Friday, March 04, 2011

Happy Birthday, GPO!

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) opened its doors on March 4, 1861, the same day President Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office. Today, exactly one hundred and fifty years later, GPO marks a milestone by celebrating 150 years of producing and delivering Government information to Congress, Federal agencies, and the American public. While GPO's past has been about printing, its present and future are being defined by digital information technologies.

To honor the occasion, some members of Congress have recognized GPO today, which has been recorded in the Congressional Record. Representative Robert A. Brady of Pennsylvania honored GPO by saying:

"The work of the GPO is so fundamental to our work that we frequently lose sight of all the services they actually provide. We like to say that all congressional information is on the Internet, but many of us don't seem to know that it's the GPO that puts that information online on its site, GPO Access, and now on the successor site, FDsys . . . . Benjamin Franklin and the Founding Fathers would be surprised and pleased by what the GPO is and does today. On behalf of all us in this House who daily rely and depend on the products and Services the GPO provides, I say congratulations and best wishes to Public Printer Bill Boarman and the men and women of the United States Government Printing Office, and convey our thanks and deepest appreciation for all their hard work."

From the Senate, Senator Harry Reid from Nevada congratulated GPO by saying:

"Since [1861] GPO has used ever changing technologies to produce and deliver government information for Congress, Federal agencies, and the public. GPO plays a vital role in providing the printed and electronic documents necessary for Congress to conduct its legislative business."

On our anniversary, GPO would like to extend its thanks to Federal depository libraries. For over 116 years, your presence and expertise have been instrumental in distributing Federal information to the American public. You have joined GPO "quietly and expertly" as noted by Representative Brady) in service of the Nation.