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Government Documents Policy and Procedure Guide: Collection Development

Collection Development in Government Documents and Data Services


National Endowment for the Humanities : NEHD6 (Tangible materials)
National Endowment for the Humanities: NEHD9 (Electronically-accessed materials)

Government Documents and Data Services have some NEH grant money to spend on monographic purchases. Because we are the Docs unit, there needs to be a government component in any purchase we make using this fund.  This fund does not expire; we do not have to spend it all up by the end of the fiscal year.

Miscellaneous monographs : MISG1 - (Tangible materials)
Miscellaneous monographs : MISG5  - (Ebooks)

Government Documents is part of a “Miscellaneous Group” that can dip into a collective pool of funds when it finds a book it needs to support or supplement the depository collection.     (Members in the Miscellaneous Group include Government Documents, Data Services, and General  Reference.)  Government publications unavailable through the depository program are candidates for purchase.  Regarding commercial publications, we use this fund when the government component of a book is very strong but it does not fall into the subject areas of other librarians.   For example, we would probably not use it to buy a book simply because it is about political or military science.   However, subject selectors tend to look at books published by scholarly commercial publishers and may miss worthy books published by small presses.  MISG funds can be used to purchase any books pertaining specifically to Missouri which we believe would be of research value to our users.

What We Collect

  • Guides and indexes that help us make us of materials in the depository collection
  • Books about the history or functioning of federal agencies
  • Books about the history or functioning of Missouri state agencies
  • Books that fit NEH grant fund parameters (see below for details)
  • Books about Columbia or mid-Missouri (only of research value, useful to scholars)
  • Books about how to conduct quantitative analysis in the social sciences
  • Up-to-date books on how to use SPSS and Stata software programs.  EBooks are good.
  • Data sets needed for quantitative analysis.  License should allow multiple successive users.

NEH Definition of the Humanities

The National Endowments for the Humanities define humanities as including the following disciplines:

  • Language
  • Literature
  • History
  • Jurisprudence
  • Philosophy
  • Archeaology
  • Religion
  • Ethics
  • Books about the arts that have historical, critical, or theoretical approaches.  Does NOT include books which are in themselves creative works such as poetry collections, theatrical scripts, musical scores, etc.
  • Books about the social sciences which have historical or philosophical approaches.  Social sciences include:
  • Accountancy
  • Black studies
  • Business
  • Community Development
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Family studies
  • Finance
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Recreation
  • Sociology and Rural Sociology
  • Textile and Apparel Management
  • Women’s Studies

Finding Books and Placing Orders

Places to Look for Books:

  • GOBI
  • NTIS database – look for items which focus on Missouri
  • Check Missouri state agency websites for publications available for sale
  • Check federal agency websites for online book stores
  • If you find a relevant book from a publisher, see what else that publisher offers

  Strategies for Finding and Selecting Books:

  • Look at book review sections in scholarly journals such as Government Information Quarterly
  • In GOBI,
    • Try a search by publisher (GPO, for example)
    • Try using the geographic descriptors to limit to Missouri topics
  • Search for books about agencies  (grab a copy of the U.S. Government Manual to get a list of all agencies – find it on Ready Ref JK421 .A32 or look at it online)
  • It’s OK to check Amazon reviews, especially for books on how to use software programs.

Protocol for Placing Book Orders to Ellis Acquisitions by Email

  1. Acquisitions has a certain email address they prefer we use for purchase requests:
  2. It’s nice to send them a URL for more info on the book, but they are expert at finding the lowest cost source for library materials so I never suggest they use one vendor or another.
  3. They always need for us to tell them what fund code to use
  4. They generally assume that materials circulate unless we tell them otherwise
  5. They want to know what MERLIN location ( to use.  For example, the location code CEDII stands for MU ELLIS DOCS.  If the item will have a SuDoc number, we have to indicate what that will be.  Otherwise they can come up with a Library of Congress number.
  6. If an item is ever ordered to fulfill a patron’s request, we can specify “RUSH.”  Rushed items really do work their way through the system very quickly; within just a few days the thing is in and ready to check out.  Whenever we rush order an item we have to say who should be notified when it’s ready, and where the book should go.  Most often, I ask them to bring the book to me when it’s ready and then I contact the patron to find out when and how they prefer to pick it up. 
  7. Accounts for the fiscal year are closed out on or about April 15.  Do not place any orders from “1” funds from April 15 through June 30 of each year.  Orders from gift funds may be placed anytime of year.  See this clarification from Karen:

    Selectors, A question a few minutes ago makes me wonder if there is some confusion about ordering at this point in the fiscal year.  If you have gift funds available, we can still place orders.  The request deadline applied to 1 funds only because we want to have our GO dollars spent by the end of the year.  There is no deadline for gift funds.  There will be a couple weeks later when we won’t be placing orders because we are closing the books.  I will let you know later when that is exactly (We never know till closer to the time because of a variety of factors).


GOBI Login and Purchasing Instructions

GOBI Login Info: (must be an email address - need to check w/ Marie)

For searches and saves to folders, but no purchasing power:
Account number: 5664
User ID: look  
PW: searches

Marie’s login:
Account number: 5664
User ID: concannonm
PW: 3 _ _ _ _ s


GOBI Purchasing Instructions:

  1. Save desirable items in a folder.
  2. Start marking items by clicking the bar just to the left of desired items.  Remember that ALL of the selected items in a group must have the same order details.  Items going to different locations, or purchased with different funds, should be handled as separate bunches.
  3. Click on “Put in Cart” (from left navigation bar)
  4. Click “Select Cart”
  5. Click to “Mark all.”
  6. Click “Enter Order Details” from the left navigation bar. 
    1. Sub Account is 11 AP/FIRM
    2. Choose fund code.  Make sure that the letters don’t change after they are entered.  If they do, alert Acquisitions by putting a message in the internal note field.
    3. Select a MERLIN location.  If the location is not in the options, use the internal note field to specify.
    4. Vendor code is YANKE
    5. If there are any Ebooks, we will need to specify the single-user option (unless there is an extremely good reason why we need to allow multiple simultaneous users)
    6. Choose the Ebook vendor.  We like EBrary best.  We try never to choose NetLibrary unless there is just no other choice and we MUST have the book.
    7. Put initials in box (MC)
    8. Indicate quantity – usually, 1.
  7. Hit “Select” in lower right corner of screen.  It is possible to hit “Save” if I am not done but don’t want to lose my work. Acquisitions won’t see the order until I hit “Select.”