Welcome

Hello!  Welcome to Government Documents!  We will be using this blog to get the word out about our government document collection by explaining who we are, what we have, highlighting different items and providing some interesting facts about the Federal Depository Program.  The first fact is that not every library belongs to this program.  You have to volunteer to participate and you have to agree to follow certain rules and regulations.  The first rule is that all government items be available to the general public.  Anyone can come into the Karrmann Library and have access to our federal documents.  In exchange, our library gets an enormous amount of free information on a variety of topics.

The United States Government is the largest publisher in the world.  Every day it publishes  congressional bills, laws, regulations, presidential documents and much more.  Libraries starting receiving information in 1813 and have played an important part in keeping the public informed ever since.  With the large amount of information put out every day by the Government Printing Office (GPO), it is not possible for every library to receive every piece they publish.  The Karrmann Library is a selective depository which means we choose certain topics to receive information on.  We try to select items of interest to the people who use our library.  We have chosen items from the agricultural department, the education department and the justice department just to name a few.

What we don’t have, we can get from a regional depository like Madison.  Regionals receive everything and must store everything while keeping it available to anyone who wants to use it.  This is a huge commitment on their part as they are not allowed to get rid of any material.

Federal documents are a great way to get information for just about anything.  Whatever you are looking for, the government has most likely published something about it.  Check us out.

The first document to be highlighted is titled The World FactBook.  This is an item we use to receive in print and our older editions are located in the PREX 3.15: section.  The most updated version is on the web.  This book is put out by the Central Intelligence Agency and it has facts about every country in the world.  This book breaks down the facts in different ways.  For example, it doesn’t just list the population of a country but will tell you the age structure, the median age, life expectancy and much more.

I like this document because it doesn’t just cover the areas you expect like people, government and economy.  It also talks about transportation and communication.  Did you know that in 2009 Estonia had 19 airports?  Thirteen with paved runways!  Or that there were 15 television broadcast stations?  If you are looking to do a report on any country or if you will be traveling anywhere, this would be an excellent source of information.

With vacations being popular this time of year, next week our map and brochure section will be highlighted.

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