Jefferson College Library: Celebrating 30 Years in the FDLP

“Think you know America? Discover more at your Federal Depository Library” was the theme of Jefferson College Library’s 30th depository anniversary celebration. The community was invited to learn more about the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) through online and tangible displays, promotional materials, and a lively open house. Depository Council Chair and Government Documents Regional Coordinator, Marie Concannon, made the trip to Hillsboro to present to Jefferson College President, Dr. Ray Cummiskey, a commemorative certificate. She was joined by representatives from Missouri state government: Representatives John McCaherty and T.J. Mc Kenna and spokespersons for U.S. Representative Jason Smith and U.S. Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill. The celebrations began with a flag ceremony by Cub Scout Pack 460. Political Science Professor, Dedric Lee, spoke about the use of Government documents by his students to help them understand important contemporary issues like labor and voting rights.

The event drew over 200 attendees who heard proclamations, congratulatory letters, a brief history of the FDLP, and the story of Jefferson College’s participation in the program. St. Louis area documents librarians were in attendance to lend support and join in the festivities. After the remarks, a variety of activities were available to help the public learn about the FDLP: cupcakes, customized Government documents buttons, historical re-enactors portraying a suffragist and a Pony Express rider, and, the highlight for many, an American bald eagle from the World Bird Sanctuary.

Although one of the more recently-designated depositories, Jefferson College Library plays an important role in Keeping America Informed. It is located 30 miles south of St. Louis and serves a rural and suburban population of approximating 220,000. It has the honor of being one of only about 50 community colleges with depository status. In the early 1980s, librarian Loretta Ponzar recognized the need for access to quality Government publications and worked with Representative Richard Gephardt to achieve depository designation. For most of its 30 year history, Jefferson College Library served as the only depository in its Congressional District and in Jefferson County. Jefferson College Library works with its St. Louis regional partners and Government documents librarians around the state to provide access to information on atomic waste, civil rights, and veterans’ affairs (to name a few recent collaborations).

Jefferson College’s Coordinator of Government Documents, Lisa Pritchard, credits the Jefferson College Library staff, other College staff, and the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) with the success of the event. Much preparation and effort went into the celebration and its goal of making the 8,400 tangible item collection more accessible and visible. The entire collection was given better placement within the library, as well as improved signage and labels. Displays and social media were used to highlight both the history of GPO, Jefferson College’s participation in the FDLP, and fun and interesting Government documents. Awareness of the FDLP was further increased through newspaper advertising, radio interviews, and a follow-up story in various campus publications. Jefferson College’s 30th anniversary celebration was a huge success!

FDLP Connection Archive

We have sunsetted the FDLP Connection with the July / August 2018 issue and will not be publishing the Connection anymore. We’ve enjoyed bringing the FDLP Connection to the community over the years! You can still view past issues. View full archive (2011-2018).