United States Federal Publications Collection Development Policy

The Davidson Library has been a selective depository for United States government publications since 1960. These publications are in the public domain, without copyright restrictions. We serve the local community and the 22nd Congressional District, as well as the UCSB students, faculty, and staff.

I. Depository Library Program

The Depository Library program was established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its government's information. Chapter 19 of Title 44 of the U.S. Code is the authority for the establishment and operation of the Federal Depository Library Program. The legal responsibilities of Federal depository libraries fall into two broad categories:

  1. Providing for free public access to Government information.
  2. Providing for the proper maintenance of the depository materials.

II. Community Analysis

The 22nd Congressional District covers most of Santa Barbara County and all of San Luis Obispo County. There are four major cities; San Luis Obispo, population 44,174; Santa Barbara, 92,325; Goleta, 55,204, and Santa Maria, 77,423. There is another federal depository library in San Luis Obispo County: California State Polytechnic University. Although available to all, the UCSB depository primarily serves the users of Santa Barbara County.

The population of Santa Barbara County was 399,347, according to the 2000 Census. The population is 34.5% Hispanic; with a median age 34.1. The five largest employers are UCSB, Vandenberg Air Force Base, the County of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, and Raytheon Electronic Systems. Important industries for the area include tourism, technology, and agriculture.

There are six higher education establishments: Cuesta Community College is in San Luis Obispo County. Allan Hancock Community College, Westmont College, Santa Barbara City College, Antioch College, and the University of California, Santa Barbara are all in Santa Barbara County.

The following list shows a breakdown of jobs by industry:

Employment in Santa Barbara County (Sector and Jobs in 2001)

  • Agriculture -- 13,500
  • Mining -- 708
  • Construction -- 8200
  • Durable Manufacturing -- 13,075
  • Transportation, Communication, Utilities -- 5008
  • Wholesale Trade -- 6375
  • Retail Trade -- 33,942
  • Finance, Insurance, Real Estate -- 7900
  • Services -- 52,758
  • Government -- 32,833

II-A. UCSB Community

The UCSB student population numbers 19,799, with 998 faculty. In addition to three winners of Nobel Prizes, UCSB's faculty includes many elected members or fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (23), the National Academy of Sciences (21), the National Academy of Engineering (18), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (38).

There are five schools: the College of Creative Studies, College of Engineering, College of Letters and Science, Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, and Gevirtz Graduate School of Education. Over 200 majors, degrees and credentials are offered within these schools and the Graduate Division.

The UCSB Library contains over 2.6 million volumes.

The University of California is one of nine campuses. Eight of the campuses, and three law libraries, are federal depository libraries.

III. Scope

The collection, housed in the Government Information Center of the Davidson Library, is quite comprehensive. We collect 80% of publications distributed through the federal depository library program, with the collection totaling 1,025,331.

The Library has most of the publications from Congress, including the entire Congressional Record, hearings from 1839 to present, and the Serial Set from 1789 (reports and documents). Our collection of statistical publications is very strong, from agencies such as the Department Of Education, Justice, Health and Human Services, and Labor. We have the entire decennial Census since 1790, and individual records from the state of California censuses from 1850-1930. We collect the majority of publications from the Executive Office of the President and the executive agencies. We have an extensive map collection, located in the Map & Imagery Lab.

III-A. Depository Selections

The list below illustrates the percent of publications selected through the depository library program.

Agency and Percent Selected

  • Agriculture Department -- 62
  • Civil Rights Commission -- 86
  • Commerce Department -- 92
  • Congress -- 100
  • Defense Department -- 53
  • Education Department -- 89
  • Energy Department -- 88
  • Environmental Protection Agency -- 90
  • Executive Office of the President -- 97
  • Farm Credit Administration -- 100
  • Federal Communications Commission -- 79
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency -- 22
  • Federal Housing Financing Board -- 100
  • Federal Maritime Commission -- 92
  • Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service -- 100
  • Federal Reserve System Board of Governors -- 100
  • Federal Trade Commission -- 89
  • Fine Arts Commission -- 100
  • Foreign-Trade Zones Board -- 100
  • General Accounting Office -- 86
  • General Services Administration -- 65
  • Government Printing Office -- 80
  • Health and Human Services Department -- 74
  • Housing and Urban Development -- 82
  • Interior Department -- 86
  • International Trade Commission -- 66
  • Interstate Commerce Commission -- 20
  • Judiciary -- 71
  • Justice Department -- 91
  • Labor Department -- 79
  • Library of Congress -- 89
  • Merit Systems Protection Board -- 50
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration -- 72
  • National Archives and Records Administration -- 83
  • National Capital Planning Commission -- 100
  • National Credit Union Administration -- 45
  • National Foundation on the Arts & the Humanities -- 100
  • National Labor Relations Board -- 55
  • National Mediation Board -- 50
  • National Science Foundation -- 96
  • Overseas Private Investment Corporation -- 75
  • Peace Corps -- 67
  • Personnel Management Office -- 40
  • President of the United States -- 100
  • Railroad Retirement Board -- 60
  • Securities and Exchange Commission -- 79
  • Small Business Administration -- 70
  • Smithsonian Institution -- 89
  • Social Security Administration -- 84
  • State Department -- 92
  • Transportation Department -- 61
  • Treasury Department -- 61
  • U.S. Information Agency -- 50
  • U.S. Trade and Development Agency -- 100
  • United States Postal Service -- 23
  • Veterans Affairs -- 51
  • Vice President of the United States -- 100

