Collection Development Policy
Government Documents Collections
Calvin T. Ryan Library University of Nebraska at Kearney
Revised June, 2009
Note: Policy developed according to Federal Depository Handbook. Chapter 5, (see below, selected sections)
Chapter 5, Depository Collections
Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Page 3 of 22
5.2 Building Your Depository Collection
5.2.A The Collection Development Policy
Building a depository collection begins with a well written collection development policy, regularly reviewed and updated as appropriate. It should include the following to maximize your service to the community:
- A community analysis of the Federal Government information needs of your library’s users to include subjects, formats, languages, special products, and age-appropriate materials.
- Identification of the information needs of the congressional district, state, region, or local area, and collect only the items best suited to meet those needs.
- Strategies for meeting the Federal Government information needs of the primary library patron community and, if different, the general public. This may include cooperative collection development efforts with neighboring depository libraries.
- Procedures for providing documents requested by users but not selected by your library; this may mean inter-depository coordination of selections, cooperative collection development, and interlibrary loan to provide access in your local area to seldom used items.
- Intensity levels and subject strengths of your existing collection which you may want to continue and enhance, or which you may want to transfer to another depository to strengthen their collection.
- Practical guidelines for format selection decisions based upon your users’ needs.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ROLE AND MISSION STATEMENT
Role and Mission Statement
Subject Areas of the Depository Collection
Subject Areas and Collection Arrangement
Selection Tools, Non-Depository Items, Retrospective Sources
Non-Depository/Not Selected Items
Weeding and Maintenance
Assistance for Users
Paper Indexes Located in the Government Documents Area
Government Produced Indexes Located in the Government Documents Area
Guides to Indexes and Other Resources
Citation Guides for Government Documents
"Info. on..." Guides to Compact Discs
"Internet Info. On..." Series
Bibliographic Instruction and Outreach
The Calvin T. Ryan Library supports the mission of the University of Nebraska at Kearney through the provision of information resources and delivery of technology needed to support the teaching, research and scholarship of the UNK campus community, off campus education, and distance learning programs.
In fulfilling this mission, the Library acquires and manages informational resources and also cooperates with other libraries, especially those within the University of Nebraska system, to provide access to resources and services not physically available at UNK.
In partnership with teaching faculty, the Library strives to develop in UNK students an increased awareness of available resources and skills necessary to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate and utilize it effectively.
Because of the location and the nature of the resources, the Calvin T. Ryan Library also serves as an informational focal point for central Nebraska.
(From: Calvin T. Ryan Library Mission Statement, undated) (10/05, no longer available online)
The purpose of Calvin T. Ryan Library's government documents collections, which include federal and Nebraska state government documents, is to serve the needs of the University of Nebraska at Kearney's (UNK) undergraduate and graduate curriculum, its students, faculty, administrators, and staff, as articulated in the mission statement, above.
In accordance with requirements defined in the Federal Depository Library Handbook, Chapter 5, information needs of the residents of the Third Congressional District of Nebraska must also be considered.
Calvin T. Ryan Library was designated a federal depository in 1962 and is one of two federal government document depository libraries in the Third Congressional District of Nebraska. The depository library program is coordinated by the U. S. Government Printing Office (GPO). The Library was designated a depository for Nebraska state documents in 1978.
Calvin T. Ryan Library and the other smaller federal depository 300 miles west of Kearney are responsible for providing service to a geographical area covering approximately two-thirds of the state of Nebraska, comprising the Third Congressional District: 62,879 square miles (Nebraska: 76,877 square miles). The nearest depository to the east is 130 miles away in Lincoln and all other federal depositories in Nebraska are east of Lincoln. There are no depositories in Nebraska to the north or south of Kearney. Collection development parameters for C. T. Ryan Library, therefore, are different than would be the case if another federal government documents depository was nearby.
This collection development policy will be revised to conform to the overall Library collection development policy if such a policy is developed in the future.
The Library is committed to providing free and unimpeded public access to government documents, both for its primary users and for citizens of the state of Nebraska. The Library is accessible to persons with disabilities, as are the government documents collections which are shelved in open stacks on the Library's second floor. A ramp and elevators provide access into the library and to the second floor. All government documents with the exception of selected reference titles circulate out of the library, for the same period of time as materials from the general collection. As an educational institution funded by the state of Nebraska, any citizen may check materials out of the Library with no cost.
The depository library logo is posted at the Library's outside entrance and in several locations in the Government Documents Department.
The Library currently selects 55% of the item numbers available to depository libraries. Selection is based on current and potential information needs of faculty and students, faculty research, information requested by community users, actual use of similar materials, and potential for use. As electronic access to government information continues to expand, the Documents Librarian will keep abreast of developments. The Library will provide access to electronic formats to the best of its ability. (See "Formats", "Access", and "Electronic Access" sections.) The Library has no plans to significantly increase the percentage of item numbers it selects. The addition of item numbers for electronic-only publications has resulted in a slight increase in the percent of item numbers selected by the Library over the last eight years (54%, 2001 to 55.2% in 2009).
