The hottest new literary property in some parts of official Washington is a three-inch-thick, $55 loose-leaf volume called "The 411 Community Resource Tie-Line Directory." Government agencies are snapping it up. The Action agency bought 500 copies, the White House bought three dozen, and many congressional offices are buying them, too, because the directory fits neatly with the administration's intensive effort to promote volunteer efforts around the country.

Reaganites are hoping that volunteer organizations will fill some of the gaps left by the reductions in federal spending on domestic programs. To make sure that happens, the government has to know how and where volunteer groups are operating. That's where the "Tie-Line Directory" fits in.

All of which comes as good news to Harriet Kipps, former society editor of The Salem (Va.) Times-Register, who publishes the directory from the rec room of her Annandale home. When she first compiled the book two years ago, she expected the major customers to be grass-roots volunteer groups who needed to find out about similar organizatons. "But with this new administration, I've begun to look at my market differently," the publisher said. "It's the government." Kipps said sales should double next year from 1981's 7,500 copies.