Government Documents Department

Revision as of 16:57, 18 April 2011 by Virginia Faust (talk | contribs)


The U. S. government is the largest publisher in the world. The GPO (government printing office) prints information for all the various departments- agriculture, education, the census, etc., and prints congressional hearings and reports, presidential papers, the annual budget, the Federal Register and Congressional Record, and so on. It's selections are very strong in social sciences and sciences, especially economics, environment and statistics. There is a GPO building in Washington, DC that does much of the designing, printing, and distributing of materials. The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) disseminates U.S. Government information to the American public through libraries across the nation. This information is available to anyone who wants to see it. Everything in our Gov Docs collection is owned by the government, not the college.

General information about the FDLP and detailed Collection Management procedures can be found here: http://www.fdlp.gov/

Item Selection

We select publications by choosing item numbers, provided by the GPO, that match specific publications or groups of publications.  Once a year we review our selections and add or drop item numbers. Each format- paper, microfiche, or electronic- has a different item number. We can choose which format we want and are increasingly choosing electronic items.

Once we have decided which items are being added or dropped, we then need to go to the OCLC website and go through a similar process.(OCLC is the agency that provides our cataloging records.)

  • http://www.oclc.org/us/en/govdoc/default.htm
  • Go to the section from the left- hand side of the page called "Ordering" and go the the GovDocs Status Change form. Our OCLC symbol is MDY and our current billing partner is Lyrasis.

We also maintain a card file of current item selections and another one for dropped item selections. These contain some useful notes. However, the "current" drawer is not complete. For more info on specific items, and to print a card, you can go to Web Tech Notes http://www.fdlp.gov/collections/collection-maintenance/webtech-notes.


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