As a Nebraska state documents depository, the Library received all documents sent under this program. There was no selectivity and documents were sent on microfiche only. Distribution of depository state documents on microfiche ceased in 2005. The Documents Department also receives selected paper Nebraska documents that it orders on a title-by-title basis or receives direct from various state agencies. Nebraska government agencies are increasing distribution of their publications in electronic formats. (See next section also.)
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Calvin T. Ryan Library's government documents depository selects federal materials which support the curriculum of the University of Nebraska at Kearney, its teaching faculty, areas of emphases and specialization, and research efforts. Additional materials are selected based on needs of area residents and businesses. Development of the collection is also guided by the fact that there are no other federal depositories within a reasonable distance.
With increasing amounts of government information available electronically, information is more easily available directly to campus users and residents of the Third Congressional District. The Library selects what it wishes to receive in electronic-only series following guidelines used for tangible formats. Beginning in 2005, all new tangible government documents are cataloged and linked if also available online. Electronic-only titles are individually selected for addition to the catalog. (See also Internet Use Policy: Federal Depository Library Materials, Calvin T. Ryan Library and Public Service Policy: Electronic Federal Depository Library Materials, Calvin T. Ryan Library.)
Nebraska documents were received automatically with no selectivity possible until 2005. As noted above, distribution of depository microfiche by the Nebraska Library Commission (NLC) ceased in 2005 in favor of making full-text documents available electronically. Periodic lists of new electronic titles from NLC are reviewed for titles to add and link in the online catalog. Flyers, periodicals, the NLC's What's Up Doc newsletter, and other sources are reviewed for additional titles to order for the collection. Documents are also received direct from state agencies.
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As a selective federal government documents depository library, the Library selects the series of publications it wishes to receive.
Selection of item numbers and collection development for the federal government documents collection is a responsibility of the Library's Government Documents Librarian. As appropriate, other librarians on the staff and teaching faculty may be consulted and recommendations are considered from University students and the general public. Final selection decisions rest with the Government Documents Librarian. The Library strives to acquire appropriate commercially produced paper and electronic indexing resources within the confines of its budget.
Item number selections are reviewed annually during the May - July update cycle. Deselection of item numbers is done then and also throughout the year as needed. Items added to existing selected item numbers during the year are considered in the same fashion. Careful selection and space limitations limit the size of the tangible collection. The Library currently selects 55% (2009) of available item numbers, a number that has gone up slightly over the past several years because the U. S. Government Printing Office assigns item numbers to government publications published only in electronic format. This adds an item number to the Library's selection profile but has no impact on physical processing workload or space requirements.
As the transition to electronic-only publications continues, "selection" as currently used has become a moot point. Every depository has access to information federal agencies make available electronically. In effect, each depository has access to information as if it were a "full" depository.
SUBJECT AREAS AND COLLECTION ARRANGEMENT
The Library selects all of the titles listed in the "Basic Collection" recommended by the Government Printing Office, Federal Depository Library Handbook, Chapter 5. All are cataloged and linked if online. (List updated by GPO, 19 March 2009; titles checked against Library holdings June, 2009.)
It will strongly consider all items listed in the Suggested Core Collection by Library Type section of the Federal Depository Library Handbook, Appendix A (2008). A review done in October, 2000 of item numbers in this 47-page appendix showed the Library selecting 93% of all titles recommended for academic depository libraries. The Library selects 89% of the total item numbers recommended for all three types of libraries on the list: small/medium public libraries, academic, and law libraries. (Some item numbers on the lists are now inactive and no longer available for depository selection.)
In addition to a core collection, the Library will also determine which additional item numbers are needed to support the University's undergraduate and graduate degree programs and needs of the public. The University of Nebraska at Kearney Undergraduate Catalog and the University of Nebraska at Kearney Graduate Catalog (both at this link) lists of departments and majors offered are used as a guide to the curriculum.
Subject/area strengths of the collection include census materials, Congressional publications, education, government, social sciences, health and human services, and criminal justice. These areas of concentration reflect, in part, programs offered by the University and needs of the surrounding geographical area.
Basic core materials are selected including reference tools, government periodicals, statistical series, Congressional publications, maps, directories, bibliographies, annual reports, general publications, yearbooks, handbooks, manuals, and guides and other significant monographs and series from all federal agencies.
The Library does not select publications of a highly technical nature, posters, most picture sets, forms, press releases, separates when the main item is selected, environmental impact statements, agency-issued laws and regulations, policy/procedure/training manuals meant for in-house use by government agencies, military manuals and technical reports, and other types of material not deemed necessary to support user needs.
In general, selection decisions should favor inclusion rather than exclusion because there is no other depository in the area. Providing users with information locally is preferred over referring them to the nearest federal depository library (130 miles away in Lincoln). The federal government's transition to electronic publishing further broadens the information base available while simultaneously making it more difficult for the Library to provide service to users who may never enter its front door. The Library's web pages, mentioned below, have a link for users to request assistance.
Within budget parameters, the Library will purchase appropriate paper and online indexes and equipment to provide access to the items it selects.
The federal government documents collection is shelved in Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) call number order in two collections: documents reference collection and main documents collection. The Nebraska documents collection constitutes the third portion of the collections.
A selective housing agreement for maps has been in force with the Geography Department, University of Nebraska at Kearney, since 1985. Maps sent to this joint housing site are checked in, to the piece level, in the Library's shelf list. All are stamped to indicate ownership, date, and depository status.
The Geography Department selects map series from the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (formerly Defense Mapping Agency) and the United States Geological Survey. Selection is based on needs of faculty and students. The collection is open for use and check out by students and faculty from all academic departments, as well as the public. When the joint housing agreement was initiated, the goal was to have more specialized maps housed in the Geography Department and to have coverage of Nebraska, the United States and the world at different scales housed in the Library. This goal continues to guide development of the collection. Maps in the Geography Department are kept in map cases with access provided by marked index maps. As with other government publications, fewer paper maps are currently being received as agencies transition to providing them online.
A copy of the joint housing agreement, signed by the Director of Libraries and Chair of the Geography Department, was sent to the Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., and to the regional (Love Library, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska) when the agreement was initiated.
The joint housing site is consulted during the annual item number update cycle to determine if it wishes to add to its selections. In addition, it has been made aware that item numbers may be dropped at any time during the year.
A joint housing agreement with Kearney Public Library and Information Center was in effect from 1986 through 1997 when it was terminated by mutual agreement.
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Format will not be a primary consideration in selection of item numbers. Content and potential for use will be. The Library can provide access to information in any format currently available, including microform and electronic. Paper is the preferred format for core collection titles and general interest material, if a choice is available.
The Library has paper-to-paper copiers, microform readers, reader/printers, and scanners. The Government Documents Department has microform readers and portable microfiche readers that may be checked out of the Library. Computers with open Internet access are available in the government documents area and elsewhere in the Library. A printer connected to the Library's networked system is located in the Government Documents Department.
The Government Printing Office's "New Electronic Titles" lists, published monthly, are the primary selection tool for adding electronic-only titles to the Library's catalog. All new tangible government documents received since 2004 are cataloged in the Library's online system and have links if available. Selected older titles are also cataloged and some are linked.
Tangible electronic formats are selected based on information content and anticipated use. In some cases, items formerly published in paper are available only on compact disc; if the paper item was selected, the compact disc one will be also. In general, all tangible electronic format publications will be selected. Item numbers are less than specific (commonly, simply "electronic products" from an agency) so it is difficult to determine in advance whether products will be useful or not. Item numbers can be dropped at any point if it becomes apparent that materials are not suitable for addition to the collection. Compact discs with data only (no software) will be selected if deemed suitable to support specific academic programs and research. Discs that contain information more suitable for agency in-house use are not selected.
The Department's web page
provides links to sites that index federal agency electronic information by title and by subject. Bibliographies and class handouts are also used to disseminate information about electronic government information.
The Government Printing Office's lists of "New Electronic Titles
", published monthly, are the primary selection tool for adding electronic-only titles to the Library's catalog. Emphasis is now being placed on electronic formats over tangible ones. Electronic availability better serves distance students and is becoming preferred by on-campus students. The general public also benefits when titles are linked in the Library's catalog.
Another selection tool used for collection development is the current issue of the List of Classes of United States Government Publications Available for Selection by Depository Libraries
. A copy marked with selections served as the foundation for collection development decisions. Information from the U. S. Government Manual
about an agency's mission is used as an indication of possible subject areas in which the agency may publish.
In addition, all shipping lists are reviewed for potential new item numbers to add and to gain an overview of receipts under currently selected item numbers. A list is compiled throughout the year of item numbers to consider adding or dropping.
Item numbers created to separate out a title or series from an existing item are reviewed with the same scrutiny as item numbers that are new to the system. Item numbers for "general electronic publications" will generally be selected unless it is obvious that they do not suit the Library's needs. The item numbers can be dropped at any time if the titles received are unsuitable.
The lists of core materials and maps (see "Subject Areas..."
section, above) in the Depository Library Handbook
and recommendations from the suggested core collection for small academic libraries were reviewed in 2000. (Library selects 93% of listed items.)
Non-depository sources with collection development information include GOVDOC-L (an electronic discussion list for persons interested in government documents), DttP, Documents to the People
, and reviews and "best" document lists in Library Journal
and other professional journals. Books such as Joe Morehead's Introduction to United States Government Information Sources
and Boyd and Rips United States Government Publications
also provide overviews of current and historical publications and series. In addition, news broadcasts and newspapers may indicate subjects of potential high interest to the local area. Input is welcomed from library faculty and library users as well.Non-depository/Not Selected Items
With the availability of electronic-only publications, the Library is able to selectively catalog titles from item numbers it does not select.
