management system. We can’t wait for IT to give us the go ahead to go live… Cheers!

  21. chiclanacondonweb says:

    Thank you for this lens very interesting

  22. Humphreys15 says:

    In our country GPO means general post office. Government printing office is a extremely a valuable printing industry. It is secured. On line bookstores should open all the books for world wide people. No restriction would apply here.

  23. Susie Smith says:

    Yes, I agree that the American public should be kept abreast with what’s going on. I don’t know if the entire public would necessarily care but at least they couldn’t complain that the resources aren’t there!


    Hi there,

    would like to ask if u have any publication/ information regarding
    1. comparison between countries on the size of the public service
    2. what are the sector cover for each public service by country

    hope u could help me out.urgently needed.

  25. Mo Bradley says:

    I can relate with Jim Cameron, in that I too have a thousand books! As both an English literature major and a student teacher, I’ve had the priviledge of reading a lot of good texts. While I mainly enjoy and appreciate historical and classical texts, I think the public needs to have better access to government publications. As it stands, the general public seems to only read the bestseller’s list, which is populated entirely with young adult reads, and celebrity autobiographies. Thanks for the info!

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      Sorry you aren’t enjoying our recent posts. We are expanding to use a number of bloggers within GPO and our library community to showcase different styles and points of view.

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  47. event planning new york says:

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    • GPOBookstore says:

      Unfortunately, that isn’t a topic we carry on our bookstore. I would recommend going to one of the prominent online booksellers and reading their customer reviews and ratings for books of this topic. Hopefully you’ll find what you’re looking for…

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  50. Cahdi Jones says:

    If a company chooses to use the comma before “Inc.” in its name, we ensure that it is included after as well: “Acme Example, Inc., is a sample company.” When parentheses follow the name, should the comma still appear after?

    “Acme Example, Inc. (Acme), is a sample company”


    “Acme Example, Inc. (Acme) is a sample company.”

    Thank you!

    • GPOBookstore says:

      Cahdi: Thanks for your question. I consulted our Style Manual guru at GPO who replied:

      The GPO Style Manual does not specifically address this issue. I also noticed that there is a lot of discussion (pro and con) about this on the Internet. I think it is probably personal preference, depending on the circumstance, since many grammarians believe we overuse commas anyway!

      So there you have it. Government style rules allow you freedom to choose which method you prefer.

      Cheers, GPO

  51. Andy Vasque says:

    Yes can I also ask if I can copy any work from G.P.O?

    • GPOBookstore says:

      Below is a good explanation of Federal Government copyright policy:

      A work of the United States government, as defined by United States copyright law, is “a work prepared by an officer or employee of the U.S. government as part of that person’s official duties.”[1] The term only applies to the work of the federal government, including the governments of “non-organized territorial areas” under the jurisdiction of the U.S Government,[2] but not state or local governments.

      In general, under section 105 of the Copyright Act,[3] such works– including blog posts– are not entitled to domestic copyright protection under U.S. law, sometimes referred to as “noncopyright.”

      However, many publications of the U.S. Government contain protectable works authored by others (e.g., photos or drawings, patent applications, Securities and Exchange Commission filings, public comments on regulations), and this rule does not necessarily apply to the creative content of those works. Thus, you must check each publication and work produced by GPO to ascertain whether it is public domain or some other copyright protection status.

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  53. Vincent says:

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    How long and where were you in Spain?

    • GPOBookstore says:

      Vincent- Gracias por los cumplidos… (Thanks for the compliments). I lived and worked in marketing in Spain for about 5 years in sunny Sevilla. I still miss the tapas!

      Felices Fiestas, Michele

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  56. Dave says:

    I was going to post, but someone beat me to it:


    Thanks for the clarification.

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    • GPOBookstore says:

      Dave- It is ironic, but true. The WordPress theme that was selected by my predecessor for the Government Printing Office blog is called “Contempt.” (They substituted the custom book image for the header.) It certainly gave me a chuckle when I first saw it! Thanks for pointing it out and for the compliments…

  57. Nicky H says:

    Hi from Nambour, Australia. My name is Nicky. I am a nineteen year old law student. I stumbled across this blog when I was doing some research for my university assignment. Thanks for your work. I now have a lot more direction. :)

  58. Jennifer L. Gelman says:

    This is a great idea, but I would like to see links on the side for the most used tags, and also RSS feeds for those tags only (for example, I am only interested in education documents). Or it would at least be useful to be able to search the posts, if nothing else.

  59. Ripon says:

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  60. Craig Haggit says:

    Thanks for publicizing these fantastic government documents, with thoughtful and well-written reviews.

    Feel free to publicize any digitized versions of older documents too as they become available, though is there any funding for that kind of digitization? There’s no shortage of high-quality material!

  61. Bob Levin says:

    GPO Comrades: Do you have anything on your website that outlines the history of who, when and where NASA satellites are used to detect oil and other natural resources for government and private industry?

