The Government Documents Collection supports the legal research and teaching needs of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and the community of users represented in Arizona and the First Congressional District. The collection is primarily focused on the broad range of legal issues that are appropriate for a law library. While some general reference and statistical publications are collected, the emphasis and concentration of acquisitions and support are for institutional specialties, policy, and sources of primary authority for cases, statutes, and regulations.
In addition to providing resources for the teaching and research missions of the College of Law and the University, the Depository serves the First Congressional District of Arizona as well as libraries and citizens throughout the state. The Law Library is open for use by the general public throughout the year, which includes access to the government documents collection. Assistance with the depository collection and to general legal research material is available by telephone and on a walk-in basis during regular reference hours.
The Law Library is the only major legal collection north of Tucson with Depository status. An effort is made to serve the legal resource needs of the community and public libraries through teaching and consulting. Government legal information resources available on the Internet can be accessed through the Law Library's Web pages. Pathfinders, research guides and other aids designed for use by the general public as well as the legal community are provided.
On the ASU campus, Hayden Library Government Documents, serves the general research and reference needs of the community with extensive retrospective and current collections reflecting the broad scope of disciplines covered by government publications. The Regional Depository Library, The Law and Research Library, Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, is located within the State Capitol in central Phoenix. Other Phoenix area libraries with Depository status include: Apache Junction Public Library, serving the east side of the valley; and the Burton Barr Central Library of the Phoenix Public Libraries system, which serves the Central and West side of the valley.
The government documents collection is located in the compact shelving on the first floor of the Law Library. These documents are arranged by the SuDoc, Superintendent of Documents, classification system. Some titles have been integrated into the general collection, and older sets of government publications are located in the Historical Collection on the library's third floor. These documents are arranged by the Library of Congress Classification system. Titles in the Historical Collection include, but are not limited to: The Annals of Congress, the Congressional Debates, the Congressional Record (prior to 1976), the American State Papers, the New American State Papers, FERC Reports and the FERC Statutes and Regulations (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), the Monthly Bulletin of the American Republics, etc. Please consult the Online Catalog (OPAC) for call number and holdings information.
The depository microfiche collection is located with the other microform collections of the library on the first floor. Microfiche readers and a reader/printer are available for patron use. The reader/printer can be used to view and print from both microfiche and microfilm, and accepts library copy cards or Sun Cards in payment. Library Copy Cards can be purchased from the vending machine located in the Reserve Reading Room.
CD-ROMs, DVDs, and diskettes are available for use in the law library or can be checked out as appropriate. A stand-alone workstation designated for CD-ROMs and diskettes is available for public use in the library. The materials that are on Reserve can be obtained at the Circulation Desk. Assistance in using these products is available from the Circulation Desk staff, or the Reference Librarians.
Federal Documents available on the Internet can be accessed by URL-links provided in the OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) records. Quick links to selected documents and agencies are also are also available on the Depository Web Links page. The U.S. Government Printing Office maintains FDsys, the Federal Digital System website, which provides free access to the publications of all three branches of the Federal Government. The Library of Congress offers links to federal legislative material at Congress.gov.
The depository collection is being processed to show the library's holdings in the Online Public Access Catalog. This extensive, ongoing project began in 1998 with currently received serial titles being entered into the database. The year 2000 saw the addition of new monograph acquisitions being cataloged. The project has been expanded to include cataloging the existing collection.
A variety of indexing tools provide subject, title and author access to monographs and reports in the collection that are not yet entered into the public catalog. Superintendent of Documents classification numbers used at the University Libraries and found in the Online Public Access Catalog can be applied to the Law Library's government documents collection. Other online resources include: the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, and the U.S. Government Bookstore. Congressional publications can be searched using the CIS Index/Abstracts, and patrons in the Law Library can use a number of online databases. The Proquest Congressional database contains U.S. Legislative information, and background material used by Congress can be accessed through the Proquest Congressional Publications which contains CRS (Congressional Research Service) reports and Congressional Committee Prints from 2004 to present. Another excellent in-library resource for accessing federal material is the LexisNexis Academic database.
Circulating publications in the Depository collection can be checked out for the same period of time as other law library materials for university and community borrowers. Periodicals; serials; loose-leaf services; reference materials and various monograph titles do not circulate, and must be used in the Law Library.
The library's Inter-Library Loan program handles all requests for loans from other library government documents departments, law libraries, and public libraries, as well as requests concerning non-circulating materials. Information about photo-copy fees and services provided is available by contacting the Inter-Library Loan department.
The collection is available and open for public use during all library hours. Reference librarians are available throughout the year from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. There is no reference service on Saturday. During the fall and spring academic semesters, they are available until 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The library has a Kurzweil reader that can be used by any library patron upon request. Assistance with retrieval of materials for special needs patrons is available at the Circulation desk.
The Ross-Blakley Law Library complies with the requirements of the Federal Depository Library Program as managed by the Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents: Federal Depository Library Legal Requirements .
Publications received through the Federal Depository Library Program, and some non-depository federal publications, are shelved or filed by the Superintendent of Documents Classification number. A few titles are classified with a Library of Congress call number, and are integrated into the reference, core, or special collections of the Law Library. These titles include: Statutes at Large, United States Code, U.S. Reports, U.S. Tax Reports, Internal Revenue Bulletin, and compiled legislative histories.
