The Government Documents area of the Information Services Section of the Main
Library consists of a collection of materials serving the information needs of
the general public, students, and individuals involved in business and
government. From coloring books to consumer pamphlets to scholarly research, the
Government Documents area makes available current and retrospective materials,
produced by all levels of government, on a wide variety of topics. Formats
include paper, microfiche, microfilm, CD-ROM, and online databases and websites.
Types of Documents
The holdings of the Reference Section include the following:
Many current federal government documents are now available online through the
websites of the various federal government agencies. In addition, the Government
Documents area (which has been part of the Federal Depository Library Program
since 1967, when the documents collection was housed at the Fort Lauderdale
Branch Library) also receives some of the federal documents that are made
available to depository libraries in printed format. The collection features
historical sets such as Papers of the Continental Congress, Official Records of
Union and Confederate Armies and Navies, Confidential U.S. Diplomatic Post
Records, Vietnam War Reports and Classified Histories, and National Security
Files. The titles and bibliographic records for most of the federal documents in
the Information Services Section are included in Broward County Library’s online
Government Information Users needing access to Government Information
The Broward County Main Library is a congressionally designated depository for
U.S. Government documents. Public access to the Government documents collection
is guaranteed by public law. (Title 44 United States Code). A dedicated computer
is available at the Main Library Reference Desk on the 5th floor for users of
government information. Contact the Main Library Information Services Section
for more information.
A depository for state documents since 1968, the Information Services Section
receives publications of Florida government agencies through the State Library
of Florida. Publications include annual reports, budgets, technical reports,
project studies, and informational brochures. Bibliographic records of most of
the Section’s state documents collection are included in the
local government agencies, emphasizing documents from government agencies of
Broward’s County and select municipalities located in Broward County.
Publications include budgets, comprehensive plans, ordinances, and special
reports. Current information from Broward County agencies and links to the
websites of local municipal agencies may be found through the
Broward County Government website.
The bibliographic records for local documents are generally not included in
the Library Catalog at this time. Please call the Information Services Section
at 954-357-7439 for information relating to local documents.
United Nations and Other International Documents
In addition to a UN documents microfiche collection, consisting of documents
from 1982 through 2000, the Section has a small collection of documents from
other international organizations. Some international documents may also be
found on the internet.
Patents and Trademarks
Conduct patent and trademark searches,
including the full text of U.S. patents from 1790 to the present. Patent and
trademark information is also available through the website of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The Information Services Section has many government documents in print
format. For additional information on specific titles or topics, see the Broward
County Library’s online
Library Catalog or
call the Information Services Section at 954-357-7439.
Special Microform Collections
A number of full-text microform sets are also included in the Government
Documents area of the Information Services Section. They contain research
materials, both current and retrospective, in a wide variety of fields. Special
sets include a near-complete historical collection of statistical censuses of
U.S. population, colonial records, Indian tribal codes, and many others.
The library provides access to the following government-related databases:
Government Forms, by Agency
- Wide variety of forms from federal government agencies.
USA.gov Data and Statistics about the
United States - Statistics compiled by federal government
GPO Monthly Catalog
- Bibliographic records of federal documents with links to full-text online
documents, when available. (Look for the “Access” field in the bibliographic
record and click on the link.)
Links to Websites
To those unfamiliar with government information and organization, finding
specific items can be challenging. When searching for information directly from
the internet, many of the most commonly requested federal items can be found at
the following websites:
- Govinfo.gov - Current
editions of federal government publications
including the Congressional Record, United States Code, and Code of Federal
- USA.gov - Websites of most federal government agencies.
- My Florida - Websites of most of the government agencies of the State of Florida.
- Broward County - Information about Broward County,
list of websites of Broward County governmental
agencies and municipalities.
Access to the Collection
The documents collections are organized by issuing agencies, rather than by
subject, in an alpha-numeric classification system.
Many items issued by the federal government and the State of Florida can be
found in the Broward County Library’s online
Library Catalog. Some
listings are references to the location of print items in the Information
Services Section’s collection, while others include direct links to online
copies of the text of the documents. (Again, since most local documents are not
listed in the Library Catalog, please call the Information Services Section at
954-357-7439 for information related to county and municipal documents.)
The Information Services Section also has a collection of specialized
retrospective indexes to specific microfiche collections. The following are
among the special indexes:
- American Statistics Index (ASI) for access to
a microfiche library of historical statistical publications of federal
- CIS Index for access to a microfiche library of historical Congressional
- Index to International Statistics (IIS) for access to a microfiche
library of historical statistical publications of international
- Index to United Nations Documents and Publications, for access to a
microfiche library of historical UN documents.
- Statistical Reference
Index (SRI) for access to a microfiche library of historical statistical
publications of each of the fifty states (as well as non-governmental
organizations including trade and professional associations, state
universities, and research institutes).
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