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Government Documents and Federal Depository Library

A Federal depository library since 1973, the government documents collection is located in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center at the Main Library. This collection contains United States government publications regarding a variety of subjects from legal information and statistics to health and consumer resources. Follow the links below for online government information resources.


About the Federal Depository Library Program

The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) is regulated by Title 44, Chapter 19, of the United States Code. The FDLP was established by Congress to provide free, open access to government information for the American public. The resources held by a Federal depository library are available to anyone and cover a wide variety of topics including "careers, business opportunities, consumer information, health and nutrition, legal and regulatory information, demographics, and numerous other subjects" (GPO Access). For more information regarding the FDLP, go to


Government publications can be located at the Davenport Public Library by searching the online catalog. Here are some helpful tips when searching the library catalog for government publications:

  • Search by Title if you are looking for a specific government document.
  • Search by Author if you are looking for publications from specific federal government agency.
  • Search by Subject if you are looking for information on a topic published by any government agency.
  • If you would like to restrict your search to only government publications, choose the Advanced Search option on the library catalog's main search page. Then go to Material Type and select Government Document. Then enter your other information in the related search fields.

When locating government publications in the library, most can be found in the Richardson-Sloane Special Collections Center which is located in the lower level of the Main Library. These materials can be identified by their call number, which begins with "GOV DOC." Users should take note that government publications are arranged by a classification system that is different from the rest of the library. The Superintendent of Documents, or SuDoc, classification system is used to organize government publications. The purpose of this system is to group together publications by the same government departments, agencies, and subordinate offices. 

The Reference and non-fiction collections also contain some government publications. These can be identified by Dewey Decimal call numbers that do not begin with a letter.

Contact Reference Services at 563-326-7832 if you have any questions or need assistance. If the information you are looking for is not available at the Davenport Public Library, the Reference staff can help request materials from another RiverShare library or borrow from another library through Interlibrary Loan.