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
The Broward County Library has been part of the Federal
Depository Library Program since 1967, when the federal documents collection was
housed at the Fort Lauderdale Branch Library. In 1984, the federal documents
collection was transferred to Broward County Main Library.
The staff members of the Information Services
Section of the Main Library are ready to help with your government
information needs. Please call 954-357-7439 if you have any questions.
Searching for Federal Government Information
Most items issued by the federal government can be found in Broward County
Library’s online Library
either as a reference to an item in the print collection or as a
direct link to an online copy of the document.
To those unfamiliar with federal government information and organization,
finding specific items can be challenging. When searching for information
directly from the internet, many of the most commonly requested items can be
found at Govinfo.gov
Government Information” or USA.gov
other items can be found through the
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.
Government Information Users needing access to Government Information
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.
How is Federal Government Information Organized?
The federal government is divided into three main branches; the Executive,
which includes the President and all Cabinet offices and agencies; the
Legislative, which includes Congress and its supporting agencies; and the
Judicial, which includes the Supreme Court, Circuit Courts, District Courts,
Bankruptcy courts, and any additional support agencies.
For an in-depth look at the organization and responsibilities of individual
agencies, see the United States
which includes an organization chart for the entire
US government (with the exception of the various sub-agencies under the Cabinet
Federal government information is often arranged by the agency that issued
the document. When searching the Library Catalog, you may see a call number for
an item which seems unfamiliar. This is because the print collection is
organized by the Superintendent of Documents Classification system, which
arranges the items by the issuing agency. For example, the letter “C” indicates
an item issued by the Commerce Department or one of its sub-agencies such as the
Patent Office or the Bureau of the Census.
The Information Services Section, located on the fifth floor of the Broward
County Main Library, has a collection of print and microform materials, from
many federal agencies, relating to a wide variety of subjects including
economics, history, politics, science, and social sciences. In addition to
current documents, the collection features special historical sets such as
War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies,
Official Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the
Rebellion, and the Report of the President's Commission on the Assassination of
President John F. Kennedy
(also known as the Warren Commission Report).
Listings for most federal documents are now included in the Broward County
Materials received through the depository program remain the property of the
federal government. As such, they are maintained as reference materials. Some
items or portions of items may be faxed in accordance with standard Broward
County Library policies.
Another source for federal documents is the American Statistics Index
, from Congressional Information Service. Full-text
documents are available in microfiche format. This collection also includes
books that index and abstract the statistical publications of federal government
The Section also has special collections of historical sets such as the
Papers of the Continental Congress, Confidential U.S. Diplomatic Post Records,
Vietnam War Reports and Classified Histories
, and National Security Files
Topographic maps (or contour maps) have many uses related to earth sciences,
geographic planning, and mining, but they also have recreational uses (hiking,
orienteering, etc.). They are graphic representations of the surface features of
the land, both natural and man-made. They show the elevation of land and include
hills, valleys, forest cover, and buildings as well as streams and other bodies
of water. Additional information on topographic maps may be found at
. The Information Services
Section has a collection of topographic maps from the U.S. Geological Survey
(USGS). Various areas of Florida and the waters surrounding Florida are included
in these map collections.
The library provides access to the following government-related databases:
Links to Federal Documents websites
- Data and Statistics about the
United States provides access to statistics compiled by federal
government agencies. Other forms of data can be found at the U.S. Government
open data source Data.gov.
- Catalog of U.S. Government
Publications provides the bibliographic records of federal documents
from 1976 to the present. Many of the more recent documents include PURLS
(Permanent Uniform Resource Locators) which link the user directly to the
full text of the documents. (Look for the “Access” field in the
bibliographic record and click on the link.)
Most current federal government documents are now available online through
the websites of the government agencies that produce them. The following
websites may be useful in locating federal documents.
General Government Portals
U.S. Government Information” Current editions of a wide variety of important
federal government publications including the Congressional Record, United
States Code, and the Code of Federal Regulations.
portal to the websites of all federal agencies is managed by the U.S. General
Services Administration and provides one-stop access to online federal
government resources. It allows the user to find government information without
the need to know which agencies produce the information. Search by keyword or
browse under “Featured Subjects”, “Interesting Topics”, branches of government,
or state and local information.
Cabinet-Level Agencies and Offices
includes the Secretaries of the Executive Departments, as well
as administrators of other agencies including: