The University of Florida and University of Georgia might be rivals on the football field, but they are partners in providing public access to government information.
The U.S. Government Publishing Office has designated the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida and the University of Georgia Libraries as shared regional depository libraries. This move modernizes efforts to provide access to government reports by allowing libraries to tailor their resources to meet their patrons needs while collaborating to maintain access to comprehensive collections.
The agreement, which was approved by U.S. Senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and, benefits patrons and the 58 depository libraries in Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“In this partnership, each institution contributes what already are the best parts of their government information collections. It uses networks and technology already in place to efficiently share library resources,” said Sarah Erekson, Regional Government Documents Librarian at UF. “And the people of both regions are assured that they have access to comprehensive government information they can trust and easily use. The collaboration is clearly a win-win.”
The comprehensive nature of regional federal depository libraries allows selective locations the flexibility to manage their collections in a way that ensures that government publications, reports, and maps remain available to their users. Through the agreement, shared depository locations hold the physical materials most critical to their users on site, while other, less often requested materials are available from a partner upon request.
Through the UF-UGA agreement, each regional depository library will focus on collection strengths of a subset of depository materials to enhance access and stewardship: congressional hearings at the University of Florida and topographic maps at the University of Georgia.
“Collaborations such as this allow us to easily us share our fully cataloged Congressional hearings and allow us access to Georgia’s wonderful topographical maps, with the public directly and through all of our selective depository libraries,” said Judith Russell, Dean of University Libraries. “This will enhance our long-standing partnership with the University of Georgia, especially through the Collaborative Federal Depository Program of the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL).”
Each library has specialists to assist users with information requests and interlibrary loan. For assistance, contact Sarah Erekson, regional depository coordinator at the University of Florida, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Valerie Glenn, regional depository coordinator at the University of Georgia, at email@example.com.