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That Still-Handy World Almanac

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Despite the mountains of data readily available online, information on government and federal agencies is still printed -- and conveniently organized -- between the glossy paper covers of the World Almanac and Book of Facts.

Amazingly this year, the 2013 edition was out and in readers’ hands before the end of November with full results of the Nov. 7 elections.

Of course, there’s the usual year in pictures, profiles of nations, sports feats, economic statistics, historical facts and biographies.

But for anyone who follows the work of agencies, there might be no other single, compact source that gives a squib for each department, with missions, sub-agencies, mailing addresses, websites and budgets. You can also find a list of all previous secretaries of Agriculture; Commerce; Defense; Energy; Homeland Security; the old Health, Education and Welfare Department (since split and renamed Health and Human Services and Education); Housing and Urban Development; Interior; Justice; Labor; State; Transportation; Treasury; and Veterans Affairs.

Online, such info would be widely scattered.

Charlie Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

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