Collection Development Policy

Table of Contents:

I. Mission Statement
II. Selection Responsibility
III. Subject Areas & Collection Arrangement
IV. Formats
V. Selection Tools
VI. Non-Depository Items
VII. Retrospective Sources
VIII. Resource Sharing
IX. Collection Evaluation
X. Weeding, Binding and Maintenance
XI. Access
XII. Bibliography

Mission Statement [TOC]


The Odum Library Government Documents Collection of the First Congressional District of Georgia was established in 1956 as a Selective Federal Depository Library. The Depository presently receives 70% of the Federal publications available through the Federal Depository Library Program. The primary mission of the Depository is to collect, organize, and provide free and unimpeded public access to United States Government publications and Georgia State publications in support of the University's mission and the curricular needs of the students, faculty, and staff at Valdosta State University. The depository also serves the general public including members of the business and agricultural community, elementary and secondary school communities, as well as referrals from the South Georgia Regional Library. To support this diverse user population, the Depository collects resources in the following broad subject areas: Education; Library Science; Business and Commerce; Political Science; Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice; Physics, Geology and Astronomy; Agriculture; Health Sciences; Aerospace Studies; History; Demographics; Labor and Occupational Safety.

Selection Responsibility [TOC]

The Odum Library, as a selective Depository, collects materials that meet the curricular needs of the University and the information needs of the District community. The primary responsibility for the selection of document publications resides with the Documents Librarian for Public Services. The Documents Librarian for Public Services, as a member of the Reference Department, consults with the other Reference Librarians to identify information needs of the University and District communities. Subject areas that are in need of development are discussed and item numbers identified for potential selection of Government publications. Suggestions from the Documents Librarian for Technical Services, as well as directly from members of the depository community are also taken into consideration. During the Selection Update Cycle, the Documents Librarian for Public Services may add any active item numbers desired.

Subject Areas and Collection Arrangement [TOC]

A. Subject Areas

The Depository maintains the titles listed in the "Basic Collection" and makes them available for immediate use (see the FDL Handbook, p. 57-59). The library also selects the majority of the item numbers specified in the Suggested Core Collection for Academic Libraries (FDL Handbook, p. 183-209). Items are selected based on the current and perceived curricular support needs for the academic community and the general informational needs of the District community.

Subject area concentrations include the following:

  • Agriculture
  • Business and Commerce
  • Demographics
  • Education
  • Environment and Energy
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Health
  • History and Culture
  • Labor and Occupational Safety
  • Library Science
  • Public Policy
  • Science and Technology
  • Security and Emergency Response

Publications not normally selected include:

  • Administrative materials for the U.S. Government (i.e., agency phone books, federal employee benefits, procurement specifications, standards, and in-house training materials)
  • Foreign Language Materials, with the exception of Spanish
  • Posters, with the exception of art prints & posters deemed of educational value.

Multiple Copies

  1. Documents which have high usage will be acquired to support the information needs of the University and District communities.
  2. Gift items which duplicate but are deemed of lasting value to the existing collection will be accepted in accordance with the University Library's Gift Policy.

Collection Arrangement

The majority of the Documents, including all CD-ROMS and microfiche, are classified using the Superintendent of Documents classification system. Titles better suited for a reference collection are arranged using the Library of Congress classification system and housed in the Reference Collection. A selected number of Government Documents in the form of journals are shelved alphabetically by title along with the non-Governmental journals. All documents since 1976 are cataloged in the Library's online catalog. Pre-1976 documents are inventoried via shelflist.

Formats [TOC]

A. Paper is the preferred format for documents.

B. Microform titles will be selected using the following criteria:

  1. Available only in that format.
  2. Too voluminous to accommodate on the shelves.

C. CD-ROMs/DVD's/Floppies are selected based on the following criteria:

  1. Curricular support
  2. Available only in that format

D. Internet Resources will be cataloged. In addition, in order to facilitate expeditious resource discovery selective resources will be organized on the Government Documents Web site located at Criteria for selection will be guided by the current and perceived academic needs of the University and District communities.

E. Maps are selected to support curricular areas of the University and the needs of the general public.

Selection Tools [TOC]

Government Documents are recognized as essential primary sources of information. In order to support the curricular areas of the University, the Depository is obligated to select documents that will enhance and extend the University Library's main collection through the identification and acquisition of Government resources. This is accomplished with a variety of selection tools.

A. The following is a list of resources consulted for selection purposes:

B. Replacement

Lost items are to be replaced. Documents in print through the Sales Product Catalog will be purchased from the online U.S. Government Bookstore. The Needs and Offers List and/or exchange lists distributed by the Regional Depository at UGA are checked for needed items no longer in print.

Non-Depository Items [TOC]

The Depository acquires materials not currently received via the Federal Depository Library Program that enhance and/or extend the existing University Library's collections.

