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Government Documents: FAQ

Welcome to the Government Documents Home Page!

Finding Materials

Search the Calvin T. Ryan Library for books, e-books, videos and more!

Ask a Librarian

About Government Documents

  • What is a government document?
    Any informational material produced by a government agency: state, federal, or international level. 

  • Does the library receive all government documents produced?
    No, we are a selective depository library.  This means we get to select the types of documents we receive.  Currently, we select about 54% of documents available.  We also subscribe to Documents Without Shelves, which gets the library a link to all of the currently produced electronic documents produced.

  • What's in the collections and where are they?
    * One-time monographic publications, annual reports, periodicals, maps, posters, studies, research reports, statistical compilations, census
       data, regulations, laws, treaties, compact discs, and DVD's.
    * New government documents are included in the Library's online catalog.
    * Many publications are now issued only in electronic form and are linked in the Library's online catalog.
    Physical documents may be found on the 2nd floor of the library.

  • Who is allowed to use government documents?
    EVERYONE!  You do not need to be a university student, faculty or staff member.

  • How do I check out government documents?
    If you are not affiliated with UNK, a community user's card can be obtained at the circulation desk.  Most documents can be checked out for four weeks.

  • How do I locate a government document?
    Most documents are searchable via the Library's online catalog.
    For databases helpful to locating documents, click here.

  • How did the library become a depository?
    * Libraries must be appointed by a member of Congress to be a depository. 
    * Each Representative or Senator may designate two depository libraries in his/her district or state.
    * The Library was designated a federal depository in 1962.  C.T. Ryan Library is one of two federal depository libraries in Nebraska's 3rd   
       Congressional District, roughly two-thirds of the geographical area of Nebraska.