United States Government Publications Collection Development Policy
March, 1981; Revised 1992; Revised 1999
Policy for U.S. Government Publications
I. Academic Programs Served
The purpose of the Government Publications Collection is to support all levels of research and teaching in the academic community. Also selected are publications to serve the information needs of the community-at-large.
II. Clientele Served
Clientele served includes primarily members of the academic community and the community-at-large; this includes citizens of the 14th Congressional District.
III. General Collection Policy Considerations
A. English language materials are collected. (The exception would be non-English publications received through the U.S. Depository Program).
B. Chronological limits: None. Since Northern Illinois University has been a depository only since 1960, there may be earlier materials which we do not have in the collection. These publications are acquired by three means: 1) Gifts, 2) Exchange, and 3) Purchase.
C. Geographical coverage is determined by the scope of U.S. government publishing.
D. Formats of Materials collected:
1. Printed and processed materials of all types.
2. Maps. (Housed in the Map Library, Davis Hall).
3. Microforms. (Housed primarily in the Microforms Unit).
4. Information which appears in electronic format.
E. Publications excluded:
1. Genealogical materials including reference tools and microforms.
2. G.S.A. (General Services Administration) specifications.
3. Military specifications/regulations.
4. Patents and trademarks.
5. Reports published under contract to a government agency. This would include, for example, NTIS (National Technical Information Service) reports, ERIC documents, etc. - unless these reports are distributed under the Federal Depository Program.
6. Computer tapes.
IV. Collecting Levels
Northern Illinois University Libraries selects 85% of all depository publications made available to U.S. Depository Libraries. This level of selection supports research at both the doctorate and masters' level.
V. Selection Guidelines
Northern Illinois University has been a depository library for U.S. government publications since 1960. Depository status allows us to receive selected U.S. government publications, distributed through the Federal Depository Program. Since many publications of the U.S. governmental agencies are not distributed through the U.S. Depository Program, active selection is concerned with acquiring such privately printed or agency-disseminated publications. The selection of these materials is based upon the research and teaching needs of the academic community as well as the information needs of citizens of the 14th Congressional District. Active selection is also concerned with acquiring those reference tools (both privately printed and agency- disseminated) to meet the reference needs of the Department. The general purpose is to collect available information published by the U.S. government legislative, judicial, and executive bodies, and to collect bibliographies, guides and other reference tools providing access to this information. Commercially published reference materials are also acquired to supplement material issued by governmental agencies.
VI. Other Resources
A. At NIU:
1. The Government Publications Department is an affiliate of the Illinois State Data Center. The Northern Illinois area is served by the ISDC office at Northern Illinois University (Social Science Research Center).
2. Map Library. The Map Library at NIU receives U.S. Geological Survey maps and maps issued by the U.S. Army as a result of our U.S. depository status. The Government Publications Department also receives other maps (e.g.: CIA, Forest Service) that are likewise housed in the Map Library. All maps received under the U.S. Depository Program housed in the Map Library remain administratively under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Depository law and regulations.
3. NIU Law Library. The NIU Law Library is also a selective U.S. Depository.
B. Off Campus
1. The Illinois State Library (Springfield) is a regional depository for the State. As a result of its regional depository status, the State Library receives all U.S. depository publications. The State Library provides through interlibrary loan publications from its collections that selective depositories such as Founders do not hold.
2. The Center for Research Libraries has collections of older U.S. Federal government publications, which are available to patrons through interlibrary loan.
3. Patents and Trademarks depositories are located throughout the U.S. The two nearest ones in Illinois are at the Chicago Public Library and the Illinois State Library in Springfield. Founders houses a large collection of Official Gazettes. The patents that are abstracted in the Official Gazettes are available through interlibrary loan from the State Library.
4. The State of Illinois has a network of 53 other U.S. depository libraries. Through interlibrary loan, the resources of these libraries are available to NIU's patrons.