A. Related reference material

The Library regularly purchases convenient compilations of government information, such as those produced by Bernan. In addition, we collect many of the numerous bibliographies and guides to government information produced by publishers of reference works.

B. Items requested directly from agencies

Documents requested directly from agencies include a) titles not received through the FDLP, as well as b) documents received from the FDLP only in electronic form. Such titles are requested only if deemed in subject scope and of lasting value.

C. Gifts

The Depository does not initiate the acquisition of gift materials for the University Library. All gift items received by the University are unsolicited. Gift items are retained if the items enhance and/or extend the existing collection based on need and space. Decisions concerning the retention of gifts are made at the discretion of one of the Documents Librarians and/or the Collection Development Librarian.

D. Resources used to identify relevant non-depository items:

  1. Government Information Quarterly
  2. Recommendations received from the attendance of conferences, monitoring of listservs, colleagues, etc.
  3. Reference review media, such as Choice
  4. The web sites and publication catalogs of individual agencies

Retrospective Sources [TOC]

The Depository identifies needed back runs of selected series or individual publications that will enhance and/or extend its collection. Resources identified must have the potential for extensive use and meet the curricular needs of the University and District. All materials identified are subject to budget restraints. Resources used for this identification include:
  1. Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications (MoCat)
  2. Needs and Offers Lists

Resource Sharing [TOC]

Titles not selected through the Program are obtained through the cooperation with other depositories via interlibrary loan. Documents requested by University patrons are located and borrowed from other depositories and libraries. Non-university patrons are referred to the South Georgia Regional Library for Interlibrary Loan.

Collection Evaluation [TOC]

All selections in the current active item list are reviewed during the annual Selection Update Cycle to ensure that the collection remains responsive to the needs of its users. Item numbers may be cancelled at any time. Throughout the year a list is kept of possible deletions, showing item numbers and their corresponding SuDoc classes. The Documents Librarians continually evaluate the collection in light of the evolving curricular areas of the University. The Documents Librarians also keep abreast of the changes within the District and local community. To meet the needs of these changing informational environments, a separate item number list is kept for their potential addition to the collection, a process which can only be completed during an update cycle.

Weeding, Binding, and Maintenance [TOC]

Depository publications are withdrawn and discarded in accordance with policies outlined in Federal Depository Library Handbook. Superseded documents are discarded as soon as updates or final versions are received. Exchange lists are compiled as necessary and sent to the Regional Depository. Withdrawn items requested by other depositories in the state are shipped immediately, and those not requested are discarded after the deadline given by the Regional Depository.

A. Criteria for weeding

  1. Item is damaged beyond repair
  2. Item has been superceded
  3. Item has been supercede by another format

B. Criteria for binding

  1. Item is falling apart
  2. Items is judged to be heavy-use or of lasting value
  3. Serials are to be bound when the run or the volume is complete

Access [TOC]

All documents housed in open stacks are available for patron browsing during the times the University Library is open. Circulation of documents is as follows:
  1. Publications shelved in the General Documents collection circulate for four weeks. Four weeks is the regular loan period for the Library's main collection.
  2. Maps circulate for four weeks
  3. CD-ROMs circulate for four weeks
  4. Publications marked as "Reference" do not circulate, regardless of location.
  5. Microforms circulate for four weeks
  6. Journals do not circulate, regardless of location.

To ensure access to the documents collection the library acquires and maintains basic bibliographic tools, retrospective and current, considered essential for such access. These include paper and computerized search aids, both government and commercially produced, such as the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications or the CIS Indexes. The University also participates with the Galileo initiatives which allows the additional access to electronic forms of resources, such as:

  1. ERIC
  2. Georgia Government Publications

The Documents Librarian for Public Services is a member of the Reference Department. All Reference Librarians provide assistance with the documents collection.

The Documents collection, identified by appropriate signage, is located on the main floor of the Odum Library. This location is on the same floor as the Reference Desk, which is staffed 80 hrs/wk. In addition to professional Librarians, Peer Reference Counselors (PRC's) assist at the Reference Desk 48 hrs/wk. The Counselors have the competency and knowledge to assist patrons in locating Government Documents.

CD-ROMs are located adjacent to the print Government Documents Collection and a large computer lab.

Microfiche titles are housed in a central location on the first floor of Odum Library. Microform readers are located near the fiche collection, in a Copy Room with photocopiers. Circulation staff have primary responsibility for assisting patrons in the use of both the microform readers and the photocopiers.

Internet resources can be accessed from any of the Library's public workstations.

Bibliography [TOC]

Federal Depository Library handbook [Online]. Available: [2008, December 15].

Federal Depository Library handbook, appendix A: suggested core collections by library type [Online]. Available: [2008, December 15].



Policy Developed September 1992 
Last updated December 15, 2008