Government Documents Policy

Government Documents Collection Development Policy


            The Kennesaw State University Library System is comprised of the L.V. Johnson Library on the Marietta Campus, the Horace W. Sturgis Library on the Kennesaw Campus, and a number of related research centers. The KSU Library System is committed to providing excellent services and resources that directly support the University’s efforts to become a world-class comprehensive university recognized for its excellence in education, discovery, innovation, technology, and community engagement.  In dealing with both physical and virtual environments the library system carefully crafts collections and services that enhance teaching, learning, scholarship, and creative endeavors for the users of the various libraries.

The KSU Library System has been a selective depository for federal documents since 1968 and serves the Eleventh Congressional District of Georgia.  The depository collection is held at Sturgis Library. The purpose of the depository is to collect, organize, and provide free public access to the U.S. Government information to the district and the general public. It also supports the current and anticipated instructional, research, and service programs of Kennesaw State University. 


            Kennesaw State University

                        Offering campuses in Marietta and Kennesaw, Kennesaw State University is located just north of Atlanta and combines a suburban setting with access to one of the country’s most dynamic cities. As part of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degrees, including a growing doctoral program.

            Cobb County

                        Cobb County, Georgia has a population of 688,078 according to the U.S. 2010 Census.  About 9.1% are 65 years old and older while the median age is 35.4 years old.  Whites comprise 66.7% of the population, blacks or African Americans make up 25.9%, and Hispanics or Latinos are 12.5%.  The per capita income is $33,514.  The percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher is 44%. 

            Eleventh Congressional District of Georgia

                        About 691,975 people live in this district, which includes four counties: Bartow, Cherokee, and parts of Cobb and Fulton.

Collection Access

            To meet the needs of its users, the KSU Library System depository selects approximately 44% of the publications offered through the Federal Depository Library System. The library also obtains some titles free from government agencies and commissions.

            To facilitate access to the document collection, the library acquires and maintains the basic bibliographic tools, both retrospective and current, considered essential for such access. These tools include sources produced by both government and commercial publishers.  The collection is accessible through the online public access catalog, which is available to the entire community via the internet.  The library also provides access to the Congressional Serial Set through the commercial vendor Proquest.   

Members of the public may use government publications during regular library hours. They have free access to government Internet sites through one of the public computer stations located at both Sturgis and Johnson libraries. There are minimal printing charges for photocopying pages and printing from electronic sources. Cardholders may check out government publications that are part of the circulating collection. Most federal government documents circulate for standard loan periods.

In addition to the Documents Librarian, all reference librarians provide government documents service.  An online research guide  is updated and maintained by the Documents Librarian.  This guide provides links to several online Government databases and websites including FDsys, GPO’s official site to access publications and documents of all three branches of the Federal Government.

All documents since 1976 are cataloged in the Library's online catalog. Pre-1976 documents are inventoried via shelflist.

Selection Responsibility

            The Documents Librarian is responsible for the selection, receipt, and claiming of depository publications.  Selections are based on knowledge of academic and community needs, and consultations are made with colleagues or general faculty when necessary.

Subject Areas

            The library selects the Basic Collection in accordance with Part III of the Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program.  The library also selects the majority of the item numbers specified in the Suggested Core Collection for Academic Libraries.

            Strong emphasis is placed on collecting the following (not in any particular order):

1.      International policy related documents;

2.      The Population and Housing Census, The Economic Census, the Census of Governments, and other statistical series of the Commerce Department relating to demographics, domestic, and foreign trade, housing, and construction;

3.      Economic and social statistics from all other agencies;

4.      Congressional Publications;

Examples include House and Senate documents, hearings, and Senate treaties

5.      Materials related to Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to such publications as vital and demographic statistics, geological reports, housing data, and social services.

Collection Arrangement

                        The majority of the Documents, including all CD-ROMS and microfiche, are classified using the Superintendent of Documents classification system. A selected number of Government Documents are housed in the Reference Collection and the General Collection at the Sturgis Library using the Library of Congress classification system.

