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Last Updated: Apr 3, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Depository Collections

Western is a depository library for U.S. government publications.  The federal government sends WWU thousands of publications, which the university promises to make available to the public. Western has been a depository since the 1960s and has hundreds of thousands of federal publications.

Western is also a depository for Washington state documents.  We were also a depository for Canadian federal documents until the program was cancelled in 2013.  Besides paper, fiche, CD-ROMs and posters, Western sometimes receives exclusive access to federal websites.  For example, the Homeland Security Digital Library is only available through depository libraries.

Most government documents circulate.  They can be checked out by anyone with valid identification, not just Western students.  People can also borrow them through InterLibrary Loan at their public libraries.

If you need help please call the Reference Desk at 360-650-3094 or contact Rob Lopresti.

Search Engines

  • USA.GOV is the government's own search engine, suitable for searching federal and state webpages.
  • Metalib
    Metalib is the federal governments own federated search engine, allowing yo to search the Library of Congress Catalog, FDsys, the Catalog of Government Publications, the AUPIndex of Military Periodicals, etc.


Happy Anniversary!

On Friday, November 1, 2013, Western celebrated its 50th anniversary as a Federal Depository Library.  Here are some photos from the festivities.  (Thanks to Michelle Becker and Tamara Belts for the pictures.)

Rob Lopresti and Dean of Libraries Mark GreenbergPart of the audienceDocs on DisplayCake

This display contained one document for each year since we became a depository.  Click on the list to see what was hot the year you were born.

Display Case

 We also had a panel of faculty speaking about how they use government information.  Thanks to Andy Bach, Paul Chen, Zite Hutton, and Kevin Leonard.  Zite Hutton provided a copy of her Powerpoint presentation.


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Rob Lopresti
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Office Hours: M 9-10, F 11-12
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Government Document of the Month

Cover Art
Whatcom County Adult Corrections Facilities and Sheriff's Headquarters: Final Environmental Impact Statement - Whatcom County Planning and Development Services
Call Number: WA 658.2 W556a 2013
Publication Date: 2013


Government Website of the Month


Which government agency published a document entitled:


To find out, click on the QUIZ tab at the top of this page.


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