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Government Resources Collection & Access Policies


This collection policy is intended to provide a working document which guides the Government Resources staff in effective collection development and policy-making strategies. It is fully expected that this document will undergo revisions and frequent evaluation if it is to be truly effective in serving the changing informational needs of Southwest Minnesota State University and U.S. Congressional District Seven.

Mission Statement

The Government Resources Collection of Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) McFarland Library located in the U.S. Congressional District Seven was designated a Federal depository in 1987—the University opened in 1967. The primary mission of the Government Resources Collection is to support the library’s mission, which is to promote “…the success of the SMSU community by providing access to quality resources, instruction, services, and spaces to support research, teaching, and learning in an inviting, inclusive environment, as well as to aid the University’s mission to provide services to the wider community.”  

Selection & De-Selection

Current selections for the Library, Federal Depository #0295B, include 25% of materials distributed to Depositories by the Government Printing Office. Selection decisions are the responsibility of the Government Documents Librarian in consultation with the librarians and faculty regarding curriculum strengths and changes. Review of item number selections is a continuing process, with each item number subject to periodic annual review. Cancellation of an item number is done at the discretion of the Government Documents Librarian after appropriate consultation, as needed, and is made in accordance with the Instructions to Depository Libraries.


As a depository library, we provide free public access to government information in a variety of formats: in print, microfiche, and CD-ROM, as well as electronically. Anyone can access the federal documents collection during the library’s open hours. The documents are interfiled within the circulating collections and are designated with a Government Document sticker. Access to the documents is through the library’s online catalog (OneSearch), searching by author, government agency, and keywords. Most publications can be checked out; however, reference sources may be used only in the library. If the library does not own the publication, it may be requested through Interlibrary loan. Nonmembers of the SMSU community should contact their local library to obtain the document.

Last Modified: 8/15/22 2:33 PM | Website Feedback