Government Information Services Overview
Government Information Services: An Overview of Materials and Services
THE BASICS: Government Information Services (GIS) in the JFK Memorial Library at Cal State Los Angeles contains publications of the:
1. United States government, and 2. California State government.
ACCESS POLICY: As a Selective Federal Depository, Government Information Services welcomes the general public to use materials on site, free of charge. The stacks collection is available all hours the building is open. Building and service hours are reduced when classes are not in session. Please call ahead for exact hours.
What is Government Information Services?
Since 1956, the Library has been a Congressionally designated depository for U.S. government publications serving the 34th U.S. Congressional District of California. The Library currently receives catalog records for all electronic federal publications as they are cataloged by the Government Printing Office as well as some significant reference titles in print. Official designation as a State depository was made in 1960.
Why Should I Use Government Publications?
Something relevant to virtually every field of study taught and researched at Cal State L.A. may be found in the books, pamphlets, periodicals, microforms, maps, compact and floppy disks, and World Wide Web sites that contain Federal and State government information. You will find statistics, Federal and State legislative materials, Census reports, research monographs, technical reports, educational frameworks, and more. Subjects covered include politics and government, business, law, education, crime and criminal justice, health and medicine, science and technology, and the arts and humanities. Information about income tax, Social Security and Veterans benefits, careers, small business, citizenship and immigration, federal grants and fellowships, travel and recreation, nutrition and exercise, household safety, and many other consumer-oriented topics is also available.
How Do I Find Government Publications in the Library?
U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS – The newest online Federal publications may be found using the Library Catalog. For all materials issued since 1976, users should use the OCLC database GPO Catalog, or the official Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. Both versions include links to online versions of the publications. The Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (1895 to 1996) is the basic finding aid for older materials.
CALIFORNIA PUBLICATIONS - Use the University of California's MELVYL®; electronic catalog, which includes the records of the California State Library. Many State publications are now published online and can be found using a standard web search engine like Google or Yahoo. New State publications received in print are listed in the Library Catalog.
SHELF LOCATION - Both U. S. and California Government print publications are shelved in the Library Palmer Wing, 2nd Floor. Shelf arrangement is by Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) classification numbers (for Federal) and California State Library classification numbers (for State). These systems are based on government authorship, not on subject classification (as the Library of Congress or Dewey Decimal systems are). These materials are located using the Library Catalog Advanced Search.
What Services are Available to Users?
Reference assistance is provided at the Reference Center, 1st Floor, Library North. Specialized consultation, as well as class lectures or tours, can be arranged; please call Government Information Services at (323) 343-2015 for further details. Please be sure to allow several weeks' advance notice when requesting instruction.
Can Government Publications be Checked Out?
Most government publications may be checked out for a four-week period (exceptions include any that are stamped "Non-Circulating" or "Library Use Only," and materials kept on the reference shelves in Library North, 1st Floor, which may be used inside the Library only). Usually, microfiche and electronic products must be used inside the Library, as well.
- BORROWING - To check out materials, you must have a current CSLA library card, a library card from another CSU campus, or a valid CSLA courtesy card. Bring all materials to be checked out to the main Circulation Desk, 1st Floor, Library North.
- RENEWING - You may renew materials using the Web, or in person, twice - that is, so long as another Library user has not placed a hold on the material(s). You may NOT renew materials that are overdue.