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Government Documents @ Ferris State

Government Documents Collection and Retention Statement

Government Documents Collection and Retention Statement


FLITE has been a member of the United States Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) since August 2001, though collection of Government Documents at Ferris has occurred, through various means, since the early 1960s. The framework for the FDLP originated in 1813 when Congress authorized distribution of Government Documents to libraries outside of the federal government in order to serve the public interest.

Since late 2021, FLITE  has transitioned to “digital depository” status, which indicates that all new incoming materials are only available online via links in the library’s catalog. FLITE has been receiving electronic records from the Cataloging Record Distribution Program (CRDP) for several years prior to 2021. United States Code is the only title FLITE receives in print or tangible format. A small, legacy collection of print Governments Documents is housed on the Lower Level in FLITE. Government Documents in the microfiche format are found on the second floor.


The Government Documents collection is available for use by all residents of the State of Michigan. Because FLITE is a member of the FDLP, a designation intended to help the library provide broad access to these publications, anyone is free to borrow from the print collection. Links to Government Documents online are, in a vast majority of cases, not gated for use by Ferris affiliation.

In person library users, who are not Ferris students, faculty or staff, will have to make special arrangements via FLITE’s Check-Out Desk to borrow tangible Government Documents, but they will be allowed circulation privileges. InterLibrary loan services, especially through MelCat, are also available for non-Ferris library users to access items from the tangible collection.

Scope and Retention

The general collection emphasis for Government Documents relates to the support of instructional and research needs of FSU students, faculty, and staff as well as to the broader public interest. Specific areas of collection emphasis include statistical and census information, social sciences, and history.

Retention in tangible formats is restricted to print and microform. Other factors considered for retention include potential and probable use by patron base, evidence of past use or non-use, availability of more current documents on a particular topic, and changes to the FSU curriculum.


The Government Documents librarian is responsible for the selection, receipt, and deselection of FDLP publications in accordance with FDLP regulations.The majority of federal depository documents are marked 'Depository Document' and are in a separate Documents Collection. Items in this separate collection may be checked out. Some government documents are located in the Reference Collection, given Library of Congress call numbers, and are not circulated. Other depository items are periodicals and housed with other periodicals and may not be circulated. Microfiche and microfilm as a rule do not circulate at all, but may be circulated via InterLibrary Loan. There are also CD-ROM and DVD documents that are available for circulation. They are housed on the second floor, and may be InterLibrary loaned.

Persons not affiliated with Ferris State University and who do not have a valid ID card may obtain a MichiCard from their participating local public or college/university library and can then check out documents from Ferris. Michigan residents who have neither will have to speak with the Circulation Desk staff person for special consideration.


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Paul Kammerdiner