Monday, August 10, 2009

Government Magazines for the People

It appears that the Magazines and Newspapers Center has inspired our next-door neighbors here at the Main Library to embrace magazines from their collection.

Beginning recently, the Government Information Center (GIC), the department that occupies the other half of the fifth floor here at the Main Library, will regularly select a few magazine titles from their collection and display current issues near the atrium across from their reference desk. The GIC's large collection consists of materials published by various government entities (mainly the Federal, California, and San Francisco Governments), and also other publications relating to law, public policy, and political science. The Wallace Stegner Environmental Center is also part of the GIC, and a few of their titles will appear on the rack.

The selections will rotate so that as many titles as possible can be featured. Here's a sampler of some titles from the GIC collection:

Amber Waves is a publication of the economics division of the US Department of Agriculture. If you're interested in the politics of food, (I'm talking to you, Michael Pollan fans), this title is for you.

Edible San Francisco, which comes courtesy of the Stegner Environmental Center, is all about food: delicious, sustainable, locally-sourced, and environmentally-friendly food. Feel free to drool with a clear conscience.

The ABA Journal, published by the American Bar Association, (Government documents librarians love three-letter acronyms, btw) is a great source for news and trends from the legal world. And, unlike all of those law reviews, you don't have to be a lawyer to understand what the writers are talking about.

Our friends at the California Highway Patrol (no, not Ponch and Jon) put out a great monthly magazine called Zenith 12000. It's actually the employee publication of the CHP, but it gives great insight into what's going on in California's state police force. Why Zenith 12000? According to the California Documents Librarian, back in the days when telephone numbers included a word and a number (think Klondike 5-4385), Zenith 12000 was the equivalent of 911.

These are just a taste of what is available through the GIC. The department hopes that by displaying these magazines, they'll get the word out about some of the great publications put out by government agencies.

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