    The mainstream corporate media as a shining example of antitrust laws being trampled through selective enforcement and in duplicitous protection of propaganda ministries, rarely if ever mentions that Central Africa and the Congo are zones for systematic systemic genocide.

    Under the CIA Torture Paradigm and employed tactics, techniques and technologies used for affecting counterintelligence reverse measures, both sides of the created resulting conflicts are being funded by blackops components within our own government.

    These crimes against humanity includes using gang rape and mutilation as a weapon against men, women, children, and infants. It was difficult for me to believe that the nation of my birth that has twice seen my blood in her defense is actually the greatest terrorist threat facing the world today.

    Certainly you are aware that the agenda of Corporatism is to process the total aggregate of the world into a commodity.

    Often this global plantation model is employed codependently with Pentagon Colonization, which recognizes 730 U.S. military bases positioned on the soil of over 130 sovereign foreign nations. No other nation has a military base on U.S. soil. The major export of the United States is military hardware, bombs and perpetual wars for profit veiled as American democracy.

    Lest we forget while our citizen are slowly expiring within an unseen American Holocaust brought by the treasonous Congressional Capos, that it is these very same parasites who have converted the United States into a Virtual Death Camp Environment with thirty years of failed trickle down Reaganomics.

    No matter our social differences or politics, we the people need not look down for our enemies who are not our neighbors, we only need to look up to the anti-American jackals sniffing the rectums of treason on Capitol Hill.

    Bob Levin for Congress 2012, Oregon’s 1st Congressional District
    Bob Levin, Investigative Journalist/FBI Whistleblower

  62. Jed Sundwall says:

    Is there a PDF of NASA’s old brand guidelines available online? See this link for info on what I’m talking about http://www.iainclaridge.co.uk/blog/?p=3672

  63. ThaiMlM says:

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  64. Robert Jakobson says:

    Hi, In the country where I come from it is actually normal for family libraries to contain thousands of volumes – with many rare books among the totaliy, I have an over a century old copy of Platos Apology of Socrates in German, typed in a gothic script and all that. My question is, however, have you published any monographs or materials about pre-WWI foreign affairs or United States foreign policy during the belle epogue?

  65. Tanya Ramey says:

    Two questions: 1) How can my office sell our quarterly publication via the GPO Bookstore? I work for the Department of Defense. 2) Would you know if any government publications are made available for sale on the Kindle or i-Pad?

  66. Tom Grundner says:

    When will the GPO start making ALL it’s documents available to the public in electronic form, or at least as pdf files? You know… the 21st Century and all that. This is ridiculous.

    • govbooktalk says:

      To best answer your inquiry, here’s some historical background information. In 1993, Congress passed the U.S. Government Printing Office Electronic Information Access Enhancement Act (Public Law 103-40), which expanded GPO’s mission to provide electronic access to Federal Government information. This legislation required GPO to provide the following:

      1. Online Federal Register and Congressional Record; other applications determined by Superintendent of Documents

      2. A Federal information locator

      3. Electronic Storage Facility for Federal Information

      4. Federal Bulletin Board (included by Senate Report)

      In response to this legislation, in June 1994, GPO launched GPO Access, which provides electronic access to about 100 collections of Government information.

      In January 2009 GPO unveiled the next generation of Government information online with its Federal Digital System (FDsys).

      File formats for each publication that we provide electronic access to are made available based on the file formats that are provided to GPO by Congress and Federal agencies. GPO does not have control over these formats. Certain publications that are published by Federal agencies and Congress are not provided to GPO for electronic dissemination, only print.

      As GPO works to improve its Federal Digital System, we are very interested in public feedback concerning available resources. If there is a particular Government publication that you would like to access in electronic form, please send us your suggestions through our askGPO system at http://gpo.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/gpo.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php.

  67. Anthony S.Prusaczyk says:

    I’m a student at S.I.U. in Carbondale,IL. but I’m also a retired U.S.Army veteran.And I’m in school to be a Military History Teacher,I’m getting ready to start my student teaching.Can you send me some copies of anything you have on the History of the U.S., from the years 1600 to present.I would love you if you could help me out.

    • govbooktalk says:

      Thanks for your interest. Unfortunately, we are chartered only to sell Government publications to the public, not do free distribution. You might want to try the Federal Depository Library program, which makes Government publications available for free use in more than 1,200 libraries nationwide. here’s a link through which you can locate a library near you: http://catalog.gpo.gov/fdlpdir/FDLPdir.jsp

  68. Shane says:

    Our ministry is starting a program of for local groups to help them be better prepared during times of catastrope. My question is can we legally provide government survival publications etc with our group distribution kits.
    Thanks for any help in advance.

    • govbooktalk says:

      Most Federal Government publications are in the public domain and can be used however you see fit. If in doubt, you can always contact the issuing agency directly to see if there are any issues with your using them.

