Las Vegas Library of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District

Recognized for Providing Vital Services to its Community

The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District was recently recognized by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as one of ten recipients of the 2014 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) congratulates the Library District for this national honor, which recognized the library’s efforts to align programs and services with the needs of the community in order to best assist job seekers and others in Las Vegas and southern Nevada who were affected by the economic downturn.

Many patrons visited the library looking for information on new careers, how to start businesses, or save their homes. Library staff, always attempting to connect the needs of patrons to the appropriate resources, found needed information within Government documents. Just some of the Federal depository resources used were the Occupational Outlook Handbook, Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Catalog of Domestic Assistance, and publications from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Small Business Administration (SBA).

The Las Vegas Library (the downtown branch), at its present location since 1990 and a Federal depository library since 1974, is an integral part of the District’s success. The Federal depository supports the Library District by providing access to resources such as USA Trade Online, Public Health Reports, and over 20,000 other Government publications in print, CD, DVD, microfiche, and digital formats.

Identifying Needs of the Community

Identifying the needs of the community, recognized at the District level, is also one of the notable achievements of the Las Vegas Library’s Federal depository. The Library excels at identifying Federal Government information needs of the community, in large part through annual development and review of a detailed community profile. The data used is from U.S. Government publications and commercial resources which have organized Census and other Government information in value-added ways.

Theron Nissen, Library Branch Manager and Federal depository library coordinator, explained how this is accomplished for circulated publications. “These data are broken into several segments, and these segments will have a range of statistics in terms of the type of material checked out. This information is a main factor in the Federal Depository Library Program material selection and promotion, which is continually monitored and updated.”

All sources of information about the community, such as review of reference questions as well as online resource usage as identified through database use, catalog, and FDLP PURL referral data, is also analyzed. Informed with this knowledge of the information needs of their community, library staff are then best able to provide services which support those needs.

Sharing U.S. Government in the Library System and Through Social Media

Another notable achievement of the Las Vegas Library is active sharing of Federal Government information. Las Vegas Library staff regularly provides information to other libraries in the District, facilitating much broader access to U.S. Government information throughout the system of 25 libraries. They also share Government information with library patrons through social media on an active Facebook page and through Twitter. Promotion of Government information serves as a means to share and promote additional library information. According to Nissen, “The use of social media not only allows us to disseminate our documents collection to a wide audience, but we also take advantage of the technology to promote our relevant print, eMedia, and online resources. Furthermore, social media is used to promote quality local community resources.” Additionally, since the Las Vegas Library has one of the largest Spanish-language collections in the area for both children and adults, this outreach is bilingual, making sure information reaches all populations.

The Las Vegas Library is committed to providing access to U.S. Government information in support of their southern Nevada community, and the library staff should be proud of their accomplishments. GPO appreciates their 40 years of service as a Federal depository library and looks forward to many more years of exceptional service.

Depository Library Spotlight

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