Collection Development Statement


Purpose of the Collection:

  • To support the University curricula;
  • To provide the public with information disseminated by and about their government and its undertakings;
  • To serve the First Congressional District of Kansas as a Selective Federal Depository Library pursuant to 44 USC 1911 and the Instructions for Depository Libraries.

User Population:

  • The undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and staff of Emporia State University;
  • The citizens of Emporia, Lyon County, and the First Congressional District of Kansas.

History of the Collection

The William Allen White Library (WAWL) was designated a selective Federal Depository Library in 1909. It is one of six selective Depository Libraries serving the First Congressional District. The regional library is located at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.

In 2006, the Government Documents Special Collection was created to help preserve and protect some of the older or more fragile of the important primary research materials within the Library’s collection.

Community Analysis

As a depository library, WAWL serves the students, faculty and staff of Emporia State University (ESU), the citizens of the City of Emporia and Lyon County and the constituents of the First Congressional District of Kansas.

ESU has an enrollment of approximately 6,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Emporia is a community of 26,000 located in a mostly rural, agricultural area of east central Kansas. The First Congressional District of Kansas covers an area roughly the size of the State of Illinois encompassing all or part of 68 of Kansas’ 105 counties.

Existing Strengths and Weaknesses

The Government Documents Collection is strong in Department of Interior publications, especially USGS maps and Bulletins. The collection is also particularly strong in historic publications of the Smithsonian Institution.

The greatest weakness of the collection is that is does not accurately and completely reflect the University’s curricula. Other weaknesses include the preponderance of print materials.


Federal Depository Libraries are required by Federal law to provide free and unrestricted use of the Government Documents collection.

Recent Government Documents are located within the general Library collection on the third deck and the first floor of William Allen White Library. All of these items are freely available for use within the library. The Documents on the third deck are available for check out pursuant to the Library’s circulation policies.

For their preservation and maintenance, older, rare, and valuable Government Documents, primarily those published prior to 1910, housed in the Government Documents Special Collection on the third floor of the Library are closed to browsing. Patrons interested in materials from this Collection should ask for assistance at the Reference Desk. A staff member will retrieve the requested material and return it to the third floor when the patron has finished. Access to the Special Collection shall be granted through the Reference Desk during the Library’s normal business hours.

Collection Priorities (including retention strategies)

 The primary mission of the Depository library at ESU is to serve the academic needs of the University. As such, the collection is designed, first and foremost to serve the curriculum of the University, and then to serve the needs of the greater community.

Management and Weeding

The collection should be weeded as needed, annually or biennially, as staffing levels and other factors allow.

For those materials selected for discard procedures outlined in Chapter 4 of the Government Printing Office’s (GPO’s) Instructions to Depository Libraries Revised 2000 ( ) shall be followed. These procedures include maintaining items for a minimum of 5 years from date of receipt by the library and seeking approval and direction from the regional library prior to discard.

The criteria used for determination of materials for discard shall include:

Age of the item

Any item that was received by the library five or more years prior to the weeding should be evaluated. Under Federal law, only items specifically identified by the GPO may be removed prior to the five year date.

Currency of information

The currency and accuracy of items older than five years should be evaluated. Whether the information is still accurate and whether revisions or updates have been made should be considered. This is especially important for technical and regulatory information.

Replacement in another format

Due to limited space available for the government documents collection, it is in the best interest of the library and its patrons to evaluate if items have been reissued in an alternate format. The GPO suggests that depository libraries migrate to electronic materials as available.

Curricular or local research value

Materials maintained in the collection should meet the needs of the library patrons. Those materials that do not support the mission of the library and University should be removed.

Physical condition

The physical condition of materials should be assessed. If an item has deteriorated to the point where it is no longer functional it should be removed, replaced, repaired or transferred to the Government Documents Special Collection.


Items that have had little or no circulation during the first five years in the library should be considered for removal, unless there is a compelling reason to believe that future use is likely.


With the exception of highly used items, multiple secondary copies of items should be removed. Items should also be evaluated if the same content is available elsewhere.

Superseded editions listed on the Superseded List

The Superseded List published occasionally by the GPO identifies those items which may be removed prior to the five year limit. The Superseded List should be consulted prior to weeding to verify that superseded items in the collection have been removed.

A list of items identified for removal using these criteria shall be sent to the regional library at the University of Kansas for approval. Those items approved by the regional library for withdrawal shall be disposed of in a manner consistent with applicable regulations, policies and procedures, see Kansas FDLP Materials Disposal Guidelines

Government Documents Special Collection

The primary goal of the Government Documents Special Collection is to preserve and protect Federal and State Government Documents so they may be of use to patrons. To that end, materials that, due to age, condition or other factors, may deteriorate beyond a functional state if left in open circulation may be moved to the Government Documents Special Collection. The collection development policy of the Special Collections was formulated to achieve that goal.

Government Documents may be moved to the Special Collection if they meet at least one of the following three criteria:

Age of the Material

In general those materials published prior to 1910 have been collected into the Special Collection. This date is based on the conventional use of the Government Printing Office’s Checklist of United States Public Documents 1789-1909, commonly referred to as the 1909Checklist.

Condition of the Material

Materials whose condition is such that special care must be used to maintain it in a usable state should be transferred to the Special Collection so they may be better preserved. Also, those materials whose original format or condition, such as paper bound bulletins, pamphlets or maps, may make the material more susceptible to damaging wear may also be moved to the Special Collection.

Value of the Material

Many of the Government Documents in the collection have a high market value. It is unfortunate that this value may make those items more susceptible to theft, either in whole or in part. As such, valuable Government Documents may also be placed into the Special Collection.

The Special Collection is by no means intended to be static. Materials may be added to the existing Special Collection as they meet the above criteria, or removed from it if they are determined to not meet the needs and objectives of the Library.

Selection Processes and Tools

In selecting items, it should be noted that the GPO has suggested that depository libraries move from print materials to electronic resources to the greatest extent possible.

Selection tools can be found on the GPO’s Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) Desktop website ( and include: