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last updated: 4/30/2012

Collection Development Policies - US Government Information

Government Information - United States

  1. Introduction
    1. Purpose of the policy statement
      This policy provides guidelines which define and clarify the full scope of the IUB Libraries' collection development activities for information produced by International Governmental Organizations and national governments from around the world, assigns responsibility for the development of these collections, and informs library users about the principles upon which the selection of materials is made.

    2. Audience
      The potential audience for this document consists of the following: IU Libraries' (university-wide) patrons (including faculty, staff and students in multiple departments), library staff, and library administration. Additionally colleagues at the CIC Libraries and Federal Depository Libraries have also requested this information on many occasions.

      The U.S. collection development policy will be reviewed and revised periodically by the librarians and staff in Government Information, Microforms and Statistical Services in conjunction with other collection managers and the Director of Collection Development.

    3. Description of institution/department and clientele
      The U.S. Collection within GIMSS is similar to approximately 100 collections within the United States, mainly within large research libraries. These collections support research and study in almost all areas of the university, but also provide broad public access to government information as required by the guidelines for Federal Depository Libraries (http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/mgt/index.html#access). Use is predominantly by the disciplines of business, economics, political science, history, education, public administration, journalism, the health sciences, and environmental affairs. The clientele consists of faculty, staff, students (both from IU and surroundings colleges and universities), citizens with special focus on those in the state of Indiana, and members of the general public.

      Personnel devoted solely to development of the U.S. collection include approximately .25 FTE librarian, .5FTE support staff and .5 hourly personnel. Overall, GIMSS personnel consists of 3 FTE librarian and 5 FTE clerical staff members. In addition, it has approximately 5 FTE in student hourly workers.

    4. Brief overview of the collection
      The IU Library, and specifically GIMSS, serves as a depository for the U.S. Federal Government and Indiana State publications. Publications and documents from other state and local governments are acquired selectively, and additional non-depository publications are solicited or acquired to support the federal collection.

      1. History of the collection
        In 1942, the IUB Libraries began a separate collection and department for Government Publications. Because of the quantity of publications being received it was impossible to manually catalog these documents so it was determined to house them as "uncataloged". Separate manual records, using a system that organized the collections by government/agency/series, were maintained until 1997 when the Government Publications Review recommended cataloging all publications within Government Publications Department into IUCAT using the SuDoc classification system for U.S. Federal Documents and the Library of Congress classification system for state and local publications.

      2. Collection strengths and weaknesses
        IUB solicits and receives many publications from local government agencies with emphasis on Bloomington/Monroe County, Indianapolis/Marion County, and other Indiana communities. GIMSS staff stay aware of the resources of the Monroe County Public Library, which also collects many publications of local interest. The strength of the IUB Local Governments Collection is in annual reports, financial reports, and planning documents. Materials are being cataloged and may be accessed through IUCAT.

        The primary emphasis of the state collection is on Indiana documents and those documents which have significance in relation to Indiana, either in scope or subject matter. The Indiana depository program dates back to 1817 but officially began in 1974. IUB is a depository and collects Indiana documents comprehensively. Other state documents are selectively acquired, based on user demand. Many state documents are made available through the Statistical Reference Index microfiche.

        The Indiana University Libraries has been a U.S. Federal Depository since 1878. GIMSS follows the guidelines for collection, electronic services and reference service established through the Federal Depository Library Program within the Government Printing office. As a Federal Depository Library, GIMSS provides public access to depository receipts, including electronic government information products. GIMSS provides assistance with downloading and printing electronic government information in accordance with GPO requirements and guidelines; with costs for printing consistent with printing for other library resources. If more than 10 pages is to be printed, non-IU affiliated patrons will be asked to acquire a guest ADS account, good for 30 days and includes up to 166 pages of printing. There is a charge of $5 for a guest ADS account.

        Receiving almost 88% of the items made available to federal depository libraries, the collection is relatively strong throughout. GIMSS is working with the other IU Campuses towards development of a comprehensive backfile for the ALF of U.S. Government Publications for use by all campuses. All campuses would retain high-use, needed publications but the historical light Archives would be within the ALF. Needs and Offers lists and Discard lists from other libraries are reviewed for items missing from our collection.

        GIMSS attempts to provide a comprehensive collection of Congressional materials, including the Congressional Record and the U.S. Serial Set, with ready access through Lexis-Nexis Congressional, including the Historical Indexes, Statutes at Large and the Historical Full-Text. GIMSS also has a strong collection of statistical resources, with emphasis on publications of the Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the collection is fairly complete for Census statistical publications, GIMSS only collects the manuscript census documents on microfilm for the state of Indiana. The collection is also strong in historical documents from the Department of State, various branches of the military, and Department of Labor. Records of U.S. documents have been included in IUCAT for 1976 to date, plus approximately 75% of the pre-1976 documents have been cataloged (with the exception of about 50% of the microfiche documents received but not yet cataloged). For older materials, access is through indexes including the Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications. The collection shelves by the Superintendent of Documents Classification System.

