RealTime IT News

GPO Shelves Brick-and-Mortar Bookstores

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) will close all of its brick-and-mortar bookstore operations outside Washington by Sept. 30 in an ongoing effort to put all of its quarter of million titles online.

The closings mark the latest in a series of developments marking the GPO's transformation into a primarily electronic information disseminating agency. In addition to providing online access to government information via GPO Access, the GPO is actively transitioning its Federal Depository Library Program, serving 1,200 libraries nationwide, to a predominately electronic basis

The GPO also offers an online bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov. The online bookstore's sales catalog includes all titles available for sale and can be searched by publication title, subject, or keywords.

"The GPO is remaking itself as an agency committed to using new technologies to meet the information demands of the 21st century," said Public Printer of the U.S. Bruce R. James. "In the past our bookstores provided a great service, but the business of government information production and delivery is changing, and we are not only changing with it, we will help lead that change."

The GPO plans to close bookstores in Kansas City; Portland, Ore.; Seattle, New York; Los Angeles; Denver; Pueblo, Colo.; Detroit, Milwaukee; Atlanta; Jacksonville, Fla.; Pittsburgh; and Houston. The GPO previously closed bookstores in San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Birmingham, Cleveland, and Columbus.

The GPO is responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of the federal government. In addition to its own production facilities, the GPO works with private sector vendors across the country to produce print and other information products for the federal government ranging from Supreme Court decisions to IRS tax forms and crop reports for the Department of Agriculture.