The Zach S. Henderson Library is one of almost 1,200 Federal Government Documents depository libraries and one of five State of Georgia Libraries that serve the American public by providing local, no-fee access to Federal and state government information resources.
As a member of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), the Henderson Library contains a large collection of the publications of the United States Government, including statistics, reports, legislation and policy from state and federal government. These materials are generally findable using DISCOVER or the library catalog, GIL, and through our Libguides.
This collection, which may be considered “a library within a library,” is a valuable resource for the academic community and for the general public throughout the Georgia Southern University service region.
The Government Documents Librarian provides assistance with state and federal government resources to Georgia Southern faculty, staff, and students as well as the general public.
Finding Government Documents
DISCOVER or GIL (catalog)
Most documents can be located by searching the library’s discover tool, DISCOVER, by subject, keyword, title, etc. You may limit your search to primary resources with the facets along the left side of the screen from your initial search results. Each record will indicate whether the document is held physically in the library or available via the Internet. Government documents cover a wide range of topics– from current health issues to sustainability to foreign policy. Many documents contain research data and expert findings not available elsewhere. They are often excellent primary source materials. All government documents are available for use by members of the Georgia Southern community as well as the general public.
Most of the government documents collection is available for browsing on the 1st floor. Note the location in the catalog for other government documents locations and how to access them. Ask at the Information Desk if you have any questions.
Access to government information on the Internet is available via the library’s computers; wireless access is available via the campus and public networks. Henderson Library also catalogs online government data that meets the selection criteria for our federal depository, and catalogs all Georgia documents. For assistance accessing any of these government resources, please ask at the Information Desk on the 2nd floor.
Federal government documents are shelved using the Superintendent of Documents classification system (SuDoc). This is a provenance system, meaning that rather than a topical arrangement, items are shelved by authoring agency or committee.
State documents are also shelved by a provenance system, although their arrangement is different from the SuDoc system.
Hours: The print collection is available any time the library is open. Service for the Federal and State Documents collection by the Government Documents staff is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. by calling (912) 478-5117 or by asking at the Information Desk on the second floor (912) 478-5645. During nights and weekends, requests should be made at the Information Desk or by Instant Messaging.
Service by Appointment: Faculty may make arrangements with the Government Documents Librarian for library instruction regarding research methods, search strategies, materials available, etc. with government information resources for any class using the Instruction & Facility Request Form.
We also consult individually with students, faculty, or the general public. Please call the Government Documents office at (912) 478-5032 or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you wish to set up a consultative visit. The Government Documents Department is located within the Information Services Suite on the 2nd floor of the library.
Federal Documents Repository
Zach S. Henderson Library is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. government documents. Public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law. (Title 44 United States Code) The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) helps safeguard one of our nation’s strongest traditions: the public’s right to know. Since its establishment in 1813, the FDLP has collected, organized, and preserved information produced by the government and assisted citizens in finding and using that information. Georgia Southern has been a depository library since 1939 and currently receives 76% of federal materials in the FDLP program, and 100% of Georgia documents.
Helpful Tools for finding Federal government information
- Catalog of U. S. Government Publications – Online index to publications of Federal agencies, most of which are available through the Federal Depository Library Program; contains records from July, 1976 and is updated daily
- WorldCat (the OCLC Online Union Catalog) (non-Georgia Southern users click here) is the world’s most comprehensive bibliography containing millions of bibliographic records cataloged by OCLC member libraries. It includes books, websites and internet resources, manuscripts, maps, computer programs, musical scores, films and slides, newspapers, journals and magazines, sound recordings, articles, chapters, papers, and videotapes, and most importantly for current purposes, government documents.
- FDsys.gov– One mission of the GPO is to provide, in partnership with the Federal depository libraries, perpetual, free, and ready public access to the print and digital publications of the Government. FDsys will allow Federal content creators to easily create and submit content which will then be preserved, authenticated, managed and delivered upon request. FDsys enables GPO to manage government publications from Congress and Federal agencies that are submitted to GPO in digital form, gathered from Federal Government Web sites, and created by scanning previously printed publications. Through FDsys, GPO is utilizing new technologies and methods for acquiring, authenticating, preserving, and providing access to government publications in digital form.
- Federal Depository Library Program – Access to Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) resources and services, including resources about the program, depository management, the FDLP Electronic Collection, locator tools and services, processing tools, publications, and a Depository Library Directory, which provides for the identification of Federal Depository Libraries by state and area code
- USA.gov provides trusted, timely, valuable government information and services when and where you want them through a comprehensive, award-winning portal. USA.gov is an interagency initiative administered by the Federal Citizen Information Center, a division of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies. It got its start when Internet entrepreneur Eric Brewer, whose early research was funded by the Department of Defense, offered to donate a powerful search engine to government. That gift helped accelerate the government’s earlier work to create a government-wide portal. USA.gov was legislatively mandated through Section 204 of the E-Government Act of 2002. Since 2002, USA.gov has received an annual appropriation from the U.S. Congress. In January 2007, FirstGov.gov officially changed its name to USA.gov.
- Library of Congress – Includes the Library of Congress Online Catalog, collections, and research services
- Thomas – Legislative Information on the Internet – Full-text of Congressional bills, Congressional Record and index, Bill Summary and Status, Hot Legislation, the Constitution of the United States, How Our Laws Are Made, Enactment of a Law, and other House of Representatives and Senate resources
- Congress.gov – The beta version of the site contains legislation from the 107th Congress (2001) to the present, member profiles from the 93rd Congress (1973) to the present, and some member profiles from the 80th through the 92nd Congresses (1947 to 1972). Congress.gov is in an initial beta phase with plans to transform the Library of Congress’s existing congressional information system into a modern, durable and user-friendly resource. Eventually, it will incorporate all of the information available onTHOMAS.gov. (To compare the scope of legislative information on THOMAS.gov versus the scope of legislative information on the beta site, see Coverage Dates for Legislative Information.) Although THOMAS.gov has been updated multiple times since its release in 1995, the foundation of the system can no longer support the capabilities today’s users have come to expect. The goal is to make the site user- friendly with a strong technical infrastructure.
Georgia Documents Repository
The Zach S. Henderson Library at Georgia Southern became an official selective depository of Georgia state publications by invitation of Dr. William G. Potter of the University of Georgia Libraries. State agencies are required by legislative act to supply the University of Georgia Libraries with five copies of all their publications (O.C.G.A. 20-5-2(f)). Dr. Potter, as Director of the University of Georgia Libraries, has the authority to “supply documents to any state institution” (O.C.G.A. 20-5-2(i)). On August 28, 2000, Georgia Southern University had the prestigious honor of receiving an invitation of housing and making publicly available one copy of the state documents received under the Georgia law. Other libraries that house these materials include the University of Georgia and Valdosta State University. A total of 5 copies are available in the state.
Georgia Government Publications – The GGP provides a comprehensive repository of state publications 1994 to the present, and project participants are actively scanning documents printed before 1994 to provide researchers with a valuable source for online historical research.
Georgia.gov – Online access to Georgia government
Georgia State Agency Databases annotated list of databases produced by Georgia State Agencies listed by producing agency.