SOIS Presentation - Federal Government Information
What is government information?
Any publication issued by a governing body, federal or state, or one issued at government expense. U.S. government publications do not have copyright restrictions and therefore can be repackaged or sold by private publishers and individuals.
How many federal government publications are issued?
The United States Government is the largest publisher in the world. Approximately 50,000 titles are issued by the federal government every year. Formats include, paper, CD-ROM, and microfiche. More than 50% of those documents distributed to libraries are also available on the Internet.
Who prints and distributes these publications?
The Government Printing Office (GPO)
Why use federal government publications?
They provide good primary source material (i.e., Congressional Record)
The information may be very current.
Sometimes they are the best, if not the only, source for that type of information (i.e., Geological Survey Topographic Maps or environmental impact statements)
What type of information do government publications contain?
- research (information on health, science)
- statistics (population information, labor)
- standards (specifications for construction)
- current events (U.S. policy and foreign relations)
- laws (laws, rules and regulations governing the citizens and government of the U.S.)
- presidential speeches and proclamations
- maps and trail guides of national forests
- consumer information
- and much more....
How do I obtain government publications?
- GPO sales program
- direct from the agency
- from your Senator or Representative
- federal depository libraries
What are federal depository libraries?
There are two types of federal depositories:
- Full (or regional) - Milwaukee Public Library
- Selective (or partial) - UW-Milwaukee Libraries
- both types are open for all citizens to use