Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Collection Development @ SJSU Library

Collection Development Policy -  Government Publications

Last Updated: March, 2018

Programs Supported

Selection of government information is not restricted to particular subjects or disciplines since such information touches upon almost every subject area.  Rather, selection is based upon depository obligations as well as demonstrated and anticipated user needs.  Thus all areas of the university curriculum are considered along with the informational and research needs of the community. Selection is limited to electronic versions of government publications. 

San Jose State University library has been a selective U.S. depository library since 1964 and a full California depository from 1945-1954 changing to a partial California depository in 1954. Upon merging with the San Jose Public Library (SJPL) main branch in 2003, the state depository librarian for the California State Library requested that SJSU become a full California depository and also become the sole holder of the depository designation. Under these depository arrangements, materials arrived free of charge with the stipulation that such material be available for the general public. These materials remained the property of the federal and state government.

International documents are not purchased by government publications. Individual liaisons have selectively purchased some international publications and these items reside in the general university collections.

Existing Resources

The University Library serves as the University’s main resource for government information. A network of other U.S. depository libraries such as: CSU Hayward, San Francisco State, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, Santa Clara University, Stanford University and the State Library in Sacramento are available as additional resources of government information.  Referrals are also made to the  Patent and Trademark Office, in San Jose and to agency libraries such as the Santa Clara County Office of Education, Santa Clara County Law Library, and the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) Library.  Additionally, users and staff obtain government information through Internet sources.


The majority of government information selection is coordinated by the Government Publications Coordinator.    Additionally, liaison librarians are consulted in the selection of international materials for the general collection related to their subject responsibilities.

Other Factors

Deselection criteria for the U.S. and California State collections are based upon depository regulations, which stipulate a retention period of at least five years.  Beyond that mandate, retention for materials from all levels of government information collected is based upon a variety of factors.  These include but are not limited to the accessibility of materials in other local depository libraries and collections, users needs for current and historical material, the availability of Internet sources, format of material, and space considerations.

During 2017/2018 academic year, the SJSU library is transitioning to an all electronic depository. Print materials are being weeding according to the criteria determined by the US and State depository regulations.

Collection Strengths

The addition of the database, U.S. Congressional Serial Set and American State Papers has given the collection a greater historical coverage.  HeinOnline database has given SJSU students and faculty access to many important federal publications, while Westlaw serves the state law resources.  The collection continues to grow in the e-pubs and use has been very strong.

Evaluation of Collection

Evaluation in Progress and Future Objectives

The Government Publications Coordinator continues to monitor the use of electronic government publications. The government publications' libguide has helped to publicize the collection.