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Library Collection Development - Specific Collections

Government Documents

Hutchins Library does not participate in the Federal Depository Library Program, nor is it a state documents repository.   The library does subscribe to selected government documents that support the curriculum. Agriculture and Natural Resources, SENS, and Sociology are among the disciplines directly utilizing government documents and information.

Documents produced by the United States federal, state, and local governments, along with those produced by the United Nations and other international agencies such as the World Bank, are included in this collection.   Collection development also focuses on identifying Internet sites offering access to basic government documents, such as Columbia University’s “U.S. Government Documents Ready Reference Collection.”

The collection’s primary purpose is to provide access to current, basic state government documents for the states within Berea College’s designated service area and access to major federal documents from select lists such as “GPO’s 100 Essential Documents in Print.”  Hutchins Library aims to maintain its established government document monographic serial collections while improving BANC access to these collections.

Government documents may be either print or digital.   The preferred format for major statistical and demographics resources such as The Statistical Abstract is print.

Selection criteria include frequency and ease of use.   Purchase price and processing costs of the documents are also considerations.


Websites have become a standard feature in academe.   Library staff and teaching faculty are encouraged to suggest appropriate sites.   Choice cards, Choice’s annual issue dedicated to electronic resources, and College and Research Library News provide select lists that are useful in website collection development.   Authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, and stability comprise the primary criteria for website selection.   BANC, subject guides and the Dewey Online Reference Collection provide access to selected websites.