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Government Documents: Collection Development


William F. Maag, Jr. Library - Federal Depository #0482A

The Government Documents Collection Development Policy supplements Maag Library's general Collection Development Policy by addressing the unique elements of ownership, arrangement, access, and maintenance responsibilities of the depository collection.


The U.S. Government is the largest publisher in the world. Every day congressional bills, laws, regulations, presidential documents, studies, and more are issued on a variety of topics. The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government's information. The FDLP is administered by the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO).

Since 1813, select U.S. Government documents have been made available throughout the U.S. and its territories to designated libraries, called Federal depository libraries.

As members of the FDLP, depository libraries play a prominent role in providing Federal Government information to the public. FDLP libraries collaborate on a local and national level to provide informed access to both historical and current Federal Government resources distributed through the FDLP and deposited in libraries across the country.

Anyone can visit Federal depository libraries and use the Federal depository collections which are filled with information on careers, business opportunities, consumer information, health and nutrition, legal and regulatory information, demographics, and numerous other subjects.

The authority for the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and the legal obligations of designated Federal depository libraries are found in Title 44 of the United States Code §§1901‐1916.

Source: FDLP Basics


William F. Maag, Jr. Library is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents in accordance with Title 44 of the United States Code. Maag Library has been a selective federal depository since 1971. It is one of two depository libraries for the 13th Congressional District, the other being the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County. After reapportionment following the 2010 U.S. Census, Ohio lost its 17th and 18th Congressional Districts. The 13th District changed in 2012 to include much of the territory of the previous 17th District. The 13th Congressional District now includes Summit, Portage, Mahoning, and Trumbull counties. Maag Library currently selects print and electronic federal publications available through the FDLP: Federal Depository Library Program. The State Library of Ohio serves as the regional government depository for Ohio, and thus collects 100% of the publications available through the FDLP. Maag Library is also a depository for selected State of Ohio documents.

The mission of Maag Library's depository collection is to serve the government information needs of:

            ♦ The Youngstown State University community (students, faculty, staff)
            ♦ Residents of Ohio's 13th Congressional District
            ♦ The general public.

Maag Library selects documents which support YSU's curricula, research, and programs, and also those documents deemed of interest to the local and general public.

Maag Library adheres to the Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program.


MaagNET, Maag Library's online catalog, includes the majority of government documents currently held in Maag's collection, both tangible and online. Titles available online include a direct link in the MaagNET item record. Listed below are possible locations for tangible government documents, which are noted in the LOCATION field of each MaagNET item record:

   • Maag Government Documents: 6th Floor
   • Maag Ohio Documents: 6th Floor
   • Maag Government Document Pamphlet File: 6th Floor
   • Maag Government Documents CDROM Case: 6th Floor
   • Maag Government Document Atlas Case: 6th Floor
   • Maag Government Document Map Boxes: 6th Floor
   • Government Documents Reference: 6th Floor

Federal documents are arranged acccording to the Superintendent of Documents classification system, which is an agency-based arrangement. A few current titles are shelved in the reference and general collections according to the relevant Library of Congress call number.

Most government publications are published online and are accessible through MaagNET, the OhioLINK Library Catalog or through any Internet browser. The selected print collection is located on the Sixth Floor of the library and is available during Library Hours.

Government documents not available through Maag Library may be available electronically or by request through the OhioLINK Library Catalog. InterLibrary Loan is available for those government documents not available through MaagNET or OhioLINK.

Some government documents are currently held in shared storage at the NE Regional Depository in Rootstown, Ohio. To obtain these materials, click "Request" from the item record and enter name and YSU ID#. Visit the Library Services Desk on the main floor of Maag Library or contact the Government Documents Librarian if you need assistance with such requests.


Use of the government documents collection is open to the public. The circulation policy of the Government Documents collection reflects the general circulation policies of Maag Library.

Youngstown State University provides a range of accommodations for students with documented disabilities which will enable them to reach their full potential. See Disability Services. YSU websites are ADA compliant. Maag Library uses LibGuides which may be viewed in a format suitable for printers and screen-readers or mobile devices.

Youngstown State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, disability, age, religion or veteran/military status in its programs and activities.

Reference services are available to all patrons during Library Hours. Reference services include in-person inquiries at the reference desk, email, phone (330-941-3681), and librarian appointment.

The selected tangible collection (paper, microfiche, CD/DVDs, pamphlets, maps) is housed on the Sixth Floor of the library and is available to all patrons during Library Hours.

As a member of the Federal Depository Library Program, Maag Library offers the general public free access to online federal government information. Non-university patrons wishing to access online government information can sign in at the reference desk with a government-issued ID to use a public computer workstation. See Maag Library's Computer & Internet Access Policy. Printed copies of government documents are available upon request.

Reference materials and those designated as "Library Use Only" must be used within the library by all patrons.

Microfiche readers are available in the government documents collection area on the 6th floor of the library. Copies of microfiche can be made on the 3rd floor in the Microforms area.

The Government Documents Librarian maintains an online Government Documents Guide as an aid to finding federal, state, and local government information available through Maag Library and online information available from government agency websites and government information portals.

