What is in those compact shelves? Auditing and quantifying a government documents collection

Jennifer Kirk

Abstract

As academic libraries evolve, the complexity and breadth of federal government documents collections pose challenges to librarians. These materials are often shelved under the Superintendent of Documents classification system (SuDoc) and, depending on the library, may be only partially cataloged. The collection’s monolithic nature may complicate projects to catalog, promote, move, or deaccession materials. Using a collection inventory to define mini collections by SuDoc area helps quantify these large collections for academic librarians. The collection inventory system described in this article can be customized and applied beyond the scope of government information. Its approach informs how we assess and build collections, how we inherit collections, and how we work within established systems.

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