Submitted by Camie on Wed, 10/28/2020

The University of Georgia and University of Florida might be rivals on the football field, but they are partners in providing public access to government information.

UGA Libraries and the George A. Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida have been designated as a shared regional depository library by the U.S. Government Publishing Office, a move that 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 Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and Marco Rubio of Florida, benefits patrons and the 58 depository libraries in Georgia, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“This partnership allows us to build upon our strength as one of the country’s largest map collections and also gives us the flexibility to manage the physical space occupied by congressional hearings without losing access to any of the content,” said Valerie Glenn, head of UGA’s Map and Government Information Library, located in the Main Library on UGA’s historic North Campus in Athens. “Through this partnership, we can all better serve our patrons, relying on existing digital resources and using the tools that have been established through interlibrary loan networks.”

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 UGA-UF 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.

“By creating this shared regional depository, we are working toward a more practical, modern, and user-centered framework for stewarding government information in the United States,” said Toby Graham, associate provost and university librarian at UGA. “We share a commitment with our partners at the Smathers Libraries at the University of Florida to providing critical access to government information in the most efficient manner possible.”

Each library has specialists to assist users with information requests and interlibrary loan. For assistance, contact Valerie Glenn, regional depository coordinator at the University of Georgia, at valerie.glenn@uga.edu, or Sarah Erekson, regional depository coordinator at the University of Florida, at sarah.erekson@ufl.edu