Government Documents

Collection Development Policy Statement


Library's Collection Development Objectives

I. Statement of Purpose

A Regional Depository Library for U.S. Government documents, the Government Documents/Microforms Department of the LSU Libraries houses and administers all the U.S. federal documents distributed to the Libraries through the Depository Library Program as provided by Title 44 of the U.S. Code. The LSU Libraries has been a Government Documents Depository since 1907 and a Regional Depository since 1964.

In addition to the Regional Depository collection, the Documents Department contains the LSU Libraries UN depository collections, the Patent Depository Library Collection, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Public Reading Room collection. Additionally, there are several collections of technical reports which are not part of the Depository collections such as the reports of the Atomic Energy Commission and the NASA reports. These collections are serviced from a single service desk, located in Room 53 of Troy H. Middleton Library.

The Head of the Documents Department administers the Department and reports to the Head, Reference Services. The staff can include (in addition to the Head), one librarian, two full-time library associates, two para-professionals, and two graduate assistants (one, 20 hours per week and one, ten hours per week), and ten to fifteen student assistants.

II. Philosophy

Since the Regional Depository does not select materials, rather it receives all publications which are distributed through the Depository Library Programs, the philosophy of collection development is to make those materials available and to assist users in interpreting their needs. The emphasis on collection development, therefore, is on access tools, replacing missing publications, and building the retrospective collection. In order to interpret the needs of the user community, it is necessary to identify not only the purpose of the Depository but to understand the make-up of the user community.

III. Purpose

A. To provide information and reference service to the University community and to the citizens in the southern half of the state, as stipulated in the Depository Library agreement and the Louisiana State Plan for Federal Depository Libraries;

B. To receive and process all U.S. federal documents which are distributed through the Federal Depository Library Services Program (as a Regional, LSU is required to keep all documents except those which are superseded or as noted in Chapter 12, Regional Services, Federal Depository Library Handbook);

C. To maintain records of all materials received by verifying shipping lists and maintaining a record of the pieces received. (A shelf list was maintained for documents until the fall of 1976; since that time, records of documents received are kept in the Libraries online catalog);

D. To serve as an advisor to Selective Depository Libraries in the region -- assisting with collection organization and weeding and keeping the libraries informed about developments in the Federal Depository Library Services Program;

E. To acquire and maintain other documents which are not part of the distribution program, but which are appropriate for the needs of the user community;

F. To collect government related materials which are produced by the private sector and which aid in access to the depository collection or which otherwise enhance the collection;

IV. User Community-Needs and Descriptions

The Regional Library receives all the publications distributed through the Depository Library Program; these materials support the needs of the citizens of the southern area of the state as well as the needs of LSU, which is a large research university.

A. Louisiana State University

LSU has been designated a Level l Research University (see LSU Mission Statement). LSU is both a land grant and a sea grant college, and is the oldest and largest institution of higher learning in the state. It impacts the economic, social, and cultural life of the state through an extensive, multipurpose program encompassing instruction, research, and public service. Its instructional programs include approximately 250 curricula at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. The local campus includes the LSU Agriculture Center, the Paul M. Herbert Law Center, the Center for Energy Studies, and the School of Veterinary Medicine; the Pennington Biomedical Research Center is located nearby. The entire student population numbers approximately 30,000.

B. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The City of Baton Rouge is the capital of the state of Louisiana, an inland port, and a major petro-chemical center. It has a metropolitan-area population of more than 600,000. Baton Rouge has a metropolitan airport and is the center of many of South Louisiana's cultural and recreational activities. It is located on the Mississippi River, eighty miles north of New Orleans. . There are four major hospitals in the city as well as several medical related schools and clinics.

C. South Louisiana

The southern part of the state in which Baton Rouge is located is both an agricultural and an industrial area. The primary agricultural products are sugar cane, cotton, soybeans, corn and rice. Strawberries are grown in abundance in the southeastern area of the state. Beef cattle and forest products are also an important part of the economy. The industrial corridor is located mainly on the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Louisiana's chief natural resource is oil and gas. The State is located on the Gulf of Mexico and is heavily endowed with rivers, bayous and lakes.

V. Curriculum and Community Support

A. General Programs

Publications of the United States Government generally support a high percentage of all the programs offered by Louisiana State University. The community's informational needs cover a broad spectrum, many of which can be met with the documents received.

B. Areas of Interest/Areas of Specialization

Although the Depository receives all the documents distributed by the Government Printing Office, there are areas where collections might be expanded by acquiring direct agency publications and technical reports not ordinarily distributed through the Federal Depository Library Program, e.g., NTIS.

  1. Energy
  2. Environmental issues
  3. Census and demographics, especially as related to business and economic development
  4. Health care
  5. Aquaculture
  6. Geology
  7. Small business development
  8. Political policy and foreign policy
  9. History
  10. Wetlands research

C. Cooperation with other Departments in the Library

Librarians in the Government Documents/Microforms Department will cooperate with the Central Reference Department, the Head of the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collection, and with the other liaisons to call attention to materials which could supplement the Documents collection. Conversely, they will also keep these other Departments informed about Depository materials which supplement the Libraries' general collections.

VI. General Selection Guidelines

A. Bibliographic access tools

The Depository will evaluate for purchase, those bibliographic tools available from private vendors which improve access to the depository library collections.

B. Special considerations

Special consideration will be given to assure that the Libraries keep up-to-date with materials in new formats, particularly in electronic format, and that appropriate hardware is acquired to handle materials being distributed in electronic format.

C. Gifts and exchange programs

    1. The Depository will accept gifts that are deemed appropriate for its specific collection.  Efforts will be made to find homes for gift offers not so deemed--by contacting other depository libraries, first in Louisiana and then in the rest of the U.S.

    2. The Depository will cooperate in the weeding program with its selectives to assure that missing materials being discarded are picked up by the Regional.

D. Duplicates

As a general rule the Libraries will not keep or acquire duplicate materials except for heavily used materials. The librarians will monitor use for requesting duplicates.  The GPO account will be used for acquisition of duplicates. Some titles (and categories) where duplicates might be acquired are:

  1. Reference books: e.g. Statistical Abstract; Occupational Outlook Handbook; and heavily used periodicals, e.g. Monthly Labor Review.

E. Retrospective collection and missing publications

  1. 1909 Checklist
    The LSU Libraries became a Depository in 1907. Although many publications from the 1909 Checklist are available, that collection is not complete. The libraries will pursue acquisition of any publications which it does not presently own from that list.
  2. Missing publications.
    Ordinarily the policy will be to seek replacement copies of any depository publications not in the collection.

F. Non-Depository Items

The Libraries will attempt to get as many non-depository free items as it can, particularly from (but not limited to) the following agencies:

  1. EPA
  2. DOE
  3. Corps of Engineers
  4. U.S. State Department
  5. Commerce Department
  6. NASA
  7. NTIS

G. Pilot programs

The Libraries will seek to participate in those pilot programs which fall within the needs of the user community and within the budget and staff constraints of the Libraries.

VII. Cooperative programs

The Libraries participate in the Louisiana State Plan for Federal Depository Libraries. It also abides by the rules and regulations as set forth in the Federal Depository Library Handbook. The LSU Libraries seek to cooperate with other libraries throughout the state by offering consultation and by providing borrowing privileges through its Inter-library Loan program.

Amended June 3, 2010

Amended: August 27, 2002

Prepared: January 15, 1998