Between the Lines

Identifying and comparing government document duplicates

Federal depository logoIt is amazing what a team of ten student assistants and ten library staff from six different areas working together on a big project can accomplish! With a seemingly impossible job set before them to identify all government document duplicates across the Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries’ collections, this group reviewed more than 40,000 government document catalog records in a 14-week period. Besides completing nearly 44% of the 91,000 records needing review, the team identified the record format, specifically whether duplicates are books, microfiche, CDROMs or various combinations of material types.

Looking forward, student assistants and library staff will continue reviewing the remaining 56% of duplicate catalog records needing examination. Upon completion, work will begin to strategically discard duplicate documents, all the while balancing the need to keep the best format for long-term preservation and consideration of library space.