VCU's government documents expert appointed to Government Publishing Office's national advisory council

May 7, 2024
Nia Rodgers standing in front of books
Photo by Katharine DeRosa

VCU Libraries Government Documents Coordinator Stephani (Nia) Rodgers is a 2024  appointee to the U.S. Government Publishing Office’s (GPO) Depository Library Council. These members advise the GPO Director on policy matters relating to the Federal Depository Library Program and access to U.S. government information. 

In this program, the Government Publishing Office distributes government information free to libraries. And the libraries provide free access for all users to this information. In addition, information specialists–like Nia Rodgers–are available at these libraries to assist researchers with locating Federal information. 

VCU Libraries became a member of this Federal Depository Library Program in 1971 and makes available a growing collection of U.S. documents. Increasingly, these documents are digital. Most of the 50 states have a regional depository library, a library designated by a U.S. Senator to maintain responsibility for the integrity and comprehensiveness of a state or region's depository collection of U.S. Government information. Virginia's regional depository library is at the University of Virginia's Alderman Library. As a selective depository, VCU’s government documents collection is tailored to information that supports the academic departments and colleges of VCU. 

In addition to experience working in various types of libraries, the new council members have experience with and knowledge of current developments in the fields of library science and U.S. Government information.  

“These council members, along with all librarians and library staff across the country, are vital to GPO’s vision of an America Informed,” said Director Hugh Nathanial Halpern. “We look forward to the advice of these new members, each of whom has their own valuable perspective.”

Rodgers is the Public Affairs Research Librarian at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Cabell Library. She works with faculty, students and staff in the Political Science Department, The Robertson School of Media and Culture and the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs to support their research. She coordinates VCU’s Government Documents.

An advocate for community engagement around this expertise, Rodgers organizes the annual Constitution Day Lecture, which features VCU political scientists, historians and other experts in conversation around timely constitutional issues. 

Rodgers is committed to providing public access to government information. To that end she created and hosts the podcast Civil Discourse. The podcast’s mission is to familiarize listeners with government documents and the government’s effect in their everyday lives.  

“Serving on this national council will give me the opportunity to engage with topics concerning modern libraries, from search techniques to questions surrounding the preservation of digitally born materials,” Rodgers said. 

Rodgers will serve June 1, 2024 – May 31, 2027. Fellow new appointees represent the University of Baltimore School of Law, Seton Hall University Libraries, the State Library of Ohio and the Hennepin County Library—Minneapolis Central. 



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