Skip Campus Navigation

Government Information

Collection Development Policy

Valparaiso University, located in the 1st Congressional District, was designated a selective federal depository in 1930. Valparaiso University is a Lutheran school that enrolls 3,500+ students and supports a College of Arts and Sciences, Colleges of Business Administration, Nursing, and Engineering and an honors college. The Law School has a separate library that is also a selective depository. VU's Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources selects about 25% of available items. The Library's primary users are students, faculty and staff of Valparaiso University, the local community and the residents of the1st Congressional District of Indiana.

Mission Statement

The primary mission of the Government Information Services Department is to provide access to government information to our constituency and to support the curriculum of the Valparaiso University community. These objectives will be met in accordance with the standards defined in Instructions to Depository Libraries and The Federal Depository Library Manual.

Selection Methods and Responsibility

The Government Information Services Librarian is solely responsible for selecting materials for the collection; however, input from library staff, University faculty and patrons is taken into consideration.

The Government Information Services Librarian will annually review the item numbers selected to ensure that the Library is receiving the materials that it needs and not those that are of little or no use to our primary patrons. Sources to be consulted in this review process include List of Classes, suggested core collections in The Federal Depository Library Manual, U.S. Government Subscriptions and Subject Bibliographies. Other sources to be consulted include Documents to the People, book reviews, communications from GOVDOC-L and articles from various library journals. Gifts of government documents will be added at the discretion of the Government Information Services Librarian.

Collection Focus

The collection will be focused on areas that support the curriculum and are of interest to the general public who live in the 1st Congressional District. Strong emphasis will be given to the following departments: Commerce, including the Census Bureau; Education; Health and Human Services; Interior; Labor and various publications by the Offices of the President and Vice President. Moderate emphasis will be given to the following departments: Defense, Energy, Government Printing Office, Library of Congress, NASA and Smithsonian Institute. Minimal emphasis will be given to the departments of Judiciary and Justice and congressional hearings in an effort not to duplicate the holdings of the Law Library.

Most items offered will be appropriate for the collection except posters, ephemera and some technical handbooks, manuals and guides. Close attention will be given to government information that is available on the Internet and the Library will seek to reflect the availability of these items in the library catalog. The Library will continue to select the paper or microfiche copies of these materials if they are deemed important sources, but will consider deselecting items of lesser importance as they are made available on the Internet.

Collection Arrangement

Most depository items will be house in the government documents area and arranged in SuDocs order. Some items of particular interest to the Reference Department are recataloged and assigned Library of Congress numbers. Some document journals are also recataloged and housed in periodicals. The library catalog reflects the location of the documents, whether they are in SuDocs or LC classifications.

A selective housing arrangement with the Valparaiso University Law Library is in place for a period of 10 years.


Considerations in format selection include the nature of the publication, space requirements, frequency of use, and technical requirements for hardware and software. For heavily used items, paper copies are preferred. Microfiche is preferred for archival materials. Appropriate CD-ROM's will be selected and efforts will be made to technically support these items. CD-ROM's, excluding census, will circulate in order to give patrons full access to the information in this format.

Resource Sharing

The Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources has close ties with the VU Law Library and actively seeks to coordinate the selection and deselection of materials with the Law Library holdings in mind. The holdings of other area depositories are also consulted via Documents Data Miner in an effort to make informed decisions regarding selection. Thelibrary both loans and borrows materials through interlibrary loan.

Collection Evaluation

The Government Information Services Librarian will annually evaluate the collection using the Documents Data Miner, item lists from neighboring selective depositories and various core collection lists defined in the Federal Depository Library Manual. Other determiners will be patron/faculty recommendations and use statistics.

Weeding and Maintenance

The collection will be maintained in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Instructions to Depository Libraries. An accurate shelflist will be maintained to the piece level in the library catalog. All documents will be marked with the depository property/date stamp and labeled with the SuDocs number.

Superseded items will be withdrawn in accordance with the Superseded List and the shelflist marked accordingly. Any exceptions to this practice will be clearly labeled on the document and shelflist. Weeding will be an ongoing process. Those titles no longer needed will be offered to other libraries and/or discarded with the permission of the regional depository.


All government publications will be accessible for public use in the library. Patrons may check out most paper publications with the exception of periodicals (library policy) and reference materials. Most government CD-ROM's also circulate. The library's holdings of government documents are cataloged in the library catalog, and are accessible to VU and non-VU patrons alike. The library also provides Internet access to government documents to all patrons.

Most government documents are arranged in SuDocs order on the first floor of the Christopher Center. Adequate signage directs the patrons to the proper location. Some documents are recataloged and integrated into the regular collection in Library of Congress classification. Because bibliographic records of the documents are in the library catalog, fewer are being recataloged.

The Library currently subscribes to Marcive WebDocs and provides access to the Catalog of Government Publications. Reference assistance is available.