Aug. 16, 2006

RSU's Stratton Taylor Library Earns Status as a Federal Depository Library

Rogers State University's Stratton Taylor Library has been named as the newest member of the Federal Depository Library Program, a program in which only a select number of libraries participate.

By becoming a member of the program, RSU will have immediate access to countless government publications provided via printed material, microfiche, compact disc and electronically. RSU library staff members have selected more than 1,200 publications with which to start its federal government documents collection. The government documents collection will be freely accessible to the RSU campus community and the general public at the library, located on the Claremore campus.

Alan Lawless, director of the Stratton Taylor Library, said this designation is a significant achievement for the university and a tremendous asset for the communities its serves.

"By being named a Federal Depository Library, our campus patrons and the public will have access to a vast amount of government publications that they might not otherwise have immediate access to," Lawless said. And if the Stratton Taylor Library doesn't have the needed material on hand, the library could call upon the other members in the system to have the requested documents sent to RSU. That option would not have been available, if RSU was not a member of the program, he said.

Being named to the program required the local Congressman to provide official designation, which was granted earlier this year by Oklahoma 2nd District Congressman Dan Boren. The first shipment of government documents arrived at the library this month.

The program, which is directed by the Government Printing Office, provides U.S. residents with free and unrestricted access to government information from the federal government. Since 1813, depository libraries have been safeguarding the public's right to know by collecting, organizing, maintaining, preserving and assisting users with information from the federal government.

More than 1,250 libraries nationwide are members of the program. Oklahoma has only 20 members and most of those are associated with universities. The Stratton Taylor Library is the first Oklahoma library to be added to the program since 1987 and is the only member serving the northeastern quadrant of Oklahoma outside of Tulsa and Tahlequah.

The government document collection will focus on topics that support the university's curriculum and the interests of the publics in northeastern Oklahoma. Some of the focus areas include business, criminal justice, social service, biology, ecology, political science and more. The staff will make adjustments to its holdings in response to public requests and inquiries, Lawless said.

In addition to the prestige associated with being named to the federal depository program, the designation also carried a financial value to the library. RSU has been budgeting approximately $2,000 annually to purchase government publications for the collection. As a member of the program, RSU now will receive those government publications and many more free of charge. The program also includes free access to several extensive government and statistical databases, which would have been cost prohibitive to carry otherwise.

Carolyn Gutierrez, information systems librarian, will oversee the day-to-day operations of the federal documents section, which will be housed on the second floor of the library building.

For more information, contact the Stratton Taylor Library at (918) 343-7716.