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Government Information: Books

Information Delivery Services (IDS) Search

Search for books, DVDs and other materials throughout New York State and beyond



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Search Google Books

Google Books is a large collection of digitized books, freely available to the public.  Some of the books you find here will be a limited preview, some will be full view. 

Google Book Search

Is this a Government Publication?

Here are some tips for determining whether you're looking at a Government Document, or a standard publication.



Who is the author/publisher? - As would likely be expected, Government publications are published by the Government.  Many will be authored by the United States, or by a specific Department or Committee.  Those that are authored by individuals will typically be published by the Department or organization they are working through.


Look at the Call Number - Most Government Publications will follow something called the SuDoc Call number system.  This differs from the library's standard classification system, the Library of Congress system.  SuDoc Call numbers will almost always have added colons   ( : ) and dashes in them ( either - or / ) while most Library of Congress call numbers have only letters, numbers and periods.  Occasionally Government Publications can be cataloged using the Library of Congress call number system, but we typically do not do this at Geneseo.


What's in the URL? - One of the more obvious, though often overlooked ways of knowing you are looking at a Government publication is to look at the URL.  Most government resources will be available on .gov sites.  They can be found elsewhere, especially older documents that are no longer available on their department's website, but if something has a .gov, then you should be pretty confident that it's a Government Publication.

Finding Books

The following are the best places to search when looking for Books about Law. 

Government Information in WorldCat

The following tips can help you determine whether or not you're looking at Government Information.


In WorldCat Local you can start by typing in your search.  When the results list comes up take a look at the limits on the left hand side.  A couple of these can be used to limit to Government Publications. 


First, under "author" you can select United States or another country you're interested in, and you will know that item was written or published by someone in the Government.  This will not include all government publications, but it should get many of them.


Second, under "topic" one of the options will often be Government Documents.  This can sometimes be hidden under more options, but it is another option to limit to government publications.


When you first conduct a search there are some acronyms you can type in to indicate that you want government publications.


gpb - Government publication

ngp - National Government publication

sgp - State Government Publication

lgp - Local government Publication

igp - International Government Publication

Subject Guide

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Brandon West
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