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Government Documents and Information: Collection Development Policy

Finding government documents & information at the Drain-Jordan Library, online, and around the world

Collection Development Policy


West Virginia State University Drain-Jordan Library

Collection Development Policy

Government Documents

Revised November 2018

These are the guidelines for acquisition and withdrawal decisions, the allocation of resources, and long-range planning in accordance with the library mission statement of West Virginia State University.


The Drain-Jordan Library has been a selective depository library for the United States Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) since 1907. Currently the library selects 10.39% of all items offered. (1066 items of 10258) (November 2018).

The Government Documents collection is managed in accordance with the Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program (February 2018), and the legal requirements found in Title 44 U.S.C. 1901-1916 (2018).


The Government Documents Collection of the Drain-Jordan Library serves the students and faculty of West Virginia State University and members of the 2nd Congressional District of West Virginia.

Federal depository resources are available and usable for the general public regardless of library affiliation, disability, age, residency, or other customer status. Any member of the general public may use depository resources in all formats at a Federal Depository Library free of charge and without impediments.

Scope of the Collection:

The library selects all formats offered by the federal government: print, electronic, microfiche, and online. The collection is comprised of materials that are required by the FDLP and selections that best complement the current general and reference collections. By 2023, the Drain-Jordan Library is planning on eliminating microfiche and tangible electronic formats (CD/DVD) in order to have a primarily online, electronic, and paper collection.

Material Type:

All government publications are selected in the appropriate available formats considering content, usage, service, and storage. While the library selects all format types, preference is given to online, electronic, and print formats, except where space is a concern (ex. Congressional Records are still received in microfiche, although by 2023 the Congressional Records Collection will be entirely online).


Internet accessible computer workstations are located on the main floor of the library and provide patrons with unimpeded access to electronic resources. Free Wi-Fi is also available in all areas of the library and throughout campus.

All other tangible government document collections comply with accessibility standards set forth by the ADA and the State & Federal Accessibility Guidelines and Laws for Education (2017).


  • The Basic Collection is comprised of titles that the FDLP requires depositories make “accessible for immediate use by your users”.
  • The Suggested Core Collections is a list of publications suggested for selection by academic, public, and law libraries. This list is used as a benchmark for startup collections, but is also consulted when evaluating the existing collection within the library.
  • Fits in with the curriculum or student/faculty research needs.
  • Concerns West Virginia and/or the surrounding states.
  • At least once a year the library reviews their FDLP selection profile and adds or removes item numbers. Deselecting an item number can take place any time throughout the year, but items can only be selected once a year, in October. Criteria for these decisions include:
  1. Usage
  2. Student/faculty request
  3. Continued relevance to the University curriculum.
  4. New item numbers.
  5. Change in format/publication.

Withdrawal and Deselection:

  • Weeding- Items can be weeded from the collection and discarded if they meet the following criteria:
  1. Publication date of five years or older.
  2. An exact duplicate is available for use within the library.
  3. No longer relevant to the needs of the students/faculty/public.
  4. Approved by the Regional Coordinator (WVU) and listed on the FDLP eXchange.
  5. Some exceptions occur (See FDLP guidelines for weeding for complete list).
  • Superseded/substitution and weeding of tangible items can occur if:
  1. A title has been replaced by a newer version.
  2. An online equivalent exists that is a complete duplication.

Collection Evaluation:

The Government Documents Librarian will evaluate the collection periodically (at least once a year) for items that can be withdrawn and item numbers than can be deselected. Ideally, a large scale weeding and deselection process will be completed no less than every five years.

Using resources provided by the Government Publishing Office, the Government Documents Librarian will also review the format of currently selected items with the goal of deselecting microfiche and CD/DVDs, and shifting primarily to an electronic and paper print collection by 2023.

Cataloging, Classification, and Location:

  • Cataloging: The Drain-Jordan Library catalogs depository holdings according to national bibliographic standards and classifies most government documents using the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) Classification System. Selected items, such as print books, are classified using the Library of Congress Classification (LOC) and are located in with the general book collection.
  • Congressional Records: Located in the Periodicals Department alongside the microform collections, the microfiche Congressional Records Collection has been weeded to all but the last five years. By 2023 the entirety of this collection will be available in an on online format and the library will no longer have a physical collection of Congressional Records.
  • Government Documents Collection: Located in the Periodicals Department of the Drain-Jordan Library underneath the FDLP sign, this collection encompasses the majority of FDLP print materials organized by SuDoc number. This includes CD/DVDs, committee papers, kits, booklets, pamphlets, federal codes, indexes, newspapers, and any other materials released by the FDLP determined to be inappropriate for inclusion in the general book collections.
  • Map Collection: Located in the back of the Reference Department, near the oversized book collection. Organized by SuDoc number.
  • Print Journals: Located in the Periodicals Department with our general magazine collection, the Drain-Jordan Library receives several print journals from the FDLP. These journals are catalogued into our Virtua card catalog.

Resource Sharing:

Government publications not selected by the library can be acquired through WorldShare Interlibrary Loan. Many current documents unavailable through the library catalog are also available online by searching the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications on FDsys ( Many older documents can be found online by searching the Hathi Trust.