University Libraries

Unit Description

The James E. Brooks Library serves as a depository for United States and Washington State government publications.  The Government Documents, Maps, and Microforms Department contains more than one million items.  Materials received cover all subject areas and include all possible formats.  Statistics on collections and services are collected and tabulated monthly and annually.

Mission Statement

It is the mission of the Government Documents, Maps, and Microforms Department to support and facilitate Brooks Library’s learning and research environment by building, maintaining, and making accessible to all users a collection of government information and related materials covering historical and current issues.

The Mission Statement for James E. Brooks Library is available online at:

The Mission Statement for Central Washington University is online at:

Washington State Government Documents

The Washington State depository designation dates back to 1965, but many historical materials have been received as gifts.  Brooks Library is a full depository for Washington State documents.

The legal requirements for the Washington State Depository Library may be found at:

Washington Administrative Code, Ch. 34, Section 16

Revised Code of Washington Chapter 40.06

U. S. Government Documents Collection

Brooks Library at Central Washington University was legally designated as a federal depository library in 1962.  It remains the only federal depository library supporting Washington State’s Congressional District four. As a Selective Depository Library with an average receipt rate of 75%, about 1,000 records per month are added to the online library catalog for U.S. government documents.

The majority of current federal documents are available on the Internet, generally in PDF format, with records to these document links loaded into the online library catalog upon receipt.  The library receives both shipping list records and full records for U.S. documents received in tangible formats.

The federal documents collection within the Government Documents, Maps and Microforms Department of the Brooks Library contains the largest amount of materials.  However, a significant portion of both the map and microform collections are also depository documents received through the FDLP (Federal Depository Library Program) and added to one of these two collections due to physical format.

Legal designation as a depository library requires that the handling and maintenance of all government information received through the FDLP complies with regulations. Instructions for depository libraries are stated in:

Title 44, Section 19 of the U.S. Code at:

Legal Requirements and Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program at:

Interlibrary Cooperation

In cooperation with the regional depository at Washington State Library and all other selective federal depository libraries within the state of Washington, Brooks library participates in the Washington State Plan for Federal Depository Library Service (2010).

Collection Development Policy

The Government Publications, Maps and Microforms Department follows guidelines for the development of federal depository documents collections as stated on the FDLP Desktop:

and in the CWU Library Collection Development Policy at:

Selection Responsibility

Head of the Government Publications, Maps and Microforms Department, in consultation with library faculty liaisons and the Head of Collection Development, selects depository government publications and maps.  Suggestions from faculty, students, staff, and the general public are greatly encouraged.  Once selected, the department head continually reviews holdings as formats, instructional needs, and regulations change.

Subject Areas

To support the Central Washington University curriculum, primary subject foci of the federal depository collection currently are:

  • agriculture
  • economic and social conditions
  • education, geology
  • natural resources
  • legislation
  • foreign relations

However, as the depository library for central region of Washington State, it is the responsibility of the Brooks Library to collect materials from all federal government agencies on all topics.  Depository items that are not received at CWU can be easily borrowed from other depository libraries within the state.

Though designated by Congress as a federal depository in 1962, due to donations and purchases the Government Publications, Maps, and Microforms Department maintains a valuable collection of historical documents in paper and various micro-formats prior to that date.  The Library has developed a comprehensive collection of both historical and current U.S. congressional publications, presidential documents, federal regulations and agency reports to better fulfill our mission as the only Federal Depository Library in the central region of the state.


The government information collection contains:

  • serials and monographs
  • all physical formats (paper, electronic and microforms)
  • documents in various sizes and lengths (from one page to huge websites)
  • information for audiences of all levels (children, adults, researchers)
  • materials in languages other than English

Documents are selected for the University patrons and members of the community who need information for personal as well as educational purposes.


Upon receipt, all documents are stamped with the date and depository item designation labeled and barcoded (using labels and barcodes purchased through Marcive), and missing documents and/or shipping lists are claimed according to the appropriate library policies and FDL regulations.

Documents in all formats are recorded in the online catalog upon receipt, with individual records added for monographs.


The Department head reviews depository item selections periodically and makes changes as needed.  Items currently received can be found online listed under depository library number 0649A:

Superseded items, in all formats, are discarded when new copies are received.  Ephemeral items are weeded from the collection regularly.  Documents over five years old are occasionally weeded out according to FDLP regulations and offered to other depository libraries.

Links to government information is available through the Government Documents, Maps and Microforms Department’s website:

Cooperative Agreements

Depository staff cooperates with other depository libraries throughout the state and region for purposes of collection development, education, and interactions with the Government Printing Office.

Northwest Government Information Network (NGIN) is the regional documents interest group that includes members from depository libraries throughout Washington State.  Information about the interest group is at:

Access Policy

The primary goal for the department is to ensure access to government information materials for all users.  Use of the collections is encouraged by integrating records for government publications and maps, in all formats, into the Brooks Library’s Catalog.  In-house displays, web pages, as well as instruction sessions serve to promote the depository collections.

Reference Services

Reference services and assistance with equipment are provided at the Government Publications Desk daily, with the desk closing at 9:00 p.m. on nights when the library is open until midnight.

Indexes and other reference sources are purchased or created within the department to assist users with locating materials in the collection.  Microform readers, printers and other equipment supporting use of the documents, maps and microforms collections are available, including 3 workstations for digitizing microforms.

Circulation Policy

All non-reference paper and CD/DVD titles in the Government Publications collections circulate to borrowers on and off campus.  Due to the need for specialized equipment, micro-format items do not circulate, however this department makes the appropriate equipment available to view, print, or digitize non-circulating material during departmental hours.  Maps do not circulate.

Electronic Titles

The majority of items distributed via the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) are now loaded on the Internet and made accessible to the public.  Records for all electronic titles distributed as a part of the federal depository library program, along with other selected .gov titles, are added to Brooks Library’s online catalog.

Developed specifically for government information, a separate Internet Use Policy is available online at:

Brooks Library follows Government Printing Office recommendations for computer hardware and software necessary to access government information in electronic formats.  Two workstations are maintained and made available to all government information users.  The Government Publications, Maps, and Microforms Department Internet Use Policy for Government Information is online at:

Reproduction Policy

Items held by Government Publications are able to be reproduced in a number of ways that best suit the format of the original item:

  • Bound paper documents:  May be taken to the Fishbowl on the 2nd floor for self-service photocopying, or for scanning and downloading/printing.  Patrons are charged for photocopying.
  • Microformats:  Self-service scanning stations are available to digitize these items page by page, and saved to a portable drive (currently we support USB drives); e-mailed, or they can be printed for $0.10 per page.  Assistance with the scanner station is available from desk staff.
  • Maps & Large format single sheets:  With assistance from Government Publication staff, items up to 36 inches wide may be digitized by the department’s large format scanner and saved to a USB drive (available from Circulation for short check-outs if needed).  Presently we do NOT have the ability to print paper copies for patrons.

Services provided by the department in regard to the reproduction of items are solely determined by this department.

Human Resources

The Government Publications, Maps and Microforms Department Desk is staffed for 75 hours each week while classes are in session, allowing all materials and equipment to be accessible with assistance available.  All Government Publications’ personnel are trained to work at the Departmental Reference Desk and alternate schedules allow for complete desk coverage during hours open.  Student assistants are scheduled to work on the desk from 5:00-9:00 p.m. Monday thru Thursday, with staff providing assistance during the evening and weekend hours.

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