The Government Documents Librarian also uses the sources listed above to identify non-depository/not selected tangible titles for acquisition. With availability of titles on the Internet, very few titles are ordered now because many are on-line and/or are no longer available in a tangible format.Retrospective Sources
The Library does not emphasize adding retrospective materials, primarily because of lack of space and demand. (See below for Library indexes to retrospective titles.) The institution's emphasis on scholarly teaching rather than research also influences this decision. However, efforts are made to replace materials that have been lost or damaged by reviewing discard lists on GOVDOC-L. Gaps in serial holdings are noted and searched also.
The regional library in Lincoln and interlibrary loan are used for retrospective materials not held in the collection. Users needing to do extensive research using retrospective materials are referred to the regional.
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There is no other depository library in the immediate geographical area.
The primary source for obtaining government information not available in Calvin T. Ryan Library is the regional: Love Library, University of Nebraska - Lincoln.
The library at the University of Nebraska at Omaha is also a large federal government documents depository library.
Collection evaluation is done as part of the annual item number review in May-June and on an ongoing basis. Throughout the year a list of item numbers to consider for selection is compiled when shipping lists are reviewed. A list is also compiled of possible items to deselect. Since it is difficult to ascertain from the List of Classes
whether or not a series is needed, searches by item number are done on Marcive WebDOCS
to review past publishing activity and subjects. This helps determine, in a general way, the number of titles being sent under a specific item number.
As mentioned above, standard and core lists defined in the Federal Depository Library Handbook
have been checked against selections. All core list titles are also linked in the on-line catalog.
Information about user needs is also gathered from questions asked in the Department. Statistics are kept of reference, quick, and general information questions answered in the Government Documents Department. Counts are made of government documents used in the department and elsewhere in the Library. Circulation statistics indicate use of the collection. The Library's on-line system has an option that allows users to send comments to the Library Dean. An option to make comments directly to the Government Printing Office has been added to the Department's web pages.
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WEEDING AND MAINTENANCE
Weeding of the collection is done on an ongoing basis and as space limitations dictate. On a regular basis, superceded titles in both tangible and electronic formats are withdrawn from the collection.
Weeding of the entire collection (except the Y'4's) was completed in June, 2009.
Discard procedures established by the regional are followed. For current instructions see: Discarding Procedures for Federal Selective Depository Libraries in Nebraska [no date; viewed 6/09]
These procedures state, in part:
- --all materials must be retained for five years, in keeping with GPO guidelines.
- --except for large runs of fiche sets, selectives may discard fiche without offering on a discard list.
- --floppy disks do not need not be listed
The following must be listed on a discard list and approval granted by the regional to discard:
- --paper materials received prior to 1970
- --documents about Nebraska or the surrounding geographical area
- --titles from the depository library core collection list
- --hard cover documents
- --depository CD-ROM products and their support materials
- --large runs of serials or periodicals
- --depository material deemed "significant" and of possible interest to other selectives in Nebraska
Love Library reviews discard lists from selectives, makes its selections, e-mails lists to all selectives in Nebraska, and sets a deadline for claiming. After the deadline, the Government Documents Dept. may forward the list to the national "Needs and Offers List" if desired.
The Government Documents Department uses the Superseded List as an important part of its weeding effort. Notes are maintained in the bibliographic record for titles in which only the most recent edition is kept. Discretion is used in following the List, however. The newest and next to newest editions of important titles are often retained, for example. The 2002 edition of the List and its 2008 update formed the basis for the 2009 weeding project mentioned above.
Other considerations that may be used in discarding/weeding are:
- --need for the information contained in the document
- --currency of the information
- --apparent and expected use
- --physical condition of the document
- --availability of a more current equivalent on the Internet
The only tangible government document title routinely replaced by another format is the Federal Register which the Library purchases on microfilm. This practice is no longer followed because of online permanent availability of the full-text of the Federal Register.
Lists are kept of lost or stolen government documents and others which must be replaced because of wear. Other libraries' discard lists, Needs and Offers, and GOVDOC-L are searched for replacements. If a title is available from GPO, a replacement copy is purchased.
The Government Documents Librarian pulls documents for in-house repair or the item is sent to the bindery. Size of the document, value of the information, and expected future use are considered in the bindery decision made.
See Access Policy for Federal Depository Library Materials: Government Documents Collections, Calvin T. Ryan Library".
At the end of FY 07-08 the collection contained 275,319 federal paper items and fiche titles, 17,179 Nebraska documents, 216,371 microfiche pieces, 2,122 compact discs, 181 DVD's, and 3,840 maps.
See also "Electronic Access" section, below.
The Library's Cataloging Department processes all new tangible government documents. New titles received in tangible format are cataloged or checked-in in the Library's on-line catalog. If available, links are added to the bibliographic records.
Electronic-only titles selected from GPO's monthly "New Electronic Titles" lists are sent to Cataloging to be added to the online catalog.
ASSISTANCE FOR USERS
The Department is headed by an MLS-degreed librarian with over thirty years experience in government documents who works full-time in the department (except for assigned day, evening, and weekend hours on the main reference desk). The librarian is an associate professor and tenured. Other library faculty staff the reference desk and provide assistance for government documents when the Documents Librarian is not available.
