Columbus State University Libraries 


Columbus State University is a multipurpose, coeducational, regional institution serving the diverse educational needs of west central Georgia. The university is located in Columbus, Georgia, and is part of the University System of Georgia.  The institution was initially established as a junior college in 1958 and became a four-year college in 1965. The university provides a mixture of liberal arts and professional programs leading to associate, baccalaureate and graduate degrees. 

CSU Libraries supports the needs of the students, faculty, staff and administration of Columbus State University, as well as the surrounding community. The library is committed to providing easy access to information and an atmosphere conducive to study and research. The library's collection development program includes print, electronic and other non-print materials that support students, faculty and staff of the university. The library staff is committed to furnishing prompt and efficient services in the retrieval of bibliographic data and materials from the collection and from other information sources to serve the needs of its patrons. 

The Simon Schwob Memorial Library has been a selective depository for federal documents since April 15, 1975. It serves the Third Congressional District of Georgia. Items are selected to provide for the information needs of the congressional district, the community of Columbus and surrounding areas and the students, faculty and staff of Columbus State University. The library's government documents department selects resources in various formats in the following general subject areas: Military Science (Defense), Health, Law and Regulations, Environment, Law Enforcement and Corrections, Science, and Government. The selection and administration of government documents are made in accordance with the Legal Requirements and Program Regulations of the FDLP, Georgia State Plan for federal depository libraries in Georgia and Title 44. The mission of the government documents department is to collect, organize, and provide free access to the United States government publications selected by the library for its constituency. 

User Base 


Columbus State University had a Fall 2020 enrollment of 8,300 students that represent the Southeast, the United States, and nations around the world.  With excellent facilities and ideal class sizes, the University strives to furnish students with an outstanding education that is affordable and accessible and that enables them to become valuable assets to today’s job market.   

Academically, the university is organized into seven colleges, including College of the Arts, Turner College of Business & Technology, College of Education and Health Professions, College of Letters and Sciences, TSYS School of Computer Science, Schwob School of Music, and the School of Nursing.   

Full-time faculty numbers 300. Student-Faculty Ration in Fall 2020 was 15-1.  The university offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate degree options.  Columbus State has a robust offering of fully online and hybrid classes in addition to traditional face-to-face learning. 

Selection Responsibility 


The Business Librarian is responsible for Government Documents reference service, outreach, and promotion. The Government Documents Coordinator is responsible for the selection of government documents and the processing and maintenance of the documents collection.   

The library selects the Basic Collection either in electronic or tangible form as specified by the FDLP. 

Subject emphasis is placed on items arising from Congress, The Chief Executive Office, and the departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, and Justice. Resources from NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the State Department are selectively represented. 



The depository collection is organized using the Superintendent of Documents classification system. All tangible depository materials are marked with the SuDoc number and depository/date stamp. Print items are shelved on the third floor of the library.  

A few government publications in microfiche form are housed in special cabinets in the Reference Suite on the main floor of the library. 



Government publications include print and electronic versions. Electronic is the preferred format due to increased accessibility online. Internet accessible computer workstations are on the library's main floor and provide patrons with access to electronic resources. Free WI-FI is available in all areas of the building. 

Print is a familiar choice for library patrons and is selected based on content and the availability of an electronic version. 

Due to usage and availability of more documents online, microfiche is no longer a selected format and there is a limited number of microfiche available.  The library furnishes two microfiche readers and a microfiche printer on the main floor of the library.   

Selection Tools 


The following resources are consulted regularly to review current item selections and to identify additions to the government documents collection: 

Resource Sharing 


Government publications not selected by the library are acquired through interlibrary loan or GIL Express from another USG library. Many current documents unavailable in the library catalog are available online by searching the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.  Many older documents can be found online by searching the HathiTrust

Collection Evaluation 


The depository collection is continually reviewed on an individual item number basis with the List of Classes of United States Government Publications Available for Selection by Depository Libraries to determine selection relevancy to the needs of the district and university patron. The collection evaluation is a zero-based review with the aim of selecting and deselecting items in accordance with the general standards set forth in this policy. Item numbers can be dropped or added using the DSIMS

Weeding and Maintenance 


The government documents collection is maintained in accordance with the guidelines in the Legal Requirements and Program Regulations of the FDLP and the Georgia State Plan for federal depository libraries in Georgia. CSU Libraries strives to provide a piece-level record of all depository materials entrusted to the library in the ILS. All government documents are marked with the depository/date stamp and the SuDoc classification number. 

Superseded documents are withdrawn and discarded routinely. Certain select superseded documents are retained for collection continuity and research purposes. 

Items determined to have lost their relevancy due to the passage of time or items available freely online and not deemed desirable in tangible format are weeded and discarded in accordance with the Georgia State Plan for federal depository libraries in Georgia. 

Worn and damaged documents are evaluated for repair, substitution with an online copy, or withdrawal. 



The tangible government documents collection is located on the library building's third floor. Several computer workstations and microfiche readers are located on the first floor of the library.   

Free, unlimited in-library use of government documents, both print and electronic, is available to all library users.  Public patrons may be asked to sign in to use computers or may need assistance from staff to log in.   

Public patrons can enjoy check-out privileges by becoming a Friend of the Library (      

Access to government information and publications is enhanced by the following library services and practices: 

  • The federal depository library logo is posted at the library entrance. 

  • Signage is posted at the government documents area of the library. 

  • The Government Documents subject guide is available through the Subject Guides link on the library home page. The subject guides are linked to the library homepage and in GALILEO

  • Government Documents are listed in the library catalog and the GALILEO Discovery search. 

  • Online documents are linked in the online catalog and GALILEO Discovery search by their PURL. 

  • Many documents with full text copies in the HathiTrust are linked in the catalog. 

  • There is unimpeded access to the open stacks housing the government documents collection in all formats. 

  • Reference librarians and staff on duty provide government documents service.