Publication Media


                        Electronic records are the preferred format for documents and comprise the majority of selected item numbers.  Permanent links to these online documents are available from the library’s online catalog.  Public access to online documents for library patrons not affiliated with KSU is provided through public computers on the main floors of both Sturgis and Johnson libraries. In addition, free Wi-Fi is available for people with personal computer devices.

                        The majority of printed government publications are located on the third floor of the Sturgis Library. In 2013 it was decided to stop receiving most print items in favor of the electronic format due to several factors, which include the reduction of available print items from the GPO, the low usage of print items, preference for electronic access, and library space considerations. Currently print items are selected because they either are combined with the electronic record or deemed important for the collection. Print items are periodically reviewed for replacement by their electronic versions if appropriate.  The library follows FDLP guidelines on substituting electronic for tangible versions and offers the tangible item to the regional library and then other selective libraries.


                        Microfiche are no longer selected. Government publications on microfiche are filed by SuDoc number in specially marked filing cabinets located on the third floor of the Sturgis Library near the library’s microfilm collection. A microform reader is also available on the third floor of the Sturgis Library and has scanning, emailing, and saving capabilities.


                        As of 2017, CD-ROMs and DVDs are no longer selected.  CD-ROMs and DVDs are kept in a cabinet on the third floor of Sturgis Library and may be accessed on the library computers.


                        The map collection is maintained in a large metal cabinet designed for the storage of maps and is located near the Documents collection on the third floor of the Sturgis Library. The map collection contains both commercially produced maps (e.g., from National Geographic) and maps from the government.  Maps have been assigned SuDoc numbers.

Selection Tools

The following resources are consulted regularly to review current item selections and to identify additions to the government documents collection:

·         Catalog of U.S. Government Publications

·         FDLP Collection Tools

·         List of Classes

·         Depository Selection Information Management System(DSIMS)

·         Retrospective Sources--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.  

Resource Sharing

            The KSU Library System lends and borrows government publications through its InterLibrary Loan Department.  Federal publications not selected by the library can be borrowed from the University of Georgia Map & Government Information Library in Athens and from other selectives in the state.   The University of Georgia Libraries serves as a regional for federal and state documents. It retains all permanent copies of all U.S. and Georgia documents issued through the depository system.

Multiple Copies

            Usually only one copy will be kept of each title with these exceptions:

1.       Titles for which there are intensive demands and continuous heavy use.

2.      Gift copies of titles considered to have lasting value.

Collection Evaluation and Maintenance

            Collection Review

                        The Document Librarian reviews the library’s Item Selection List and the FDLP List of Classes annually. The Documents Librarian adjusts the library’s selections to be in accordance with the KSU Library System Collection Development Policy and the goals of the depository. GPO procedures for adding and dropping items allow for changes to be made any time of the year.  

            Weeding and Maintenance of Collection   

                        The collection is maintained in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program  and the Georgia State Plan for federal depository libraries.  An accurate shelf list of depository materials to the piece level is maintained with all documents clearly stamped as depository property with the shipping list date.  Superseded documents are withdrawn with the Documents Librarian’s approval.  Other documents are reviewed for retention after five years.  Depository publications are withdrawn and discarded in accordance with policies outlined in the Disposal Guidelines and Procedures for Georgia Depository Libraries. Worn or damaged documents are evaluated for repairs, replacement, or withdrawal. 

Policy Revision

            This Government Documents Collection Development Policy will be reviewed at least annually and amended as considered necessary by the Documents Librarian, in consultation with the Director of Collection Development.  New developments in the depository program and developments at the University or the state of Georgia will necessitate future changes in this policy.

Revised by

Laurie Aycock
Government Documents & Monographs Collection Development Librarian
Kennesaw State University

Horace W. Sturgis Library
Based on original by Jack F. Purkey (March 29, 2000)