Bringing the Red, White, and Blue to You: Cook is Now a Federal Depository Library
Cook Library was recently honored to be designated as a Federal Depository Library and has joined
the ranks of 1,250 other Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) sites across the country. As a
result of this distinguished designation, Cook Library now provides the Towson community with free
access to over 53,000 government documents. The documents, which include hearings, legislation,
reports, and other special works relating to the United States government and policy, are available
and accessible through links in the
commemorating this designation
was held on September 19, 2011 and included presentations by dignitaries such as United States Congressman
John Sarbanes, and William J. Boarman, the Public Printer of the United States.
The road to obtaining an official FDLP designation is a long one. Assistant University Librarian
Patty Macdonald was instrumental in starting the process in 2009. There were three conditions that
needed to be met to be eligible for FDLP status: free public access to materials, reference
assistance for community as well as university users, and a willingness to coordinate collection
building with other depositories. There is a limit to the number of depository libraries within a
specific geographic region, and the process for acceptance is competitive, but luckily for Cook Library,
there was an FDLP opening within our congressional district. Macdonald contacted Congressman John Sarbanes
and asked for his support for Cook Library's application. Endorsements from Irene Padilla, the State Librarian
followed, and a formal written petition was then submitted to the Government Printing Office (GPO).
The designation as a Federal Depository Library also comes with some benefits for the library and Towson University.
According to Government Documents Librarian Carl Olson, it is good to have the GPO in your corner because
you can always turn to them for assistance in finding a document or learning about new resources. Right now, the
library is getting a small number of print items to be added to the library collection, and is striving to be as
electronic as possible.
"Our profile right now is very basic," reports Olson,
"We are building it slowly and only accepting small amounts of paper documents."
Right now, the
Government Information Subject Gateway
on the library website showcases some of the digital
volumes that comprise the Federal Depository collection. These include the digital versions of the
Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, and the Congressional Pictorial Directory.
be approximately four additional databases, such as the Homeland Security Digital Library and the
National Climatic Data Center, that are available only to FDLP members and will be added to the
gateway. Look for further updates about the Federal Depository Library collection on the Cook
Library website and blog.
Written by Lisa Woznicki