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Government Documents

As part of the need to calibrate the collections in Cabell Library, the government documents collections on the first floor will be affected.

What are government documents and how are they acquired?

  • The VCU Libraries is a member of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), a program established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its government’s information. GPO administers the FDLP on behalf of the participating libraries and the public. Information products from the Federal Government are disseminated free of charge to these nationwide libraries that, in turn, ensure the American public has free access to the materials, both in print and online. VCU is a selective depository, meaning that it has collected only a portion of what GPO offers. The University of Virginia is a comprehensive depository; UVa also is the home to the FDLP regional coordinator. More information is available on our web site.
  • The documents collection contains some state and municipal documents that the library has acquired over the years, mostly as donations from the various agencies.

What is being withdrawn and how is this decision made?

  • The library has worked closely with the FDLP regional coordinator to review the state of our federal collection. The decisions for removal from the VCU holdings follows her advice. Decisions about state and municipal document collections follow similar criteria and their relevance to VCU’s current programs and research interests.
  • Large portions of the collection are either obsolete or available now in electronic form. These items will be removed from the collection.

What will be done with titles removed from the VCU Libraries?

  • Certain titles may have value to other libraries. These will be placed on an electronic list for 45 days that FDLP libraries use to share unwanted documents. The VCU Libraries will ship these documents to any FDLP library that expresses interest.
  • Some titles in particular have already been identified as a better fit for other libraries, including the Library of Virginia and the University of Virginia. These documents will be transferred.
  • Volumes for which we can’t find a proper home will be recycled according to GPO guidelines.

What parts of the government documents collection will remain?

  • We will retain the parts of the collection that are most relevant to the curriculum and research at VCU and that is not available electronically. Areas in which VCU has a strong interest will be retained.
  • In some cases, we will be expanding the collection. For example, VCU has agreed to long-term custodial oversight for the homeland security related titles from GPO as a Center for Excellence program under the auspices of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries. We will be adding titles

VCU Libraries

James Branch Cabell Library Monroe Park Campus
901 Park Ave., Richmond, VA 23284-2033
Toll-free: (866) 828-2665
(804) 828-1111
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Tompkins-McCaw Library MCV Campus
509 N. 12th St., Richmond, VA 23298-0582
Toll-free: (866) 828-2665
(804) 828-0636

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