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As capricious and prone to unpredictable changes as serials in general library collections, government documents serials possess special features that make them particularly difficult to catalog and manage, from government documents-specific MARC fields and coding to SuDoc numbers and distinctive enumeration that can complicate holdings statements. Electronic government documents serials present another set of complex cataloging challenges involving GPO's use of the single-record approach in serial records. Ensuring that cataloging records reflect the unique characteristics of government documents serials and yet "play well" with other serial records in the library ILS can be tricky, particularly if the cataloging of government documents serials is performed by staff outside the department. Each of the three presenters brings a specific perspective on these peculiarities: Fang Gao describes the cataloging of government document serials from the perspective of a cataloger working at the Government Printing Office's Library Technical Information Services Department--providing a voice from the source. Joseph Nicholson offers the point of view of the local cataloger who must make government documents' records conform to the guidelines of the individual library's online catalog. Stephanie Braunstein will moderate and share her frustrations, mostly having to do with providing logical and uncomplicated access to government information, as a Government Documents Department Head in a Regional Federal Depository Library that also happens to be a library in a major research library.
Stephanie Braunstein and Joseph R. Nicholson, Louisiana State University; Fang Huang Gao, Government Printing Office