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Collection Development Policy: Federal Government Documents

River Campus Libraries
University of Rochester
September 2005

Introduction
Purpose of document.
Collection Development Responsibility
Collection Highlights
Current collection development
Lending and Borrowing
Access and Cataloging
Other services
Area Resources
Collection Review/Withdrawals
Appendices


Introduction
The primary mission of the Government Documents Department is to support the
teaching, learning, and research needs of the faculty, students and staff of the University.

Located in the 28th U.S. Congressional District, the Department was designated a Federal
Depository library in 1880. The Department provides free access and reference services
to the University of Rochester community, as well as to the residents of the 28th U.S.
Congressional District in accordance with the requirements defined in the Instructions to
Depository Libraries, Guidelines for the Federal Depository Library Program, and
Federal Depository Library Manual.
.

Purpose of document
This document primarily serves as an aid to Library staff in developing the government
documents collection. It may also be used as an orientation tool.


Collection Development Responsibility
Selection of government documents and supporting materials is made by the library
bibliographers in their respective fields of expertise, coordinated by the Head of
Collection Development in consultation with the Government Documents Librarian. The
Government Documents Librarian and the staff of the Department have the responsibility
for organizing, processing, ordering, discarding, cataloging, and the general care of the
collection, as well as purchasing commercially published materials to support the
collection.




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Collection Highlights

General areas of strength include current and historical collections of publications from
the Department of Education, Department of Labor, Department of Commerce
(including the Bureau of the Census), Department of the Interior (including the U.S.
Geological Survey), NASA, the Office of the President and Congressional publications.
Notable titles:

      Current and historical topographic maps for New York State.
      United States congressional serial set, vol. 1 (1817) to date.
      United States statutes at large, vol. 1 (1789/1799) to date.
      United States reports : cases adjudged in the Supreme Court, 1790 to date.
      United States code, 1940 to date.


Current collection development
The majority of federal materials within the Government Documents collection are
received through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). At present, we are
collecting approximately 67% of available materials.

As with materials that are purchased for the Libraries’ collection, materials received
through the FDLP are cataloged in Voyager, processed and shelved in a timely manner,
and bound when necessary.

Materials which the subject librarians designate to be “essential” to the collection are
housed in the River Campus Libraries. Non-essential materials are housed in the off-site
shelving facility, from which they can be retrieved within 24 hours.

      [Tom] State how non-depository items are handled
      [Tom] Sending things to Miner, other locations
      Could expand to include other types of docs:state, local, international.


Collection Review/Withdrawals
Every 2 years, the subject librarians will conduct a zero-based review of the FDLP profile
to ensure that the collection is in line with the research, teaching and learning undertaken
by the University of Rochester community.
     The following should be taken into consideration:
            o Review all items currently on the profile to verify whether they are still
                applicable to the needs of the U of R community.
            o Review any items that have recently become available online to determine
                whether we need to continue to receive it in tangible formats
            o Review items that are not currently on the profile for potential inclusion
            o Review profiles of other depository libraries in the congressional district
                to avoid unnecessary gaps and overlap. Informal cooperation, awareness.



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           o Materials within the collection have been designated the status of
             “current” or “historical.”

                   Current
                       Any discard/supersede guidelines provided by the FDLP are
                         followed
                       After 5 years from date of receipt, the materials are
                         automatically withdrawn from the collection in accordance
                         with the FDLP withdrawal policies and procedures. The
                         withdrawal process will be undertaken twice annually.

                   Historical
                       Local instructions may be different than the discard/supersede
                          guidelines
                       No automatic withdrawals—everything is retained for
                          historical purposes or until the bibliographer weeds the
                          materials


Lending and Borrowing
Most federal documents circulate to registered University of Rochester users for the same
loan periods as materials from Rush Rhees general collection. CD-Roms from the
documents collection circulate for 2 weeks.

Selected high-use titles and the nineteenth century volumes of the Serial Set are
designated “special reserve.” These are non-circulating and must be used in the library.

Members of the general public can use the material on site.

Federal documents are lent via inter-library loan following the Libraries inter-library
guidelines and at the discretion of the Documents Librarian.

Access and Cataloging
Most documents received since 1976 are in the online public catalog. Full cataloging,
obtained from Marcive, provides access by title, author, subject, and keyword, as well as
holdings information to the piece level. Records include links to the Internet version in
the 856 MARC tag. An electronic shelf list for items shelved in Government Documents
is available. Documents are classified by the Superintendent of Documents Classification
numbering system (SuDoc). Documents interfiled into other parts of the library are
classified using the Library of Congress Classification System.

In addition the library subscribes to the GPO Monthly Catalog via FirstSearch which
includes our holdings if materials are locally cataloged. Other sources for accessing
documents include American Statistical Index and Congressional Information Service
Index.


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Information services
Library staff offers reference service for print and online material to the UR and general
community.

In a digital environment, any librarian or staff member might use government websites in
a reference interview, chat session, course page, or classroom instruction. Because of
this decentralization of service to the collection, the Documents Librarian provides
information services to librarians and staff. This includes periodic informational sessions
highlighting new or complex online government websites, or reviewing rather common
sites that non-government librarians may not think to utilize. Other activities include
suggesting online or print material for a course page or instruction session.

In regards to collection development, the documents librarian alerts bibliographers when
unusually interesting material relevant to their discipline arrives or becomes available.

Suggested revision:
The Documents Librarian provides information services to librarians and staff, to support
their use of Internet-accessible government information in reference interviews, chat
sessions, course pages, or classes. These information services include offering periodic
sessions highlighting new or complex government websites, reviewing common sites that
non-government librarians may be unfamiliar with, or suggesting online or print material
for a course page or instruction session.

To support collection development, the Documents Librarian alerts bibliographers when
unusually interesting material relevant to their discipline arrives or becomes available.



Area Resources
In addition to the University of Rochester, the 28th Congressional District includes two
other depository libraries, the Rochester Public Library, and the Buffalo and Erie County
Public Library. Depository libraries at SUNY Brockport, SUNY Geneseo, and SUNY
Buffalo serve the 26th Congressional District. The Appellate Division Law Library in
Rochester is an additional, non-depository resource to which patrons are frequently
referred. Details on all these libraries, and lists of FDLP libraries in Ithaca and Syracuse,
appear in Appendix C.


Appendices
      Appendix A: List of UR programs with agencies of interest and SUDOC stems
      Appendix B: List of agencies in alphabetical order with ALA collection levels
       assigned.
      Appendix C: List of other depository libraries in the area.

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