Western Kentucky University

FAQ: Government Documents


Where are the Government Documents located?

The US and Kentucky documents are located on the ground floor of Helm Library.


What are your hours?

The documents collections are accessible all hours the library is open. Hours may be found on the Libraries' Home Page or on TOPCAT.


How are the documents arranged?

The documents received from US government agencies are shelved according to the Superintendent of Documents Classification System (SuDoc). This alpha-numeric system places materials by issuing agency. For example, all the documents with call numbers beginning with A originated in the Department of Agriculture, all documents with call numbers beginning with D originated in the Department of Defense.

Kentucky documents are being cataloged onto TOPCAT.


CAN I find documents by using TOPCAT, the online catalog?

At present only the Kentucky documents are included in TOPCAT.


Where should I begin my search if I can't find documents in TOPCAT?

The major index to US government documents is the Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications. available on GPO Access or MarciveWeb DOCS available via WKU Libraries' databases.

There is also an index to the government periodical literature, Government Periodicals Universe. It is available via WKU Libraries' databases.

FirstGov.gov -- Your first click for federal information.

In addition to these major indexes, browse the links to the government agencies' web sites.


Can I check out government documents?

YES, most documents may be checked out for 4 weeks. Ask for assistance with checking out documents in the documents processing offices, rooms 1, 2 or 4, on the ground floor of Helm Library.


Where do I go for help?

There is an information desk in the Documents area where you can ask to be directed to one of the staff members or librarians for assistance, or ask at the desk in the Reference Center, first floor of Helm Library. You can also make an appointment with the Government Information & Law Coordinator for research assistance.


Can I make copies of microfiche?

Yes, the equipment to make microfiche copies is in the microforms area on the second floor of Helm Library.


Where is the closest copier?

The nearest photocopier is in the Law Collections and copies are five cents each. Other copiers are available in the Helm-Cravens Library complex that cost five cents per page. Materials may be taken from the area to be copied. Photocopy machines ccept nickels, dimes, quarters, one dollar bills and five dollar bills. A change machine for $1 or $5 bills is located on the fourth floor of Cravens by the Circulation Desk.

 Last Modified 7/24/13