In addition to the paper and microfiche copies of government
documents that are housed at Lydon Library on the 4th floor,
there are a number of government resources available on the
FAQs About UMass
Lowell Government Documents
What are government documents?
government publication is any informational material published
by the U.S.
federal government. The U.S. government, the most prolific
publisher in the world, produces information on almost every
subject, including business and the economy, the environment,
social sciences, education, health, and labor. Government
publications can provide information on a wide range of
geographic areas and time periods. Common types of information
are statistical and reference works, manuals, bibliographies,
handbooks, indexes, reports, studies, and maps. Publications are
produced in several formats, including book, pamphlet,
periodical, microform, audiovisual formats, computer software,
CD-ROM, and Internet sites.
What government documents does the Library have?
Lowell Libraries have been a selective federal depository
library since 1954 and currently receives 25% of items available
from the federal government. The collection includes
approximately 50,500 paper items, 50,000 microfiche, and 300
CD-ROMs, and concentrates on items produced by the Departments
of Commerce, Environmental Protection Agency, Education, Health
and Human Services, Labor, the Offices of the President and
Vice-President, and selected items from Congress.
Who can use the government documents at UMass Lowell?
faculty, students and staff of the University, members of the
5th Massachusetts Congressional District, and members of the
general public are provided library reference and referral
services related to government documents. Assistance in using
the collection is provided by the Reference Department.
How do I locate government documents?
- Use the GPO Catalog to identify relevant documents.
- Search by author, government agency and keywords.
- Mark and print out the items you want
- Documents in paper or microfiche are filled by the SuDocs No. on the 4th floor at Lydon Library.
For economic reports and statistics use:
Government Information Locator Service (GILS) to help
identify and get descriptions of information resources
throughout the Federal government, as well as assistance in
obtaining that information.
Academic Universe and Congressional Universe to access Federal
and State Legal documents. statutes, regulations, and court
decisions with commentary and cross-references pending and past
For patent information use:
Digital National Security Archives
for full-text declassified national security
Use MAGNET to
access many Massachusetts state and local documents.
For international agencies use
. Also check out the Subject guide.
Where are the government documents located?
government documents collection of paper is located on the 4th
Floor of Lydon Library (North). The microfiche collection is on
the 1st floor of O'Leary (South). Two computers located in the
1st floor reference area at O'Leary are available for
information in CD-ROM format. A wide range of government
information is also available through the Internet using the
sources listed above.
publications are shelved according to the Superintendent of
Documents (SuDocs) classification system, which groups
publications by issuing agency instead of by subject. If you
can't find the publication you want, please keep in mind that
the Library receives only 25% of what the federal government
May I check out government documents?
government publications can be checked out, however, reference
sources, CD-ROMs, and periodicals may be used only in the
What if the government document I need isn't available
at UMass Lowell?
Reference staff can help you determine where a publication is
located. The Boston Public Library receives 100% of items
published by the federal government. If no local library owns
the publication, you may request it through InterLibrary loan if
you are a UMass Lowell community member.
What if I have questions?
If you need
help, please ask at the Reference Desk or call (978) 934-4554.
Government Document Policies
The UMass Lowell Libraries participates in the Federal
Depository Library Program (FDLP) and offers the UMass Lowell
community and general public unrestricted access to government
information housed in the library and that which is available on
Bibliographic access to most
government publications is through the online GPO Monthly
Catalog, the Library's Public Access Catalog, and other
commercial indexes. Government periodicals are interfiled with
non-government periodicals and selected government serials and
monographs are given a Library of Congress Classification.
The UMass Lowell Libraries do not charge fees for the use of
Internet-based government materials.
In accordance with the UML printing policy, printing of
government materials from the Internet will be allowed for the
on the same basis as any other Internet printing. Internet-based
FDLP materials may be downloaded to a personal storage device.
UML Libraries does not use filtering software on the computers
provided for public access.
The Head of Technical Services is the designated documents
coordinator and is responsible for coordination with GPO and
other library staff who work with documents. The Head Catalog
Librarian is responsible for part-time student assistants and
the technical aspects of acquiring, receiving, and cataloging
documents. The Reference-Bibliographers are responsible for
informing patrons, selection and evaluation of depository items,
and instruction and assistance to users of government documents.
The Access Services Librarian is responsible for maintaining the
government documents stacks.
Collection Development Policy
Selection of publications available through the depository
system is made by reference bibliographers and the Collection
Development/Documents Librarian Criteria for selection of
depository items include:
- Material on a topic which is of on-going concern in the curriculum or to local patrons.
- Material from an agency which is relevant to the curriculum or the locality.
- Material which is indexed in a source which is frequently used by library patrons.
Material which is indexed in a source which is frequently used
by library patrons.
Evaluation of Item Number Selections
A periodic evaluation of selections by item number is made by
the reference bibliographers to determine if titles being
received are relevant. The library cannot afford to handle and
shelve materials which are not used.
The online circulation system will permit us to evaluate the use
of documents by SuDocs stems. This information will also be used
to refine our item selections.
Retention of Titles
Periodic review of cataloged and partially cataloged items is
made after the five-year retention period when lists of titles
we wish to withdraw are prepared for the Regional Depository.
Criteria used in retention decisions include: recorded use of
the material; perceived permanent importance of the material to
the library's primary clientele; whether the document is part of
a major set or series; and/or whether the document is indexed in
one of the primary government document bibliographic tools.
Routinely withdrawn are: superseded editions or outdated
material covered by other sources; technical material beyond the
interests of our clientele; and material which has not
circulated and which is available in other depositories in the
Materials are collected in microfiche format when available and
paper when not. The library also collects census and other
relevant government statistical materials in CD-ROM format.
Access to government materials on the Internet is a growing part
of our provision of government information.
The library collects very few maps with the exception of the
topographic quadrangle maps for Massachusetts. We have not had a demand
for maps and are confident that surrounding depositories and
Internet availability can supply any needed map.
The general library collection reflects the university
curriculum. Subject fields which are most heavily represented
are literature, history, health and administration, business
economics, and education.
government publications are collected mainly in the areas of
education, health sciences, environmental science, political
science, geology, economics, and social welfare.
For all materials, collection priorities are determined on a
subject by subject basis and are under continual review by the
Collection Development Librarian and the reference
bibliographers in consultation with faculty liaisons. Primary
emphasis is placed on acquiring current materials to support
undergraduate and master's programs. Duplicate copies are
purchased only in subjects where there is heavy demand.
Congress -- C
Agriculture -- D
Commerce -- C
Defense -- D
Education -- C
Energy -- C
Geological Survey -- C
Health & Human Services -- C
Housing & Urban Development -- D
Interior -- D
Justice -- C
Labor -- C
Public Health Service -- C
National Institute of Health -- C
State Department -- D
Treasury -- D
Transportation -- D
Civil Rights Commission -- D
Library of Congress -- C
NASA -- D
National Archives -- D
Presidential -- C
National Science Foundation -- C
Securities and Exchange -- C
Small Business -- C
Smithsonian Institute -- D
Central Intelligence Agency -- D
Collection Level by Agency
The Levels are those used nationally to define library
collecting levels and generally represent undergraduate and
master's program teaching collections.
Non-Depository Document Materials
Non-depository titles are acquired on an ad-hoc basis when the
subject of these documents warrants, from the publishing agency
or from GPO using our deposit account, as well as from document
on-demand services. Most requests for non-depository titles are
met through interlibrary loan. The library subscribes to all
ERIC reports. These documents from 1993 to the present are
available electronically via the library's web page. Individual
orders for documents can also be made online through EDRS.