State's new 'Blue Book' available online

Official Manual of Missouri honors Truman's legacy

Missouri law requires that the Official Manual contain certain personnel information, which is contained in Chapter 10 of the 2013-2014 edition. Shown above is the cover page for that chapter. The manual is available online at www.mobluebook.com

Missouri law requires that the Official Manual contain certain personnel information, which is contained in Chapter 10 of the 2013-2014 edition. Shown above is the cover page for that chapter. The manual is available online at www.mobluebook.com

Missouri’s latest “Blue Book” now is available for your reading pleasure or research needs.

Secretary of State Jason Kander said Thursday the publication officially known as “The Official Manual of Missouri” now is available online at www.mobluebook.com.

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Missouri's 2013-2014 state manual reports state employee salaries, including top elected officials and their staff. It's available online at www.mobluebook.com

And its features section honors the 60th anniversary of President Harry S Truman’s leaving office and returning to a private life in Independence.

For years, the manual was bound inside a dark blue cover and generally was known as the “Blue Book” — even when then-Secretary of State James Kirkpatrick released copies with green covers.

State law once required at least 40,000 copies to be printed, with one copy going to every school and library in the state, and others available to the public through their state senator or representative — all at no cost to the recipients.

But, thanks to a 2011 law, the manual currently is available only online.

Kander noted the manual serves as “an important guide for Missourians seeking information about their state agencies and officials, county government and members of Congress.”

It includes contact information and biographies for Missouri’s 10 members of the U.S. Senate and House, state lawmakers, the six statewide elected officeholders, and overviews of the various department, agencies, boards and commissions, and their duties.

It also includes salaries paid (as of last July 1) to all state employees.

Even in its online version, the secretary of state’s office still “publishes” the Blue Book every two years, and its online version has continued to follow the format previously used in the print version.

Lawmakers said eliminating the printed version of the book would save money.

“While the (online) information remains just as helpful, the ‘Blue Book’ is an important historical record best appreciated in its physical form,” Kander said in his news release announcing the new, online version.

Kander said he’s “striving to make the ‘Blue Book’ available in print once more.”

Lawmakers last spring authorized the secretary of state to resume publishing the manual in a hard-copy version, while continuing the online version.

That law allows the secretary of state “to enter into an agreement directly with a nonprofit organization … to print and distribute copies of the official manual” using the “electronic version” of the manual the secretary has posted online.

The nonprofit organization then is required to “charge a fee for a copy of the official manual to cover the cost of production and distribution.”

The online manual announced Thursday is the Blue Book’s 69th edition.

Kander dedicated it to the memory and work of Truman, a Missouri native.

Additionally, the manual features an essay by Jon Taylor, a University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, professor and noted author, exploring the importance of Missouri to Truman’s life.

This year’s manual also features a “Remembering Harry” photo contest showcasing Missourians’ work interpreting three of Truman’s well-known quotes.

Three Mid-Missourians are among the winners, who were chosen through a combination of online voting and selection by a committee of judges.

Kander said the winners were:

Category: “Carry the battle to them.”

1st Place — Barbara Good, Versailles, “Mounted Drill Team at Barx Timed Event Arena.”

2nd Place — Kristy Rich, St. James, “Colton Harris’s Pitch.”

3rd Place — Pam Shrewsbury, Lathrop, “State Wrestling Competition.”

Category: “The most peaceful thing in the world is plowing a field.”

1st Place — James Hunter Marshall, Hornersville, “Cotton Harvest by Ryan Moore.”

2nd Place — Pam Shrewsbury, Lathrop, “Planting Day — April 29, 2013.”

3rd Place — Kelly Sanders Smith, Jefferson City, “Sunset Over a Pond.”

Category: “I don’t believe in little plans.”

1st Place — Corey Linehan, St. Louis, “Stiltwalker, St. Louis Pride Celebration.”

2nd Place — William Stine, Jefferson City, “Lewis and Clark Bicentennial.”

3rd Place — Linda C. Brown, Memphis, “Procession for Burial of Civil War Veteran.”

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