Each year, the American Library Association selects what it considers to be the most notable Government documents published by Federal, state, and local governments and publishes the list in the prestigious Library Journal (LJ). This year, as usual, many of the Federal publications it picked are available through the Government Printing Office’s Sales Program.
According to its Web site, the Library Journal is “the oldest and most respected publication covering the library field. Considered to be the ‘bible’ of the library world, LJ is read by over 100,000 library directors, administrators, and staff in public, academic, and special libraries. LJ is the single-most comprehensive publication for librarians. Its hefty review sections evaluate nearly 7,000 books annually, along with hundreds of audiobooks, videos, databases, web sites, and systems that libraries buy.”
Out of all of the Federal Government documents LJ looked at in the past year, here are some of those it found most notable, and what it said about each.
Publisher: Defense Dept., Navy, Marine Corps University Press
Description: This volume captures, in images, the interaction of U.S. military personnel with Iraqi soldiers and civilians in some of the most remote regions of the country. The people are the primary focus. The faces of the children, alone, make this volume worth the price.
Year/Pages: 2010: 108 p.; ill.
Publisher: Defense Dept., Navy, Naval History and Heritage Command
Description: Former chief historian of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Rochester and Frederick Kiley coauthored in 1998 the 706-page Honor Bound: American Prisoners of War in Southeast Asia, 1961�1973, which many consider the definitive account of American POWs in Vietnam. This new title summarizes that earlier work and retells some of its most compelling stories with regard to illness, maltreatment, and the effects of torture. A testament to heroism.
Year/Pages: 2010: 67 p.; ill.
Publisher: National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling
Description: This report examines the events leading to the April 2010 explosion aboard the oil rig Deepwater Horizon that killed 11 men and produced the largest oil spill in recorded history. It includes the statements of survivors and a history of offshore drilling in the United States. Among its conclusions, the commission blames the companies involved and the federal government, particularly the Minerals Management Service, which failed to enforce regulations and colluded with the firms it was supposed to oversee.
Year/Pages: 2011: 392 p.; ill.
Publisher: Congress, Congressional Budget Office
Description: As it traces the evolution and collapse of government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Congressional Budget Office analyzes the arguments justifying Federal involvement in the secondary mortgage market and identifies the structural weaknesses that led to the failure of these institutions.
Year/Pages: 2010: 57 p.
Publisher: Agriculture Dept., Forest Service, Southern Research Station
Description: The color photographs in this compact field guide are so attractive that it's difficult to believe the 50 trees, shrubs, grasses, and vines the authors describe are considered pests. The entry for each plant includes its common and scientific names, history, regional distribution, potential uses, and effects on the ecosystem, as well as a description of its appearance in each season. The authors also include a handy glossary of terms for the amateur botanist and a bibliography for readers seeking more detail.
Year/Pages: 2010: 132 p.; ill.
Publisher: National Commission on the Causes of the Financial and Economic Crisis in the United States
Description: The panel that authored this report investigated 22 topics related to the financial collapse that caused 26 million workers to become unemployed or underemployed, led to four million home mortgage foreclosures, and erased $11 trillion of personal wealth. The commission concluded that successive congresses and administrations ignored obvious warning signs, and a combination of lax regulations, low interest, and easy credit fostered a financial climate in which too many assets were invested in toxic mortgages.
Year/Pages: 2011: 662 p.
Publisher: Congress, Joint Committee on Printing
Description: This homage to the late senator consists of the speeches of hundreds of his colleagues and representatives delivered in the House and Senate. He had served 47 years in the U.S. Senate and is best remembered for his ardent support of national health reform, calling it 'the cause of my life.' Known as the conscience of his party, he was also a tireless advocate for social justice, sponsoring legislation on education, voting rights, AIDS research, and many other issues.
Year/Pages: 2010: 355 p.; ILL.
Publisher: Interior Dept., National Park Service
Description: Paradis took the photographs in this collection at the national parks and historic sites in the Potomac River watershed. It includes images of battlefields and forts, but Paradis gives most of his attention to the beauty of the landscape, fauna, and flora. This title contains little text�the photos speak for themselves. Perhaps one can still find nature's serenity amid the urban clutter of the Washington, DC, area.
Year/Pages: 2010: 172 p.; ill.
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