The current goal of the Federal Government is to migrate its publications to an 'Internet Access Only' format. The Government Printing Office has taken on the task of creating and maintaining a digital library to preserve these publications. Many titles that were once available in physical form can now only be obtained electronically. In keeping with the selection guidelines for law libraries, the Ross-Blakley Law Library no longer selects those items that are linked to the electronic resource through records maintained by Hayden Library in the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC). The current selection rate of the Ross-Blakley Law Library, which reflects the trend toward electronic documents, is approximately 12% of the total items offered through the Federal Depository Library Program. The library's selections are mostly comprised of those items that are distributed in a tangible format.
Selection of government publications from the List of Classes of U.S. Government Publications and other resources is supervised by the Associate Dean for Information Technology and the Ross-Blakley Law Library. Librarian, faculty, student, and patron requests for specific titles are welcome. An acquisitions list of new publications cataloged into the collection is posted to the library's web page as appropriate. Patrons, including faculty and students, are notified when special or significant materials are received and a notice is sent for those titles that are currently available on the Internet.
The Law Library continuously weeds individual documents from the collection in compliance with the provisions in the Federal Depository Library Legal Requirements manual. Ongoing weeding ensures that ephemeral materials and materials which do not support the mission of the Law Library or the programs of the College of Law are removed.
The following list of criteria for collection levels is based upon the American Association of Law Schools' Law Books Recommended for Libraries, and has also been used for the "Collection Development Guide" for the Law Library's general and special collections. The purpose of this approach is to ensure that the collection grows in a coherent rather than random manner and that the government documents collections reflect and support the depth and purpose of the general and specialized law collections. Because the Law Library is a special library and its purpose is to support legal research, general materials that are not particularly legal in nature, may not be collected or retained unless they have relevance to legal issues or concerns. In addition, applying collection level criteria to issuing agencies or types of materials rather than to subject areas is difficult. Decisions to weed particular titles are made even within agencies where collection levels are described as "comprehensive," and conversely, if a report has relevance to an area of law from an agency where only basic materials are normally retained, it will be kept in the collection. The following lists are guides, not requirements for selection and retention. Collection levels are rated on a three-point scale as follows:
(1) Basic collection - level of collection sufficient to support basic law related reference work and the basic research of practicing attorneys. This level includes major reports and studies, and selective materials on subjects of current interest to the law and legal research. Little attention is paid to historical or non-legal related materials. At this level, particular effort should be made to rely on interlibrary loan or the referral of patrons to other libraries for material not in the collection. A level one collection may mean that nothing is selected or nothing is retained beyond five years from an agency because there may not be any relevant material.
(2) Research collection - level of collection, which will support the work of law review students, seminar students, and most faculty research. Collections will consist of all current reports, loose-leaf services, selected historical reports and studies, and some non-legal materials related to issues addressed in legal treatises and scholarly journals. A level two collection includes major reports and studies on policy as well as legal issues and includes retrospective legal materials as much as possible.
(3) Intensive collection - level of collection which attempts to include all current and a broad selection of retrospective materials. Loose-leaf services, manuals and guides, as well as reports and studies are collected and retained. Comparative and historical perspectives are also collected and retained. At this level, reliance on inter-library loan should be kept to a minimum. A level three collection includes as comprehensive a collection as reasonably possible of reports and studies as well as legal materials. At this level an attempt to collect retrospective materials is made and commercially produced indexes and alternative format materials are considered for addition to the collections.
In determining the appropriate level of collection for each type of document and for each agency, the factors to be considered include:
A. The quantity of current and anticipated faculty research.
B. The number of courses offered in subject areas of law which are impacted by the federal area, and the amount and level of student research likely to be generated by those courses.
C. The existing strengths of the collection, so that strengths can be maintained and maximized.
D. The extent to which local, state, or regional interests are involved.
E. The strength of accessible collections in other libraries which would allow the law library to rely more heavily on interlibrary loan.
The following is a list of broad types of material included in the Federal Depository Library Program [FDLP]. Level of collection is indicated using the coding described above, numbers 1, 2, and 3. Evaluation factors are also described in the third column of the list.
The following is a list of agencies currently included in the List of Classes of United States Government Publications Available for Selection by Depository Libraries. The agencies are annotated with collection level coding described above, numbers 1, 2, and 3. The level of collection as indicated is a guide and does not mean that everything received in an agency will be retained. The Law Library continuously weeds individual titles from the collection if they do not fit within the collection parameters, whether the agency is coded with a (3) [comprehensive] code or not. Weeding is always done in compliance with the provisions in the Instructions for Depository Libraries. In addition, selection of item numbers for an agency may be more than is indicated by the collection level code. This is done in order to collect in potential areas of interest to legal scholarship or to support current programs of study, but does not mean that all materials will be retained beyond the five-year requirement. Exceptions to parent agency levels are listed under the agency, all other sub-agencies will be collected at the level listed for the overall agency. The library retains all titles that fit into the collection parameters even if the publishing agency no longer exists.
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