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Government Documents

Government documents are simply books, pamphlets, and other resources published by the Government Printing Office (GPO). The thing to remember is that, because all departments of the government are allowed to publish, the subject range is almost as broad as the entire library.

Everyone has seen some government documents about government operations -- small print and boring. The assumption is that this is what all government documents are. Nothing could be further from the truth. I will want you, therefore, to do a little exploring in this area to find out what is available.

Government documents are found by searching the online library catalog (that's right, they're in the catalog just like books) or by going to the government document web site online. Since the GPO's goal is to get everything online and no longer publish on paper, more titles every month are moving to the Web.

In-class exercise

1. Take a look at some of these resources in the PAC library. Summarize how you would use them and send to me through email:

Occupational Outlook Handbook
Statistical Abstract Of The United States
The 1992 Yearbook of Agriculture
Minerals Yearbook

2. Now, for the online material, go to the PAC library homepage for research:

Click on Web Subject INDEX. Then click on G and locate GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS. Click on that link. Try the link for the Government Information Locator Service and the also for the GPO. Try looking up your research paper topic and see what you find. Let me know on the email.

3. Where would be the most appropriate place to begin looking for the following questions?

a. You have been asked to book a performance of the "Circle of Musical Culture" ballet from Macau for this college. How do you get hold of them?

b. You need a picture, or diagram, of the various types (at least 6) of the tops of columns.

c. Where did sunglasses originate? What's the story?

d. Where would you find a Lease Agreement form?

e. Your grandfather thinks he has Veteran's benefits due him. Where do you write, or call, for information?

f. How did the town of Buda, in Texas, get its name?

g. You have to find out what book contains a summary of state legislative actions last year in Minnesota.

NEXT: Subject Reference Sources

line of books

Please send comments to: Colby Glass, MLIS

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