Assessment: From Washington to Warrensburg

Library Services has just completed a "self-study" assessment of the Government Documents Collection. This is a requirement of the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), which oversees the collection. The process has given us the opportunity to assess our compliance with the United States Code and GPO regulations. Depository libraries that are not in compliance or have experienced dramatic changes (like moving to a new library building) can expect a follow-up visit from a GPO inspector. Those who fail to come into compliance will lose their depository status.

The self-study covers such topics as collection development decisions, document processing and care, number of employees devoted to caring for the collection, a description of available technology, and customer service. Beside the collection in the Ward Edwards Library, also assessed was the map collection in the Geography Department in Wood 5 and the patents and trademarks CD-ROM collection in the Center for Technology and Small Business Development in Grinstead 003.

The library's federal government documents collection contains more than a half million documents. A few titles that are available only on the Internet can be discovered using the library's online catalog. This has been a good opportunity to review processes and gather together a detailed description of the collection and its related services. The study will also serve as a great baseline for assessment purposes. The self-study is available on Reserve in the library.