III-B. Electronic Collections

The Federal Depository Library program distributed 22,865 online products during 2001. Method of distribution was through GPO Access (http://www.gpo.gov/gpoaccess). Publications from agency websites are also linked through the Sales Product Catalog, 1994+ (http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/search/advanced/advsearchpage.action).

Although not physically received by the Davidson Library, the depository librarian can provide information about finding publications for these products. To assist in finding these and other electronic government information, please see the Library's United States Government website at: http://guides.library.ucsb.edu/govinfous

III-C. Geographic Coverage

Collections are selected based upon the subject interests of the depository users. Although all areas of the United States are collected, special emphasis is on California and the western states.

III-D. Language Coverage

Most publications are in English, although, when available, material in Spanish is collected.

III-E. Formats Collected

Although the preference, when available, is print, exceptions are made for large runs of publications, such as the Congressional Record and reports and documents from Congress. These titles are selected in microfiche; they are also available from GPO Access since 1994.

The list below shows the distribution of formats:

  • Print -- 521,383
  • Microform -- 502,672
  • Multimedia -- 1,276
  • Total -- 1,025,331

IV. Collection Arrangement and Access

The majority of the collection is in the Government Information Center, first floor north of the Davidson Library. Publications are arranged in the Superintendent of Documents numbering system, which is an agency-based arrangement. Less than 1% of the collection is housed in reference. Except for maps, most publications of the U.S. Geological Survey are housed in the Sciences-Engineering Library, with the microform in the Government Information Center.

About 8% of the collection consists of maps, which are housed in the Map & Imagery Lab (MIL), adjacent to the Government Information Center.

Other methods of access to our collection is through cataloging and indexing tools. Most of our publications are accessible through our library catalog: http://pegasus.library.ucsb.edu/ALEPH/. Many other publications, in other University of California depositories and available for interlibrary loan, can be found in the MELVYL catalog: http://www.dbs.cdlib.org/. In addition, the Library provides access to a variety of locator tools, most notably GPO Access, the GPO Monthly Catalog of Government Publications (1976+), and the LexisNexis Congressional database through its online list of databases (http://www.library.ucsb.edu/databases/).

IV-A. Electronic Access

Since much government information is now accessible over the Internet, special care is taken to ensure that the Library has sufficient access available for our users. The Library complies with the recommended specifications for public access workstations as provided by the Government Printing Office (http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/computers/mtr.html).

The Library policy for public access computer use is located at: http://www.library.ucsb.edu/policies/compuse.html. In compliance with the FDLP Internet Use Policy Guidelines (http://ww1.access.gpo.gov/gpoaccess/fdlp/mgt/iupolicy.html), the Library offers free public access to online federal government information through all Library computer stations.

In addition, the Library offers special services for users with disabilities. Those services are listed at: http://www.library.ucsb.edu/services/users-disabilities/users-disabilities.

V. Weeding and Maintenance

V-A. Retention Policy

All publications issued through the federal depository library system remain the property of the federal government. In accordance with the Instructions to Depository Libraries (http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/pubs/instructions/), the Library maintains all publications at a minimum of five years. Discards are first offered to the California State Library, then to other libraries in southern California.

Most publications are kept much longer than five years, to match the historical interests of our user community. Some publications are kept in perpetuity; for example, the decennial census publications.

V-B. Replacement of Lost and Damaged Items

Government publications generally follow the Library procedures for searching for and reporting lost or damaged documents, except for replacement. When an item is officially declared lost, a copy of the publication is obtained from another library if possible, and added to our collection. Exception is made for ephemera, or publications not deemed to be of significant value to warrant the expense of replacement.

VI. Other Resources

Libraries of the other UC campuses are depositories for U.S. government publications. We collaborate extensively in ensuring that materials will be available for our users. In addition, California State Library is a complete depository for U.S. government publications.

Patrons affiliated with the University may borrow publications from other UC libraries by filling out the interlibrary loan form available from the Library website. Faculty, graduate students, and staff may also borrow from the California State Library with this form. Community borrowers may borrow from these institutions as well, by completing a request through their local public library. Upon request, we will borrow materials for community patrons and make them available for in-house use.


Author: granatino [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (Chris Granatino)
Policy Last Updated: September 2011