      • Shane says:

        Now that is great and expedient service in action. Thank you for your quick reply. I noticed on your board earlier that you were looking for a way to utilize a like/dislike function. Have you checked to see if there is a plug-in or widget for this function. I’ll keep an eye out and if I come across one I’ll pass you the link.
        Once again thanks for your help.

  69. Bernadette says:

    Hello ! are there any gov. publications, probably in the field of Transportation, concerning the valuation of Billboards ? Billboards often are impacted by road and bridge projects, and my research to date indicates that the valuation of Billboards is at the discretion of each state’s Department of Transportation. The USDOT may have a uniform procedure and if so, I would need to know what it is. Thank you very much for your excellent work. Bernadette Pasqua, Realty Specialist, NJDOT

  70. How do you select the books you feature on GovBookTalk? May I submit publications for your consideration?

    • gpoturner2010 says:

      Donna – Our primary rule of thumb is to feature content produced by the Federal government. As the Government Printing Office, we happen to have printed most of it, which makes it easier to actually have physical copies in front of us when we write our reviews.

      We welcome any suggestions you may have regarding Federal publications for consideration.

  71. Tom Grundner says:

    Is the GPO planning to (ever) provide it’s books as e.Books, or at least as .pdf files. My guess is that the book files have to be converted to pdf before they go to press; and if the purpose of the GPO is to disseminate this information as widely as possible—it seems like that would be a rather logical thing to do.

    • govbooktalk says:

      GPO is actively pursuing the conversion of some of the publications it sells to ebook formats. We are beginning the test phase and expect to have the first few conversions done soon. I’ll be announcing their advent here on Government Book Talk.

  72. Donna Rice-Bassett says:

    Question: My husband’s father was part of the intelligence community during WWII stationed in Morocco. We are currently packing up our home to move and we came across an old trunk. It contains some WWII-era documents that are classified. Richard had said (jokingly, or so I thought) that toward the end of the war he’d asked if he could destroy a pile of classified documents of no great importance. He was told “yes”, but only if he made 5 copies of each document first. In the end, he gave up. Not having anyone to hand them over to, he brought them home with him and squirreled them away. Clearly, these are those same documents. What do I do with them? Technically, they are US government property are they not? Thank you! D.

  73. Sookhyun Kim says:

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    Is there anywhere I can actually purchase some of the items I see discussed on this site? I really enjoy this site and would like to own various titles.

  75. Myo Thant says:

    To learn and share our mission how about knowledge in mountain4. Thanks and God bless our mission.

  76. Sarah says:

    This is such a fun site to review each morning. Is it possible to add a “like” option just like Facebooks has or a smiley face or something so that I can say yep, I liked today’s post without having to submit a comment?

    • govbooktalk says:

      Hi, Sarah:

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve been combing through WordPress support and they don’t seem to have the “like” function that Facebook has. I may contact them about it – it would be good to have.

  77. Mimi says:

    Will the blog posts keep coming to my email? I enjoy the blog, but don’t want to have to use a reader…I’d just like to keep reading the info via the email I already have to keep up with. Do I have to set something up to make sure the content will continue to be emailed to me?
    Thanks for help on this.

  78. govbooktalk says:

    Here’s how GPO addresses this commonly asked question:

    The intent of Title 17, Section 105, United States Code, is to place in the public domain all works of the United States Government, defined as works “prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties.”

    This means that public documents can generally be reprinted without legal restriction. However, Government publications often contain certain copyright material which was used with permission of the copyright owner. Publication in a Government document does not authorize any use or appropriation of such copyright material without consent of the owner.

    Since the Government Printing office serves as a printing and distribution agency for Government publications and has no jurisdiction over their content or subject matter, we suggest that you consult with the originating department or agency, or its successor, prior to the reprinting of any given publication.

  79. chris decker says:

    can i copy any work from g.p.o.?or do i need permission.

  80. Max Holland says:

    Mr. Cameron,

    Is there any reason why GPO publications are not sold in regular bookstores? A prohibition in law or regs?


    Max Holland

    • govbooktalk says:

      Actually, commercial bookstores can sell Government publications. In the past, there have been some constraints that have limited us, but more recently we’ve been experimenting with more flexible terms and conditions. As a result, in a number of cases, at least one major bookstore chain has ordered books for resale. Let’s hope it’s a trend!

  81. Barby says:


  82. Sharon Bronson says:

    Would you please un-subscribe my email subscription service to Government Book Talk. Thank you very much.

  83. Shaeon Bronson says:

    Would you please un-subscribe my subscription to Government Book Talk. Thank you very much.

    • govbooktalk says:

      We don’t maintain a subscription list for our blog. We did send out an announcement to those who have asked to be kept apprised of our publications, but you won’t automatically get blog posts from us unless you ask for them.

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