Finding Government Documents
In The Mabee Learning Center
The United States Government is the largest publisher in the world. Books, maps, posters, brochures, periodicals--all sorts of materials make up the documents collection in the Mabee Learning Center. But locating a specific document in the library is not always easy.
DOCUMENTS COME IN ALL FORMATS
While many documents are available online, other documents continue to be issued in a tangible format. Some are paper, others are issued in microfiche (found on the north wall of the Periodical Room), on CD-ROM and DVD (at the Reference Room computers, or on the north wall of the Documents Room), or on videotape (in the Media Center). Maps and posters may be in binders, or in the Map Cabinets on the West wall of the Periodical Room. One of the easier ways to locate documents, either online or in tangible format is through the library (MLC) catalog.
DOCUMENTS ARE IN MANY SECTIONS OF THE LIBRARY
Although most documents are shelved in the Documents Room, some are in the Reference Room, others are found upstairs in the stacks. You may not even realize these come from the government, because they'll have Dewey call numbers. Some documents can be found in the Periodical Room, arranged alphabetically with the other magazines.
NOT ALL DOCUMENTS HAVE BEEN CATALOGED
Traditionally, documents were located by using the Monthly Catalog, distributed by the Superintendent of Documents, instead of by using library catalogs. In order to help students search for documents, most currently-received titles are now being catalogued. The prefix DOC means that an item can be found in the Documents collection.
DOCUMENTS HAVE THEIR OWN CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM
Instead of being arranged on the shelves by subject, documents are organized by agency. All documents issued by the Department of Commerce are shelved together, no matter what their topic. Information about poverty may be under L (Labor), HE (Health), ED (Education), Y (Congress)--or somewhere else. If you're looking for a specific document, be sure to copy the entire classification number--there may be many items with similar numbers.
SOME DOCUMENTS MAY BE CHECKED OUT
Any document marked with a blue sticker on the spine may be checked out. Periodicals and Reference materials do not circulate. Requests for special short-term check-out of materials will be accommodated whenever possible. Ask the Documents Librarian.
MLC is a Selective Depository--we receive about thirty percent of the documents distributed by the government. The Oklahoma Department of Libraries (Oklahoma City) and Oklahoma State University (Stillwater) are Regional Depositories. They receive and keep all federal documents, as well as many Oklahoma State documents. Most items which we do not regularly receive may be obtained from a near-by library using Interlibrary Loan. Fill out an ILL request, or contact the Documents Librarian.
ASK FOR HELP
The Documents Department is staffed week-days from 8 am to 5 pm, or call 878-2284. After hours and on week-ends, the on-duty Reference Librarian can help with searches involving documents. We'll be glad to help you find what you need--just ask.
For information, contact the serials/documents librarian, Vernell Ward, at 405-878-2284 or email@example.com