Government Printing Office has new strategies to keep presses rolling

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...The scent of ink and paper and the oils that lubricate the engines of one of Washington’s last manufacturing facilities wafted across the plant floor. Aside from the whirring of the press, the room was quiet, another reflection of the fact that the legions of compositors, proofreaders, platemakers and press operators on three shifts who once filled these press rooms a block from Union Station have long since disappeared.

In their place are young Web developers and information technology specialists trying to reinvent one of the government’s oldest, proudest institutions. And, for now at least, succeeding.

In an era when 97 percent of federal documents are now created electronically, people ask why the printing office still exists. Politicians are calling for smaller government, and some have sponsored legislation ordering that printed copies of congressional bills and resolutions cease. House Republicans tried last year to slash the agency’s budget by more than 20 percent....

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