Government Documents

Collection and Management

Authored by: Aimée C. Quinn , Lori Smith , James Church

Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Fourth Edition

Print publication date:  November  2017
Online publication date:  November  2017

Print ISBN: 9781466552593
eBook ISBN: 9781315116143
Adobe ISBN:


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Collecting and managing government information in the twenty-first century is a challenge to most libraries and librarians. Historically, government documents were difficult to collect and manage in a print environment; yet while the digital transformation of information makes some government publications more available, at the same time, the Internet allows for valuable content to be more readily removed. This entry examines government information in all its forms and formats to offer a comprehensive assessment of issues involved in the development and management of government information (publications, documents, etc.) collections in print, electronic, and digital formats. The goal of this entry is to explore how nineteenth-century bibliographic description shaped the twenty-first-century government information society and this particular field of librarianship is paving the way for future developers of collections. The first three sections of this essay focus on U.S. documents at the federal, state, and local levels; The fourth section concerns international publications. Each section will detail the relevant history and strategies for developing and managing a viable, fluid government publications collection.

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