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Major commercial indexes held by the Library that include government documents are listed below. All are located in, or are accessible on computers located in, the Government Documents Department and elsewhere in the Library.
Students, faculty, and staff may use the on-line resources from off-campus. Public access from off-campus to commercial electronic resources is restricted by vendor licensing agreements. The public is welcome to come to the Library, however, and use any of the on-line indexes/databases.
Several major government-produced on-line indexes available to the public are linked from the Library's index pages including PubMed, STAT-USA and USA Trade Online (user limits apply), Medline Plus, NCJRS Abstracts Database, and the PILOTS Database.
LexisNexis Government Periodicals Index
Paper indexes located in the government documents area:
American Statistics Index (ASI). (1973 - 2001)
Congressional Information Service Index (CIS). (1965 - 1999)
Cumulative Subject Index to the Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications, 1900 - 1971. (Buchanan)
Cumulative Title Index to United States Public Documents, 1789 - 1976.
Guide to U. S. Government Publications. (Andriot)
Index to U. S. Government Periodicals. 1970 - 1987.
Shepard's Acts and Cases by Popular Names: Federal and State. (current subscription)
U. S. Serial Set Index. (American State Papers through the 57th Congress and 86th Congress - 91st Congress).
United States Treaty Index, 1776 -. (Hein's)
Government produced indexes, located in the Government Documents area (selected titles):
Checklist of United States Public Documents, 1789 - 1909, Vol. 1. GPO, 1911.
Catalog of the Public Documents of the Congress and All Departments of the Government of the United States, 1893 - 1940. GPO, 1893 - 1940.
Tables of and Annotated Index to the Congressional Series of United States Public Documents. GPO, 1902.
A Descriptive Catalogue of the Government Publications of the United States, September 5, 1774 - March 4, 1881. Vol. 1 - 2. Ben Perley Poore. GPO, 1885.
Comprehensive Index to the Publications of the United States Government, 1881 - 1893. Vol. 1 - 2. John G. Ames. GPO, 1905.
Monthly Catalog of U. S. Government Publications. 1895 - 1960 (microfiche), 1941 - 1992 (bound), 1993 - 1995 (microfiche), 1996 - 1999 (compact disc), 2000 - 2004 (paper), and online, 1976 - .
The Department has a set of pathfinders for various resources ( linked below if online).
Other guides have been written for federal legal research on LexisNexis Academic (a basic research guide and an advanced search tips guide), Nebraska legal research on LexisNexis Academic, LexisNexis Congressional, LexisNexis Government Periodicals Index, LexisNexis Statistical, the Nebraska Statutes, Nebraska documents, Nebraska legislative histories, Nebraska laws and legislation, and how to get started in government documents.
Guides, also prepared by the Government Documents Librarian, are available for American Statistics Index, Congressional Information Service Index, Index to U. S. Government Periodicals, and the Monthly Catalog of U. S. Government Publications. Paper copies of these guides are located by each index and on a rack by the Department's computers.
The Library does not have a series of subject-oriented pathfinders at present.
See below for bibliographies done by the Government Documents Librarian.
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The Government Documents Department strongly subscribes to promotion of the government documents collection and the Library's depository status. A number of techniques are used to inform users and the public of the availability of documents.
Primary among them is to have all new tangible government documents included in the Library's on-line catalog where they may be located just like any other material held by the Library.
The depository library logo is at the front entrance to the library. Hardboard logos are displayed in the government documents area and depository logo decals are on all government document book trucks.
Government documents are included in Library bibliographic instruction sessions as appropriate.
Certificates from depository library inspections, including a Certificate of Merit, and the certificate designating the Library a Nebraska Documents Depository are framed and displayed in the documents index table/computer area.
The major publicity effort of the Department, the "New Government Documents" list, was discontinued January, 2006 at the request of the then-Library Dean.
Below: A number of bibliographies of government documents and guides to resources and indexes have been prepared and are periodically revised. Two series have been initiated by the Department: "Info on..." and "Internet Info on...". Both contain short (2 - 3 page) guides to resources.
Many of the guides and bibliographies, as linked below, have been added to the Department's web pages. (Additional information is below this list.)
"Career Information in Docs.: A Guide to Career Information in Government Documents". Revised August, 1997. 26 p. + 9 p. index.
"Federal Government Careers: A Bibliography of Materials in the Government Documents Collection, Calvin T. Ryan Library". Revised December, 1995. 27 p.
Curriculum materials in the government documents collections
K - 12 materials:
- (Both subject and grade-level indexes are included in the K - 12 bibliographies.)
"Curriculum Materials for Use with Grades K - 12: A Bibliography of Government Documents". February, 1989. Reformatted and slightly revised, 1996. 26 p. + 5 p. index. (Also published as ERIC Document ED 378 981.)
"New K - 12 Curriculum Materials in the Government Documents Collection, 1989 - 1993". October, 1993. 29 p. + 9 p. index. (Also published as ERIC Document ED 377 886.)
"K - 12 Curriculum Materials in the Government Documents Collection, Titles Added from October, 1993 - July, 1995". July, 1995. 23 p. + 5 p. index.
"K - 12 Curriculum Materials in the Government Documents Collection, Titles Added, 1995 - 1998". June, 1998. 20 p. + 5 p. index.
"New Curriculum Materials Added to the Government Documents Collection, K - 12 Titles Added August, 2002 - ." Online only.
Adult level materials:
"Curriculum Materials for Use with Adult Groups: A Bibliography of Government Documents". February, 1989. 15 p. + 5 p. index. (Also published as ERIC Document, ED 378 980.)"New Adult Level Curriculum Materials in the Government Documents Collection, 1989 - 1993". November, 1993. 10 p. + 5 p. index. (Also published as ERIC document ED 377 887.)
"Adult Level Curriculum Materials in the Government Documents Collection: Titles Added 1994 - June, 1998". June, 1998. 14 p. + 3 p. index.
Other curriculum-related bibliographies:
"Curriculum Guides and Aids in the Nebraska Documents Collection". March, 1994. 49 p. + 8 p. index. (Also published as a Nebraska Document, C2800 D003 -1994)
"Cultural Diversity and Multiculturalism: A Bibliography of Government Documents". March, 1997. 26 p. + 13 p. index."Cultural Diversity and Multiculturalism: A Bibliography of Government Documents, 1997 - 2001". November, 2001. 13 p. + 3 p. index.
Other bibliographies of government documents
"Computer Data Files: Compact Discs and Floppy Disks in the Government Documents Collection". Revised December, 1998. 37 p."Information about Nebraska in the Nebraska Documents Collection". March, 1994. 41 p. (Also published as a Nebraska Document, C2800 D004 -1994) Updated by Nebraska Documents about Nebraska. December, 2007 - . Online only."Grants and Grant Writing Information: A Bibliography of Government Documents". Revised June, 1998. 45 p. "Nebraska Ecosystems, Geology, Ground and Surface Water, Ogallala Aquifer, and Water Quality: A Bibliography of Government Documents" . June, 1999. 25 p. + 5 p. index. Updated by online-only version, November, 2007 - ."Guide to Genealogy Resources in Government Documents". Revised December, 1999. 20 p.Resources About Terrorism. (Compiled October, 2001; updated 2001 - ; online only.Primary Materials Concerning Native Americans. October, 2004, revised November, 2006. (Includes titles from other Library collections also.)
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Guides to indexes and other resources
Advanced Searching and Search Tips: Federal Legal Research Using LexisNexis Academic. (Revised October, 2002)
Advanced Searching and Search Tips: Marcive WebDOCS; revised October, 2002.
Basic Instructions, Federal Legal Research Using LexisNexis Academic; revised May, 2005.
Basic Instructions: LexisNexis Congressional; revised October, 2002.
Basic Instructions: LexisNexis Government Periodicals Index; revised October, 2002.
Basic Instructions: LexisNexis Statistical; revised October, 2002.
Basic Instructions: Marcive WebDOCS; revised October, 2002.
Basic Instructions, Nebraska Legal Research Using LexisNexis Academic; revised May, 2005.
How to Find Nebraska Legislative Histories; revised July, 2001.
How to Get Started in Government Documents; revised October, 2002.
How to Use the American Statistics Index; revised October, 2002.
How to Use the Congressional Information Service (CIS) Index; revised October, 2002.
How to Use the Index to U. S. Government Periodicals; revised October, 2002.
How to Use the Monthly Catalog of U. S. Government Publications; revised October, 2002.
How to Use the Revised Statutes of Nebraska; revised October, 2002.
Nebraska Documents; revised June, 2007.
Nebraska Laws and Legislation; revised July, 2001.
"Portable Microfiche Readers". 1994. 1 p.
Citation guides for government documents
How to Cite Government Documents. Kate L.Turabian. 6th edition. (Revised March, 2008.)
How to Cite Government Documents According to the Chicago Manual of Style. 15th edition. (Revised April, 2008.)
How to Cite Government Documents According to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association. 5th edition. (Revised April, 2005.)
How to Cite Government Documents According to the MLA Handbook. 6th edition. (Revised December, 2004.)
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Agriculture Census: 1987 Census of Agriculture on CD-ROM, Volume 1, Geographical Area Series, State Date File, County Data File. June, 1997. 2 p.
American Housing Survey (CD). August, 1997. 2p.
Census Block Statistics: 1990 Census of Population and Housing, Block Statistics, 100% Data (CD). August, 1997. 3 p.
Census by ZIP Code: 1990 Census of Population, Summary Tape File (STF) 3B, Census by ZIP Code (CD). August, 1997. 3 p.
Census Congressional Districts - 100% Data: Congressional Districts of the United States, Summary Tape File 1D, Summary Tape File 3D (STF1D - STF3D) 100% Data - (STF1D) (CD). August, 1997. 3 p.
Census EEO Data: 1990 Census of Population and Housing, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) File (CD). August, 1997. 3 p.
Census PL 94-171: 1990 Census of Population and Housing, Public Law 94-171 (Voting District) Data (CD). August, 1997. 3 p.