The Public Library of Youngstown & Mahoning County is also a local selective federal depository library.


The Government Documents Librarian is responsible for selecting/deselecting materials for the collection. Selections are made which support YSU Graduate ProgramsYSU Undergraduate Majors, faculty and institutional research, and local and general public interest.

English is the primary language for the collection, but materials available in other languages are selected if they are considered relevant to the needs of the University and general public.

The Government Documents Librarian conducts an annual, zero-based review of the collection during GPO's annual selection update cycle. Additions and deletions are made based on continual assessment and evaluation.

Listed below are government agencies whose publications are selected by Maag Library through the Federal Depository Program:

            ♦ Agriculture Department
            ♦ Broadcasting Board of Governors
            ♦ Civil Rights Commission
            ♦ Commerce Department
            ♦ Congress X
            ♦ Congress Y
            ♦ Defense Department
            ♦ Education Department
            ♦ Energy Department
            ♦ Environmental Protection Agency
            ♦ Executive Office of the President
            ♦ Farm Credit Administration
            ♦ Federal Communications Commission
            ♦ Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service
            ♦ Federal Reserve System Board of Governors
            ♦ Federal Trade Commission
            ♦ Fine Arts Commission
            ♦ General Services Administration
            ♦ Government Printing Office
            ♦ Health & Human Services Department
            ♦ Homeland Security
            ♦ Housing & Urban Development
            ♦ Interior Department
            ♦ International Trade Commission
            ♦ Journals of the Congress
            ♦ Judiciary
            ♦ Justice Department
            ♦ Labor Department
            ♦ Library of Congress
            ♦ National Aeronautics Space Administration
            ♦ National Archives & Records Administration
            ♦ National Credit Union Administration
            ♦ National Foundation on the Arts & the Humanities
            ♦ National Labor Relations Board
            ♦ National Mediation Board
            ♦ National Science Foundation
            ♦ Overseas Private Investment Corporation
            ♦ Peace Corps
            ♦ Personnel Management Office
            ♦ President of the United States
            ♦ Securities & Exchange Commission
            ♦ Small Business Administration
            ♦ Smithsonian Institution
            ♦ Social Security Administration
            ♦ State Department
            ♦ Transportation Department
            ♦ Treasury Department
            ♦ U.S. Agency for International Development
            ♦ U.S. Trade & Development Agency
            ♦ United States Postal Service
            ♦ Veterans Affairs
            ♦ Vice President of the United States


Business and Economics: YSU offers undergraduate degrees in Accounting, Business Economics, Finance, International Business, Management, and Marketing, as well as a Master of Business Administration. The Department of Economics offers undergraduate degrees in Economics, as well as Master of Arts degrees in Economics and Financial Economics. Documents from the Departments of Commerce, Labor, Housing & Urban Development, and the Treasury, as well as the Small Business Administration, Securities & Exchange Commission, Federal Trade Commission, and the U.S. Trade & Development are selected to support research for these programs.  

Criminal Justice: YSU offers an undergraduate degree in criminal justice, as well as a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. Documents are selected from the Department of Justice and the Judiciary to support research dealing with the broad scope of crime and its implications.

Education: YSU offers various undergraduate degrees in education, as well as a Doctor of Education and master’s degrees for Educational Specialist in School Psychology, Intervention Services, Counseling, Educational Administration, Educational Technology, Teacher Education, and Special Education. Documents from the Department of Education are selected as well as the publications of other agencies that deal with child development, adult education, and vocational education.

Health & Human Services: YSU offers various degrees in allied health, food and nutrition, nursing, and medical technology, as well as a Doctor of Physical Therapy and master’s degrees for Health & Human Services, Public Health, Respiratory Care, Gerontology, Clinical Nurse Specialist – Chronic Illness Care, M.S. Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Education, Nurse Practitioner, and School Nurse. Documents from the Department of Health & Human Services are collected, with an emphasis placed on health statistics.

Sciences: YSU offers undergraduate degrees in various areas of science and engineering, as well as a PhD in Materials Science & Engineering and master’s degrees in Applied Behavior Analysis, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Civil/Environmental & Chemical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Industrial & Systems Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

Veterans Affairs: Documents from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Justice are collected to serve student veterans at YSU.

Congressional publications are also collected as well as documents from the Census Bureau, Executive Office of the President, and the Departments of Labor, Justice, and the Interior.


All depository items remain the property of the United States Government and are weeded and discarded periodically in accordance with procedures outlined by the FDLP and the Discard Lists Guidelines from the State Library of Ohio. See FDLP: Weeding a Depository Collection. Maag Library maintains all publications for a minimum of five years. Most publications are kept much longer, while some (e.g.,decennial census publications) are kept permanently.

Superseded titles in both tangible and electronic formats are withdrawn from the collection as instructed by the FDLP.

Replacement of missing documents is determined on an individual basis by the Government Documents Librarian. Replacement depends on the importance of the item and the demand, along with availability.

The Government Documents Librarian makes decisions concerning binding. Binding decisions are based on the condition and/or usage of a document.

Maag Library incurs no financial benefit from the disposal of government depository materials.