Whither Goest Government Documents? A Story and a Study

Jeffrey Mark Wilhite, Karen Rupp-Serrano


A study was conducted to determine the findability of known print U.S. government documents using five different resources:  the Catalog of Government Publications, in-house library catalog, library discovery service, HathiTrust, and Google.  Overall, Google was the most effective finding tool, followed by the library discovery service, the in-house library catalog, Catalog of Government Publications, and HathiTrust.  Three-quarters of documents were available full text via Google.  Implications of the online availability of government publications on the need for large print documents collections, and the continuing reconsideration of library spaces, are discussed, as are future studies.


federal publications, government documents, Google, HathiTrust, discovery services, Catalog of Government Publications, library catalogs

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