Census STF1A: 1990 Census of Population and Housing, Summary Tape File 1A, 100% Data (STF1A) (CD). August, 1997. 3 p.
County and City Data Book, 1994, Compact Disc (CD). December, 1997. 3 p.
"County Business Patterns, 1992 and 1993 (CD)". April, 1996. 2 p.
County Business Patterns, 1994 and 1995 (CD). March, 1998. 2 p.
Crime in the United States, 1995 (CD). January, 1998. 3 p.
EDsearch: Education Statistics on Disc, 1993 (CD). September, 1996. 3 p.
EPADOC (CD). December, 1997. 3 p.
"Health Care Reform: A Selection of Government Documents". October, 1994. 6 pgs.
"NAFTA: The North American Free Trade Agreement". June, 1995. 5 p.
National Trade Data Bank (CD). March, 1998. 4 p.
"1994 Green Book: Overview of Entitlement Programs (CD)". June, 1996. 2 p.
OOH: Occupational Outlook Handbook on CD-ROM. Revised December, 1997. 2 p.
OSHA: OSHA CD-ROM. March, 1998. 3 p.
Publications from the National Center for Health Statistics, Featuring Health, United States, 1996 - 1997 (CD). January, 1998. 3 p.
"Traffic Safety Data: 1988 - 1993 CD-ROM". May, 1996. 2 p.
USA Counties: 1994 (CD). December, 1997. 4 p.
U. S. Exports of Merchandise (CD). December, 1997. 3 p.
U. S. Imports of Merchandise (CD). December, 1997. 2 p.
U. S. Foreign Affairs on CD-ROM. March, 1998. 2 p.
Evaluating Internet Web Sites and Resources. Revised September, 2008.
Federal Government Internet Sites. Revised February, 2005.
Nebraska State Government Internet Sites. Revised January, 2007.
Tax Information on the Internet. Revised April, 2007.
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Paper copies of the above bibliographies and guides (except the online-only titles) are located on literature racks, by the index, or in notebooks by computers in the government documents area and are free to users. All are rubber stamped "With Our Compliments, Government Documents Department, Calvin T. Ryan Library, University of Nebraska at Kearney".
"Curriculum Guides and Aids in the Nebraska Documents Collection" (1994) and "Information about Nebraska in the Nebraska Documents Collection" (1994) were cataloged and added to the state's Nebraska Documents Collection by the Nebraska Library Commission, as noted above.
The "Computer Data Files... " bibliography, above, was used as the basis for a bibliography posted (with permission) on the Internet by Jerry W. Breeze, Head of the Documents Service Center, Columbia University, New York City, N. Y. in the spring, 1996.
The Documents Librarian contributed a disk with new or revised guides and bibliographies to the ALA GODORT Education Committee's annual handout exchange for a number of years. A number of the guides listed above are included on the University of Michigan's GODORT Handout Exchange web site.
In addition to having four bibliographies in the ERIC collection, as above, four other bibliographies on the above list were included in "Recent Literature on Government Information" by Susan M. Ryan, in the Journal of Government Information: An International Review of Policy, Issues, and Resources, vol. 23, no. 2, pg. 187, March/April, 1996 issue.
For several years (2003 - 2006), a university faculty member in California requested permission to link to one of the "how to cite" guides.
Several In Brief Online (Library newsletter) articles have been written about tangible and virtual government document resources. Each semester the Library also issues a printed newsletter, In Brief, in which articles about government document resources have been published.
General brochures describing the Library's services and collections have sections about the Government Documents Collections, as does the Library's section of the University of Nebraska at Kearney's home page.
Posters, signs, and the depository library logo from the Government Printing Office are displayed in the government documents area and on the ends of stacks. Brochures and bookmarks about the federal depository library system are on the Department's display rack.
A small table in the documents area holds a display of selected new government documents and is changed weekly.
Magazine racks in the documents area hold the most recent issue of a number of government document periodicals.
As mentioned above, a joint housing agreement is in place with the Geography Department, University of Nebraska at Kearney.
The Department participates in the IRS BPOL (Banks, Post Offices, Libraries) program for distribution of income tax forms and also makes Nebraska income tax booklets for individuals available.
The Government Documents Librarian teaches a number of bibliographic instruction classes each semester. Classes are from assigned academic liaison departments and any others that request bibliographic instruction in government documents. An outline/bibliography is prepared for each class. During fiscal year 2007 - 2008, a total of 13 courses from five academic departments received bibliographic instruction from the government documents librarian. A total of 350 students and faculty were included. All presentations/handouts included coverage of government document resources.
In 2002, the Documents Librarian gave a presentation about government information on the Internet at a Nebraska Meridian Library System workshop for public and school librarians/media specialists. Handouts for finding government information at agency web sites, using a web index and a search engine were used. Sources of federal, state, and international agency information were given to participants. Updated federal and Nebraska agency web site bibliographies were included in the handout packets as was the draft of a co-authored book chapter about federal web sites for children and adolescents. (“Chapter Twenty-five: Federal and State Government Web Sites for Children and Adolescents”. Janet Stoeger Wilke and Diana J. Keith. In: Digital Resources and Librarians: Case Studies in Innovation, Invention, and Implementation. Pgs. 266 - 272. Edited by Patricia O’Brian Libutti. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2004.)
