Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Added Gov’t Reference Service to Appendix A

While working on my last Appendix for the Writer’s Guide, I realized I had left out a significant resource that belonged in Appendix A – Finding Experts and “Ask-A” Services. I updated Appendix A to include the following:

Government Information Online – http://govtinfo.org/

If you need a deep dive into government information or the chance to interact in real time with a librarian on government information issues, this may be the site for you. From the website:

What is GIO: Ask a Librarian?
Through Government Information Online (GIO) you can ask government information librarians who are experts at finding information from government agencies of all levels (local, state, regional, national international) on almost any subject from aardvarks to zygomycosis

GIO is a free online information service supported by nearly twenty public, state and academic libraries throughout the United States. All participants are designated Federal depository libraries in the U.S. Government Printing Office’s Federal Depository Library Program. Many are also official depository libraries for their other types of governments and public agencies.

The chat service is open Monday through Friday. See the website for current hours. You may e-mail questions when the chat service is closed and GIO promises an answer within 48 hours.

If you use GIO, I’d love to have your feedback on it. I haven’t used it for awhile, but had good results when I used it a few years back.


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