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Government Documents

International, Federal, and State & Local, Government Documents at WSU Libraries


Library Services for Government Documents

Reference Service

Help with searching and finding government documents is available at the reference desks in Terrell Library and the Owen Science & Engineering Library.  Help via instant messaging, e-mail, FAQ, and phone is available--see Ask a Question!

Library Instruction

Instruction on finding and using government documents is available for classes and groups and can be tailored to the needs of the students or audience.  Frequently requested topics include

  • finding documents through the WSU Libraries' catalog and the Internet
  • searching government databases
  • becoming familiar with government agencies/offices and their publications
  • governments statistics and how to find them
  • assessing government information and web sites
  • citing government documents

Classes can be scheduled for English Composition classes through Library Instruction on the scheduling page; classes in other departments can be arranged by contacting the Government Information Librarian, Lorena O'English.

Checking out Documents

Many government documents are available in electronic form, linked in the library catalog or available directly from government databases or the Internet.  The WSU Libraries has a large collection of circulating documents as well.  The table below provides loan information for these documents:

Loan periods for government documents
Format Owen Library Holland & Terrell Libraries
print 6 weeks 6 weeks
periodical volumes 6 days 6 days
microfiche do not circulate do not circulate  [Reader/printers are available]
CD-ROM/DVD-ROM na 2 weeks
maps 7 days 2 weeks
documents in reference do not circulate do not circulate


Citing Government Documents

DocsSite (Arizona State University)

Brief Guide to Citing Government Publications (University of Memphis)

The Complete Guide to Citing Government Information Resources: a Manual for Social Science & Business Research. Debora Cheney.  Bethesda, MD: Lexis Nexis, Congressional Research Service. 3rd ed., 2002.  Terrell Reference Desk J 9.5.G37x 2002

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