Where do you find population figures from a century ago? Health statistics over time in Newark, New Jersey or the U.S. as a whole? Business and economic or other information for those studying small business development or wanting to go into business for themselves?
Valuable information such as this can be summed up in two words: government publications.
In December, Dana Library celebrates 50 years since it obtained its status as a Federal Depository Library for the 10th Congressional District of the State of New Jersey. It has been a boon to faculty, students, the general public and the business community. It promises to continue to be a major resource at Dana even as most of the government publications are now available online. Dana also serves as a depository for many, but not all, publications of the State of New Jersey.
One enhancement that accompanies their presence at the libraries are classes in which library faculty reaches out to faculty and students to educate them on the use of publications distributed by the Government Publishing Office (GPO) and online resources issued by the Federal Government.
“The subjects covered by government publications go from the general to the specific, essential for researchers as well as the general public. Most importantly, government publications are available to all users regardless of affiliation or age,” said Wen-Hua Ren, the documents librarian who supervises government publication collections at Dana.
New Jersey is home to as many as 25 federal depositories. Each of Rutgers University campuses, including New Brunswick and Camden, has a designated federal depository library. RU-Newark has two, the other being the Law Library which receives depository materials that support legal research and study.
Programs in recognition of the fiftieth anniversary will be held in December and possibly also in January 2017. In addition to a display, there will community instruction programs offered to educate the public on the usefulness of the collections and service.