The Purdue University Libraries is the Federal Depository Library Spotlight for August 2009. With 102 years of service since being designated a federal depository library in 1907, this large academic library has done an excellent job in maintaining a depository collection that best meets the needs of its students, faculty and general public.
This Land Grant University offers over 56 degrees and 5,800 courses, and enrolls more than 40,000 students on its West Lafayette campus. The depository collection is distributed among the numerous campus libraries, in order to disseminate information to the appropriate areas of need.
The depository has subject guides, course guides, and the maintenance of an ongoing list of “Frequently Asked Questions” that are of interest to people monitoring current events.
The library’s Government Documents Web page also promotes government information through the maintenance of a “Government Documents of the Week” and “Featured Sites of the Week” section. This enables people to explore topics of current or general interest through depository resources. Visitors may not even have known that government information played a part in the topic!
The library’s efforts to connect users to government information supports not only library users, but library staff as well, since much of the information is related to current events and hence may be harder for reference staff to track down.
Finally, the depository coordinator, Bert Chapman, is committed to providing detailed subject help through listserv postings as well as through the online reference service Government Information Online (GIO). By participating in these and other initiatives, he shares his vast knowledge by providing quality information and reference services to both library users and librarians nationwide.
The library’s Government Information at Purdue University Libraries Web page currently states:
“Government publications are a public asset that enhance individual and community knowledge of governmental activities and knowledge of U.S. History, the histories of U.S. states, and history of foreign countries. The Government Documents Department is prepared to assist you in meeting your government information needs.”
For all the energy directed to educating both users and librarians alike, GPO would like to thank the Purdue University Libraries. Their willingness to share their expertise benefits us all.