E-LEARN: Government Documents


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Florida Tech was appointed as a depository in 1963 and has received documents almost daily since then, housing over 200,000 on the third floor of the library.

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E-LEARN: Government Documents

  1. 1. Government DocumentsWhat are Government Publications?• Any information produced by a governmentagency: city, county, state, federal, orinternational level• Issued in paper, microfiche, video, CD-ROM,floppy disk, or published on the Internet
  2. 2. The types of government information resulting fromthe government can generally be divided into twokinds:• Information about governing and government:Congressional debates and votes, the resulting laws,court decisions, agency activities, and presidentialactions.• Reports from government-funded research: thegovernment spends millions of dollars on researchon physical diseases, mental health, space physics,farming, aquaculture, toxic chemicals, humanities,life sciences, aviation, business, and populationstatistics.
  3. 3. Why Use Government Publications?• For academic research: Governments support and publishresearch and statistics on aeronautics, agriculture, business, theeconomy, diseases, energy, engineering, human relations,nutrition, manufacturing, space, weather, and most othersubjects.• To inform yourself as a responsible citizen: Governments publishthe laws and regulations we live by, the activities of the President,Congress, Governors and Legislatures, the decisions of the Courts,and the activities of departments and agencies of government.• To inform yourself as a consumer: Governments inform andprotect consumers with publications on financial aid to students,national and state parks, health, personal finance and credit, thecost of living, marketing scams, Social Security and Medicarerights, employee rights, veterans benefits, grant programs, patent,trademark, and copyright registrations, and many other areas.
  4. 4. About the Federal Depository Library Program• The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was established byCongress to ensure that the American public has access to itsgovernments information.• For more than 130 years, depository libraries have safeguarded thepublics right to know by collecting, organizing, maintaining, preserving,and assisting users with information from the federal government.• The Government Printing Office (GPO) provides government informationat no cost to designated depository libraries throughout the country.These depository libraries, in turn, provide local, no-fee access togovernment information in all formats in an impartial environment withprofessional assistance.• As institutions committed to equity of access and dedicated to free andunrestricted public use, the nations more than 1,250 depository librariesserve as one of the vital links between "We the people" and ourgovernment.• Any member of the public can visit these depository libraries and use thefederal depository collections.
  5. 5. Florida Tech was appointed as a depository in 1963 and has receiveddocuments almost daily since then, housing over 200,000 on thethird floor of the library.As a selective depository, Florida Tech chooses to receiveapproximately 40% of government publications available throughFDLP, concentrating on those supporting the academic curricula aswell as those needed by the general public. Strengths of thecollection are in NASA, EPA, NOAA, FAA, USGS, ERIC, Census, Patentand Trademark documents, and laws, regulations, and courtdecisions.The University of Florida, which serves as Floridas regionaldepository, receives all documents and retains them permanently asan archive for the states citizens. These documents are availablethrough interlibrary loan.
  6. 6. How to Find Government Information at Evans Library• Online catalog: Approximately 90% of the documents available at FloridaTech may be found in the catalog in the same way as books, by searchingkeyword, author, title, or subject. Those documents not available in thelibrary may be available through interlibrary loan. An increasing numberof government documents are available on the World Wide Web.• Paper indexes: Citations to documents offered to depository librariesfrom all agencies, whether in Florida Techs collection or not, may befound in the Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publicationson third floor index tables (1899-1996). Many older NASA documentsheld by the library are not cataloged but may be located through NASAsSTAR index in the first floor index collection.• Online indexes: Citations to depository documents from 1976 to presentmay be found in the online version of the Monthly Catalog (FirstSearchsGPO database).
  7. 7. Third floor organization• Depository documents in all formats arelocated on the third floor of Evans Library.Paper documents occupy the centerstacks.• Microfiche documents are in gold-coloredcabinets along the west wall, with amicrofiche reader/printer on the first floorfor making copies.• CD-ROMs are in the GovernmentDocuments Office.
  8. 8. Arrangement of documents by call number:• Government publications are arranged by their own uniquesystem of call numbering, the Superintendent ofDocuments (SuDocs) system.• The beginning letter(s) in each call number stands for thefederal issuing agency such as D for Defense Departmentand J for Justice Department. Consequently the documentsare arranged on the floor by agency rather than by subject.• The numbers, which follow the letters, are all wholenumbers, not decimals as in the rest of the library. Thus D1.2: would shelve before D 1.10: because 2 is a smallerwhole number than 10.• Document call numbers may be distinguished from books inthe general collection by the colon ( : ) located in each.
  9. 9. Depository Location:• Location: Third floor of Evans Library.Policies:• Free access to the collection: Everyone is welcome to usethe documents collection within the library. You do nothave to be a Florida Tech student, faculty, or staff member.• Circulation of materials: You may check out mostdocuments with an Evans Library card just as you would abook. Exceptions are reference documents andperiodicals, all of which are labeled "Reference" or "ForLibrary Use Only." Non-university patrons may purchase acommunity card from the first floor Service Desk if theywish to check out documents, or may have their publiclibrary borrow a document through its interlibrary loansystem.
  10. 10. How to Find Government Information on the Internet• Government Resources assembles links to Webpages with the government information mostfrequently requested by Evans Library patrons.Select Federal, State and Local, or International andForeign links.• From the library website Resources menu, chooseGovernment Information. Select GovernmentInternet Sites and then Federal and then AccessGovernment Information. FDSys and USA.gov can beused to find government documents.
  11. 11. Government Informationhttp://lib.fit.edu
  12. 12. Government Internet Sites
  13. 13. FDSysUSA.gov
  14. 14. • FDSys: Provides free online access toofficial publications from all three branchesof the Federal Government.• USA.gov: Designed as a citizen-orientedsite, this official portal to governmentinformation allows users to search millionsof informational and service related federaland state government Web pages. Searchby topic or select a general or advancedsearch.