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Newsletter of the Federal Depository Library Program

PDF version   |   Back Issues
Cumulative Table of Contents Vol. 1 - present [ PDF ] ( includes current issue )

February 15, 2003

GP 3.16/3-2:24/02
(Vol. 24, no. 02)


GPO Access Update

Office of Electronic Information Dissemination Services

American Library Association Midwinter Meeting

January 24 - 29, 2003, Philadelphia, PA

GPO Access Statistical Measures

  • Since 1994, GPO Access retrievals have exceeded 1.6 billion, which is equivalent to over 39.2 billion typewritten pages.
  • The average number of monthly retrievals from GPO Access is currently 31 million and the average size of these documents is currently about 49Kb. With 2Kb equaling roughly one typewritten page, the average size of a document retrieved from GPO Access equates to some 24.5 typewritten pages and costs less than a penny per retrieval.
  • GPO Access contains over 142,000 electronic titles and points to over 92,000 others for a total of over 234,000 titles.
  • GPO Access provides use of almost 2,800 databases through more than 80 applications.

GPO Access Redesign

  • Since the redesign of GPO Access in April 1999, EIDS has been collecting user feedback from a variety of sources, such as usability testing (many thanks to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for letting us use their lab), focus groups, surveys, and comments received by the GPO Access User Support Team. This effort to improve the site’s design and usability of GPO Access will culminate in the release of a new design in the near future. You may preview this new design with EIDS staff members at booth #208.

GPO Access Performance Measurement and Improvement

  • A new process has been set up to make Text and PDF files available as static files that have been "akamaized" in the Federal Register Table of Contents. This new process has been dramatically effective in improving download time for users. Based on this success, a similar capability is being created for the browse feature of the Code of Federal Regulations. At the same time, work is underway to replace the WAIS search and retrieval software for GPO Access databases. All of these enhancements combined will improve the search and retrieval speed of GPO Access databases.

What’s New on GPO Access

  • A new Federal Web site, The Commission on Affordable Housing and Health Facility Needs for Seniors in the 21st Century, <http://www.seniorscommission.gov/> is now hosted on GPO Access.


  • The Web site, Regulations.gov, <http://www.regulations.gov>, was created as the first step in the online rule-making initiative. Citizens can search, review, and comment on Federal agency rules and proposed rules open for comment from the Regulations.gov Web site. NARA and GPO are two of the lead partners in the Regulations.gov project. On December 18, 2002, there was a soft launch of Regulations.gov exclusively to Federal agencies. On January 23, 2003, Regulations.gov was released to the general public.

Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)

  • In order to authenticate the PDF versions of Congressional Bills, the use of Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) will be implemented with the 108th Congress. Users with a free software reader will be able to confirm that a bill was approved for submission to GPO by the appropriate Congressional authority and that it has not been altered since it has been signed. The free reader will be linked from <http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/cong009.html> and other pages as a plug-in.

Public and Private Laws LISTSERV

  • A new LISTSERV has been developed by the U.S. Government Printing Office. Users can sign up to receive e-mail notification when new public and private laws become available on GPO Access. These e-mails will include links to the ASCII text and PDF versions of new public or private laws. To sign up, visit <http://listserv.access.gpo.gov/archives/gpo-plaws-1.html>.

New Titles by Topic E-mail Alert Service User Survey

  • On October 31, 2002, GPO posted a survey to the New Titles by Topic E-mail Alert Service LISTSERV. Several of the questions were designed to get the users’ feedback on issues such as how the ordering process could be improved, if the images of the publications are useful, and if placing orders was easy to name a few. Some major findings included: 63% of users found ordering to be easy and intuitive. 89% of the users found the information in the e-mails to be presented clearly and concisely. 74% of users felt they received enough information about the publications to make a purchasing decision.

Online Bookstore Enhancements

  • The "What’s New" page on the U.S. Government Online Bookstore now provides a comprehensive listing of all new publications available for sale by the Superintendent of Documents at <http://bookstore.gpo.gov/market/index.html>. Customers can click on the order icons and purchase any of these new publications directly from this Web page.

USA Trade Online

  • In addition to offering free public access to STAT-USA/Internet at Federal depository libraries, the partnership between GPO and STAT-USA has expanded to include free access to USA Trade Online. USA Trade Online provides access to U.S. merchandise trade data, offering current and cumulative export and import data on more than 18,000 export commodities and 24,000 import commodities worldwide. Information on USA Trade Online is offered in GPO Access training classes, as well as in an insert to the GPO Access Training Manual, which can be downloaded in PDF format at <www.gpo.gov.gpoaccess/help/trainingbk>.

Under Development

  • Future enhancements for the U.S. Government Online Bookstore include improved online ordering for international customers and providing third-party hand off of orders for those who are unable to directly purchase from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.
  • Work toward building the GPO Access mirror site in Pueblo, CO is proceeding. As this work progresses, normal data backup will continue with the addition of the temporary storage of key data at a GPO facility near Washington, DC.

Upcoming Outreach

  • EIDS personnel will be attending and displaying the GPO booth at the following shows:

February 4 - 6

Florida Educational Technology Corporation Conference

Orlando, FL

February 20 - 23

American Association of School Administrators

New Orleans, LA

March 12 - 14

Computers In Libraries

Washington, DC