The Department planned and hosted the annual state-wide federal and state depository libraries meeting in June, 2000. During the morning session Nebraska's federal regional depository librarian and the librarian in charge of Nebraska state depositories updated government document librarians and staff on recent developments. The afternoon presentation by a representative from the Nebraska State Data Center was about Bureau of the Census products, emphasizing expected 2000 census publications. Fifteen librarians and staff from ten Nebraska state and federal depositories attended the morning meeting and 18 were in attendance in the afternoon.
Other outreach efforts in the past include tours for area genealogy groups and presentations for the Unversity's Summer Synergy programs.
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See also Internet Use Policy: Federal Depository Library Materials, Calvin T. Ryan Library and Public Service Policy: Electronic Federal Depository Library Materials, Calvin T. Ryan Library.
- Computers in the Government Documents Department have the same capabilities as other public access computers in the Library and are upgraded on schedule with them. The Library furnishes ear phones for listening from its public access computers. It provides application software on all Library computers.
A bibliographic instruction computer laboratory opened on the Library's main floor in October, 2000. A second student/public computer lab opened on the Library's lower level in the fall, 2002. The labs are open to anyone when not in use for library bibliographic instruction or information technology classes. All Library computers have CD/DVD drives and USB ports, full Internet access, and application software.
Access to individual federal document titles is available via the Library's online catalog. All newly received tangible documents are cataloged and linked if on-line. Older titles are selectively cataloged and linked. The Government Documents Department home page links to other titles and government sites.
- Computers in the Library are available to the public during all hours the Library is open (92 1/2 hours per week, August - May; slightly shorter hours in the summer). Users on and off campus may access the Library's system and use federal and state government links and resources with no restrictions. The only exceptions to free access are indexes and databases restricted by vendor contract to use by the UNK community.
Computers are hooked into a networked printing system. Users may print from printers on any floor of the library. Student ID cards are encoded with free copies for networked printing at the start of each semester. When these are used, students must pay to have more copies put on their cards. The public must buy print cards. Three computers in the documents area print to the networked print system.
Within the constraints of its budget, the Library has initiated and maintained a commitment to providing access to electronic government information and will continue to do so in the future. To the extent that funding allows, the Library's hardware and software will be kept as current as possible.
- One certainty is that selective depositories will no longer be "selective". The issue then becomes one of sorting through what is available on-line and leading library users to what might be useful.
Present trends indicate that federal agencies will continue to move from paper to electronic information dissemination. The impact of this shift has been much discussed in the professional literature and ranges from archival issues to indexing, access, and equipment issues. The Government Printing Office and Superintendent of Documents continue to plan for a more electronic depository library system. Priorities for the electronic depository should be access and indexing for each federal agency's home page, sub-agency pages, general reference titles, and individual titles. Accelerated assignment of PURL's will greatly assist with insuring permanent electronic access. Implications and implementation of the more electronic depository plan will affect the way depositories serve their clientele well into the future.
The responsibility for accessing government information will no longer rest almost solely with government documents departments. Other librarians will become more familiar with federal electronic information. Increasing the number of access options in the Library's online catalog will lead to a greater awareness and use of electronic government information for students, faculty, and the public.
Continuing efforts will be needed to identify on-line government sites and publications and publicize their availability. Service needs will change from on-site assistance and use of physical items in paper or microfiche to assistance with identifying likely sites and searching protocols. Major changes in the Library's service levels are not foreseen. The Library will continue to serve users who are familiar with needed resources and those who need a much higher level of assistance, whether the resource is a physical item or available electronically.
The Library will continue to be an regional resource for federal information in paper, microfiche, and electronic formats. It will act as both a repository for paper, fiche, and electronic products and as an alternative for users who do not have access to the Internet via their own computer.
The inexorable shift of federal government information from traditional formats to electronic dissemination is neither being lead by librarians nor controlled by them. It has been mandated by Congress as a "cost saving" measure and the Government Printing Office must abide by what Congress dictates. There is no mandatory system that requires federal agencies to report electronic information they make available. There is no overall policy that ensures standard indexing, archiving, software, or format for agency publications.
The Government Documents Department of Calvin T. Ryan Library will stay abreast of future developments and, as best it can, within resource constraints, strive to continue to provide its users with services and access to federal government information in all formats.
Revised November, 1996
Revised November, 2000
Revised January, 2001
Updated March, 2003
Links updated April, 2006
Links updated June, 2007
Revised June, 2009
Diana J. Keith, Associate Professor
Head, Government Documents Department
Calvin T. Ryan Library
2508 11th Ave.
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Kearney, NE 68849-2240
Michael R. Herbison, Director of Libraries
Calvin T. Ryan Library
2508 11th Ave.
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Kearney, NE 68849-2240
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