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Notable Government Documents of 2012: Looking Back, Moving Ahead

Notable Government Documents of 2012 (Federal, State and Local) – determined by the ALA/GODORT PANEL

“While the 2012 presidential campaign raged, and the brink of the fiscal cliff loomed large, government information continued to be disseminated unabated. One year ago, there was a great hue and cry because the 2012 edition of the Statistical Abstract of the United States would be the final edition produced by the government. By now, those who have used the privatized, online version find much to appreciate: expanded footnotes for each table, hyperlinked to the agencies, databases, and publications of origin; American Psychological Association (APA) and Modern Language Association (MLA) style citation suggestions for each table, a major boon for academics; and keyword search engine and relevance sorting. Of course, while a semi–silver lining took shape in that particular cloud, 2013 brought the sequester, casting its shadow on initiatives and agencies, including the Census Bureau yet again, which stands to take a $46 million hit that would delay the distribution of the 2012 Economic Census, curtail ongoing research, and impact planning for the 2020 decennial census. Time will tell how many more tried-and-true government resources will be affected and what kinds of workarounds might emerge to deliver data in a timely way.”

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