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Government Documents


The Hamerlsy Library collects both Federal and State documents, and, to a limited extent, international and local documents. These materials appear in a variety of formats and are administered and collected according to the requirements of Chapter 19 of Title 44 of the U.S. Code and the guidelines in the Instructions to Depository Libraries, issued by the Library Programs Service, Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office. Materials are selected to enhance the library's collections and support the curricula.

As part of the State of Oregon depository system, the library receives the publications of state agencies, boards and commissions, and the state legislature, when sufficient copies are available. The library is also designated as a U.S. government depository for Polk County for selected publications.


The students, faculty and staff of WOU are the primary users of the library. In addition, we serve the business, governmental and personal needs of the citizens of the region.


Item selections are amended through the annual updates; deselection of items occurs throughout the year.

Responses to periodic item surveys are made in consultation with library collection development faculty, who may consult with university faculty or others, as appropriate. Notification, through Shipping Lists, of items added to existing item numbers are considered in the same manner. E-mail is also used in seeking recommendations from collection developers and in informing them of deselection decisions. Items not offered through the Depository Library Program are selectively purchased. Recommendations for purchase may come from students, faculty, library staff and others.


Selection is based on the perceived educational, informational and recreational needs of the university community and the region at large. Materials support the curriculum as well as the general needs of students, staff and the public. Items deemed outside the needs of this clientele are not selected. All items from the "Suggested Core Collection" of the Federal Depository Library Manual are selected. Other items are selected to meet the above stated needs.


Item selection and deselection are the responsibilities of the library collection development team, which includes all library faculty. Campus faculty and others may also be consulted, as appropriate. This annual review is coordinated by the documents librarian, who has final responsibility for item selection.


The scope of the collection includes basic reference tools, indexed government periodicals, statistical series, Congressional publications and informational publications of all federal agencies. Excluded from the collection are highly technical documents which do not support the curriculum or the needs of the public at large, documents intended for internal use at government agencies (unless they are deemed to include information of value to library clientele), periodicals, such as newsletters, which are not indexed, training manuals, most materials in languages other than English, laws, forms and press releases.

Materials not selected will be obtained for patrons through SUMMIT or through other Interlibrary Loan resources, primarily from the regional depository. FAX facilities are available in the interlibrary loan office. Any interlibrary loan costs are absorbed by the library.


The documents collection is maintained in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Instructions to Depository Libraries. S


As required by law, most materials are retained for five years or longer. Withdrawal at five yearswill be determined by perceived continued usefulness, historic value and/or circulation statistics. Some materials are identified as having significant or historic value and will not be marked for the five-year withdrawal program. Other materials are deemed unsuitable for our collection and are immediately identified for five-year withdrawal. The Superseded List is reviewed throughout the year for items which may be withdrawn immediately because of revised, superseded or dated materials. Collection development librarians also review areas periodically for items which should be withdrawn. All withdrawals are made in accordance with the guidelines set out in Chapter 4 of the Instructions to Depository Libraries.


All documents which are added to the collection are cataloged on OCLC, if copy cataloging is available. Retrospective cataloging is a continuous, as time permits, project. Appropriate commercial indexes such as CIS and ASI are obtained, as budget allows and potential use warrants.


The bulk of the Government Documents collection is intermingled with the library's general collections. Selected materials are added to the Reference collection and to the Ready Reference collection. These items are generally cataloged in Library of Congress classification. Remaining materials are housed in open stacks, which meet all ADA requirements, on the second floor of Hamersly Library. Materials are arranged in SUDOC order. Law materials--the United States Code, the Code of Federal Regulations, the Federal Register, the Statutes at Large and the Congressional Record--are classified Library of Congress and housed in reference. Maps are classified Library of Congress and housed in the map area on first floor. Indexed government periodicals are housed in the periodicals collection and organized by title. Depository microfiche are stored in cabinets located on first floor. Microfiche readers and reader/printers are available near the cabinets. Posters are classified in SUDOC and housed in a poster case near the microfiche cabinets on first floor.


Reference service is provided for government documents at the Refernce Desk on the first floor. All reference librarians do documents reference. Reference service for documents is available at all times that reference service is available.

Assistance in locating materials is provided either from the Reference or Information Desk.


Excepting reference matierials, documents circulate for a period of three weeks, with renewal possible. Photopying facilities are available for paper, microfiche and microfilm originals.

Adapted from materials prepared by Sandy Mitchell, Mankato State University.