      3. Subject areas emphasized or deemphasized
        For all U.S. collections, documents and publications on health, labor, education, environment, human rights, status of women, economy, migration, intergovernmental affairs and other topics supporting curricular needs are emphasized. Legislative reports and statistical sources are emphasized for U.S. Federal and Indiana.

      4. Collection locations
        All Indiana documents are shelved on the second floor in GIMSS. Almost 50% of the print federal collection has been transferred to the Auxiliary Library Facility, with an intended additional 25% to be identified and sent during the next 2 years. As of 2003, an estimated 75% of publications from the U.S. Federal government will be received as e-only documents. Non-Indiana State documents are housed in the ALF with the exception of current receipts and some historically important reports on education.
  2. Collecting Responsibility
    Lou Malcomb oversees US and all state and local governments (with review and selection assistance from Pam Glim, Andrea Singer and Bob Goehlert).

  3. Related Collections
    All collections relate but primary interaction is within the humanities and social sciences.

  4. Principal Sources of Supply and Major Selection Tools
    Depository selections are made annually within the Federal Depository system. Other materials are selected through catalogs and publications lists from GPO, Agency websites, Bernan, Lexis-Nexis, Indiana and other state government agencies. Indiana State Documents are received through the Indiana Depository program, with additional materials acquired as possible through review of agency web sites and publications lists.

  5. Preservation
    1. Criteria for selection for preservation and/or mass deacidification
      Items are identified for preservation based on condition and amount of stabilization required specifically for housing in the ALF but also to retain in the collection. GIMSS has an internal triage process for identifying items needing basic treatment versus those that need conservation through the Libraries Preservation unit. Almost 90% remain unbound.

    2. High-priority areas of the collection for preservation review and treatment
      Particular care is taken with materials that date before 1950 and that have been identified as rare or medium rare Of particular concern are Indiana documents issued before 1950, early congressional papers, and anticipated high use items (including journals and statistical materials).
  6. Selection Criteria for ALF
    GIMSS librarians will review collections and select materials with particular focus on the following
    1. Materials that have already been cataloged will be reviewed for transfer to the ALF but also materials within the retro-cataloging project will be identified for ALF as they are processed.
    2. A primary factor for selection is to identify materials that are endangered and need a preservation quality environment.
    3. Publications and documents from ceased agencies and organizations, and or ceased periodicals or series that are not heavily used. Also attention will be paid to publication series that are now available in microfiche or electronic format.
    4. Materials will be sent to ALF if anticipated use is less than 4 times per year.
    5. Items that will not be selected for ALF at this time include
      • Documents and publications from or related to the State of Indiana.
      • Serials that are still being received will not be sent to ALF.
      • Materials that include of statistical tables or specialized information not indexed in recognized indexes but that require consultation for reference inquiries.
    Most U.S. Congressional Publications (Y4's and the U.S. Serial Set) have been moved to ALF.Other U.S. Documents are selected based on ceased agency or series rule and low use. Fragile Indiana documents may be retained in Secure Storage in Main, because of higher-use.Other state documents will be reviewed and considered for ALF; only noted exception are the seemingly oft-requested historical reports from state education agencies.

  7. Digital Projects
    1. Criteria for selection for digitization
      All U.S. Federal documents are in the public domain and thus make ideal candidates for digitization since they carry no copyright restrictions. High demand/popular items are digitized for popular access but it should be noted that these are not "official digital projects". The U.S. Government Printing Office has developed plans for long-term digitization of historical federal documents which will include version and authenticity control and follow national digital standards.

      GIMSS has been working with CIC Libraries on the digitization of Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS), the U.S. Government Manual, the Great Lakes project, and other projects as identified. As of November 2004 we are also working with LOCKSS for DOCS, submitting a grant to initiate capture of born digital documents from federal and/or state agencies.

      GIMSS has had a Partnership with the U.S. Government Printing Office since 1999 to house and maintain the Floppy Disk Project for all U.S. Federal Depository Libraries. All federal documents born on floppy disks are made available via an FTP website. This project may be extended to dated federal CD-ROMs and floppy disks from international agencies if copyright can be obtained.

    2. Priorities for collections to be digitized
      Other than CIC projects, we are interested in working with the Indiana Digital Summitt towards any and all digital projects related to the state of Indiana and specifically any projects dealing with historical Indiana Documents. We have a small grant to study "born digital" state archives and hope the LOCKSS/DOCS project assists with that.
  8. Other Resources and Libraries
    Primarily CIC institutions although we work with all Federal and State Depositories. Have special relationship with the Indiana State Library; all libraries within the state of Indiana, and specifically the other libraries of the Indiana University system.

  9. Consortial Agreements
    CIC, FDLP, and LOCKSS




Government Information Home Page

Revised April 2012


last updated: 4/30/2012