March is traditionally a month of change and national excitement in the United States. Together with the change of seasons and college basketball frenzy, some important national milestones were reached this month that we should acknowledge, from new achievements to key anniversaries.
New U.S. Government Bookstore Website
First, last week we launched our upgraded U.S. Government Bookstore ecommerce site, http://bookstore.gpo.gov/. Our ecommerce website has gone through several iterations since its first version in 1999, each time adding functionality to keep up with the changing needs. Today, GPO has over 4,000 Federal print publications and more than 150 eBooks available through our online bookstore.
Our new website includes the following user-friendly features:
- Improved search capabilities and usability, including printer-friendly pages and footer with quick links.
- Secure user account and login allows users to see order history.
- Also over 100 additional New Titles by Topics email alert categories to which to subscribe.
- Enhanced product detail page that includes a product image, suggested related items, as well as editorial reviews, author information and links to other available formats if applicable.
- Option to sort products alphabetically, by date of publication, popularity, or price.
- New eBooks section with over 150 eBook titles, with more added weekly.
- Over 100 new categories on the site, including the option to browse for products by topic or by Government agency.
- The main Browse by Topic categories currently include 50% OFF GPOverstock SALE; Award Winners & Features; Art, Maps & Travel; Budget & the Economy; Business & Finance including Exporting and Taxes, Audits & Accounting; Citizenship & Politics; Consumer, Home & Family; eBooks & e-Magazines; Education & Libraries; Electronic Products & Microfiche; Environment & Nature; Gift Guides & Calendars; Government Forms & Phone Directories; Health & Benefits; International & Foreign Affairs; Laws & Regulations; Magazines & Journals; Minorities, Cultures & Languages; Science & Technology, including Aerospace, Agriculture, and Transportation; Security, Defense & Law Enforcement; and Statistics & Data.
These last two features—eBooks and new Categories—are particularly important in light of three other important milestones this month.
National Women’s History Month
March is National Women’s History Month in the United States, and we have a new main “Browse by Topic” category, Minorities, Cultures & Languages, where you can find books for and about African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders, Cultural Awareness, Disabled, Hispanics, LGBT, Minority Issues, Non-English Government Publications, Seniors & Elderly and Women, including dozens of books and eBooks about Women’s History.
Harriet Tubman Centennial
One of the famous American heroines in the Women’s History collection is Harriet Tubman, who died 100 years ago this month making it her Centennial. Tubman escaped from slavery and returned to lead dozens of others to freedom in the mid-1800s. In addition to being the most well-known of Underground Railroad “conductors,” she was also a nurse, spy, suffragist, and more.
With all these roles, it is appropriate that we have created so many new “Browse by Topic” categories. One is Slavery & Underground Railroad (under US & Military History), where great books featuring Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad can be found. Other new topics include Nursing under Health & Benefits and Intelligence & Espionage under Security, Defense & Law Enforcement.
BROWSE BY AGENCY: You can also find National Park Service (NPS) publications under Department of the Interior (DOI) in the Browse by Agency categories on the menu at the lower left side of the site, where publications are categorized by the Federal agency that published them. For example, our own Government Printing Office (GPO) publications are under Congress & Legislative Agencies.
Iraq War 10th Anniversary
Finally, this week is the tenth anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, which began on March 19, 2003, as Operation Iraqi Liberation, later renamed Operation Iraqi Freedom.
President Obama, in an address about the Iraq war 10th anniversary this week said:
“As we mark the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war, Michelle and I join our fellow Americans in paying tribute to all who served and sacrificed in one of our nation’s longest wars. We salute the courage and resolve of more than 1.5 million service members and civilians who during multiple tours wrote one of the most extraordinary chapters in military service. We honor the memory of the nearly 4,500 Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice to give the Iraqi people an opportunity to forge their own future after many years of hardship.”
Since the beginning of the war, the Defense Department has published dozens of excellent publications about the war, the strategies, Saddam Hussein, Iraq, reconstruction and the achievements and sacrifices made by our Armed Forces. You can find these publications featured under Iraq & Persian Gulf Wars which can be found under US & Military History > Battles & Wars categories.
It’s a Launch, Not a Landing
So, our new site marks the completion of over a year of hard work by our team here at the Government Printing Office, all aimed to make sure “we the people” can discover more about our Nation through excellent publications by our Federal Government. But there’s a good reason we call it a website launch and not a landing. This is only the beginning, with more great content and features to come! Enjoy!
So, please visit GPO’s new online bookstore website at http://bookstore.gpo.gov/ and tell us what you think!
About the Author: Michele Bartram is Promotions Manager for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales Division in Washington, DC, and is responsible for online and offline marketing of the US Government Online Bookstore (http://bookstore.gpo.gov) and promoting Federal government content to the public. She was also in charge of the online bookstore relaunch!