The government documents collection of the Navy Department Library is located in buildings 44 and 108 of the Washington Navy Yard, in the District of Columbia. This library is depository number 0095 in the Federal Depository Library Program of the Government Printing Office, having been designated a depository in 1895.
The mission of the library is to enhance and enrich naval and maritime knowledge-based heritage by preserving, acquiring, and providing access to pertinent books, manuscripts, and other print and non-print materials for the benefit of the Navy and the nation. To increase and foster that heritage by providing access to information using both traditional and non-traditional formats and sources.
The Government Documents Librarian makes selection of government documents and related materials with the advice of the professional staff.
Subject Area & Collection Arrangement
Government Documents microfiche are cataloged in the library's online public access catalog and filed in SuDoc order, and maps are arranged alphabetically by country or region. Most hard-copy government publications are also cataloged and integrated with other library collections, with the following exceptions: Congressional appropriations hearing are arranged chronologically, and less significant Congressional hearings are organized by committee and arranged chronologically.
Subject areas emphasized:
1. Naval, maritime, and military history
2. Naval architecture and shipbuilding
3. Naval customs and traditions
4. Naval doctrine
5. Naval ordnance
6. Naval shore and fleet activities
7. Naval uniforms, insignia, and awards
8. Navigation, voyages, and exploration
The library selects all of the core collection of documents recommended by GPO for all depositories.
Agency/Subject Areas and Collecting Levels:
(Arms Control and Disarmament)
(General Services Admin.)
(Library of Congress)
(Merit System Protection Board)
(Natl. Aeronautics and Space Admin.)
(National Science Foundation)
(Personnel Management Office)
(President of the US)
(Executive Office of the President)
Paper copy is preferred for documents to be retained permanently, particularly those of high interest. Microform is selected when paper is not available. The documents collection has three microform reader/printers for convenient use by patrons. One computer with a CD-tower is dedicated to CD use. Electronic products are available through the Government Documents portion of the Navy Department Library's section of the Naval Historical Center website and selected electronic documents are hot-linked to the online catalog.
Selection Tools, Non-Depository Items, Retrospective Sources
The following resources are consulted to review our current item selections and to locate additional documents we may choose to request from an agency or to purchase:
List of Classes
Federal Depository Library Manual, Appendix A.
GAO Reports and Testimony
After each Annual Update, the card file of the items selected is updated to indicate which classes and items are selected by the library. The library borrows and loans depository materials through interlibrary loan. The Government Documents Librarian attends Depository Library conferences and shares information with area depository libraries.
A zero-based collection review (evaluating items on a one-by-one basis) is implemented at the time of the annual item selection update cycle, resulting in adding and deselecting items from the selection profile. The library staff provides recommendations based on inquiries received at the reference desk.
Weeding and Maintenance
Weeding is an on-going process as well as occasional more comprehensive projects undertaken by the Documents Librarian. Basic criteria includes:
1. Relevance to Department of the Navy, Department of
Defense, Naval Historical Center, and community needs
3. Currency of information
4. Physical condition (a decision is made to discard,
replace, bind or conserve.
6. Duplication (decision made based on use)
7. Replacement by another format
NOTE: Superceded volumes are replaced automatically per our
Unneeded Congressional hearings are sent to the Navy's Office of the General Counsel Law Library. Other unneeded materials are sent to the Library of Congress Exchange and Gift Division.
Access to most government documents is through the on-line catalog. Major indexes held by the library that index government documents include: CIS Index, Monthly Catalog and PAIS. There is a shelf list of cataloged GPO items, arranged by SuDoc, located in the reference area. There is also a card file of items selected, arranged by item number, located in the reference area.
The Navy Department Library is open to the public 35 hours per week. The Reference Desk is staffed from 9:00 to 4:00, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and by appointment on Wednesday.