It’s not often that a longtime customer of a federal agency becomes its director. But that’s what happened at the Government Publishing Office. Hugh Halpern spent a career as a senior staff member on Capitol Hill, where he often dealt with the GPO on making sure printed copies of bills, budgets and committee reports came out on time. Last month Halpern was confirmed as GPO’s new director.
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See Also: Text Interview: “Print or Online? New GPO Director Hugh Halpern is Publishing ‘Agnostic'” (via Roll Call)
“You’re looking at the articles of impeachment on your phone, on your computer screen, and maybe you’re looking at it in print,” Halpern said. “We need to be agnostic as to the media that we’re producing and really focus on delivering that content.”
That’s not to say print is dead at the GPO — if anything, geeking out is encouraged. Halpern and members of the professional staff were eager to show off a new four-color, high-speed inkjet printer that could easily switch between different documents, along with other shiny new hardware.
“We’re kind of at an inflection point,” Halpern said.“Can a committee report look different in 2020 or 2021 than it did in 1861? If you look at them today, they don’t.”