By Elizabeth Holland, AALL Public Policy Associate
Davita Vance-Cooks took the oath of office as Public Printer of the United States yesterday in a ceremony attended by family, friends, GPO employees, and invited guests, including AALL President Steve Anderson, Executive Director Kate Hagan, and Director of Government Relations Emily Feltren. Vance-Cooks, who served as Acting Public Printer from January 2012 to August 2013, is the 27th Public Printer of the United States and is the first African American and the first woman to hold the position.
In her role as Acting Public Printer, Vance-Cooks led the rebranding of GPO as the “official, digital, secure” resource for producing, procuring, cataloging, indexing, authenticating, disseminating, and preserving the official information products of the federal government. AALL has worked closely with Vance-Cooks to address the priorities and challenges of the library community. In her remarks yesterday, Vance-Cooks spoke to GPO’s promising future, saying “I believe that change brings opportunities, and the future as represented by the digital world brings unlimited possibilities.”
AALL President Anderson said, “Public Printer Vance-Cooks’ swearing-in clearly demonstrated her readiness to transform GPO for the digital age. I believe her business acumen, passion for government information, and commitment to addressing the needs of all stakeholders — including law libraries — will ensure that the agency meets its mission of Keeping American Informed.”
The Senate voted unanimously to confirm the Vance-Cooks’ nomination to the position of Public Printer on August 1 just before the five-week August recess. According to GPO, her confirmation marked the swiftest Senate action on a Public Printer nominee in nearly 20 years. Vance-Cooks was nominated by President Obama on May 9. Her confirmation hearing was held June 12 before the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, which favorably reported her nomination to the full Senate on July 24. In early June, the five major library associations – AALL, American Library Association, Association of Research Libraries, Medical Library Association and Special Libraries Association – submitted a statement for the record in support of Vance-Cooks.
AALL congratulates Vance-Cooks on this historic achievement and we look forward to continuing to partner with the Government Printing Office under her leadership.