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Government Information

Information on how to find publications that are produced by government agencies covering a wide variety of topics

Urban Affairs Librarian

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Susie Skarl, Urban Affairs Librarian
UNLV Libraries
Lied Library
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Box 457014
Las Vegas, NV 89154-7014

Recommended Federal Government Web Sites

Useful Government-Related Library Databases

Government Search Tools

Using Google to Find Government Information:
Below is an easy way to find government information on Google:
On Google, after you type in your keywords in the search box, type in

Example of a Google search: "crime statistics" (and you may want to click on Tools to narrow your search by time period)



FAQs about Government Information at UNLV Libraries

What are Government Publications?

  • Government publications are documents issued, published, or financed by local, state, federal, or international government agencies, such as the Department of Education, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, or the City of Henderson. Government publications come in many formats, including books, maps, periodicals, microforms, pamphlets, CD-ROMs, and Internet sites.

What do Government Publications cover?

  • Government publications can cover virtually any subject, including Congressional laws and hearings, nutrition, crime, diseases, endangered species, and immigration. The U.S. federal government is the world's greatest collector and publisher of statistics.

Where are Government Publications located in Lied Library?

  • Most federal, state, and local publications are located in the compact shelving on the east side of second floor of Lied Library. Microforms and CD-ROMs are located in cases on the second floor. Some titles are kept in the reference collection near the second floor desk. Government publications located in LASR (our automated storage and retrieval system) are indicated as such in the online catalog.

How are Government Publications arranged on the shelf?

  • Federal publications are shelved according to the Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) Classification System, an alpha-numeric system that arranges publication by author or issuing agency, rather than by subject. For example, all publications beginning with C originated in the Department of Commerce; all documents beginning with ED originated in the Department of Education. Following this are numbers, letters, and punctuation, all of which are important in the location process.
  • State and local publications are arranged according to a system called Swank. Each state is given a number—Nevada is 29. As in SuDoc, the following characters in the call number are determined by the issuing agency. County and state publications have "Co" and "Ci" added before the "29," and are shelved after the Nevada state publications. Publications from some other states, mostly those surrounding Nevada, are shelved after the Nevada state and local items.

Where else can I find Government Publications?

  • Guide to government information & services.
  • Catalog of U.S. Government Publications:
  • The official website for U.S. federal legislative information. 
  • Additionally, this guide contains a host of online sources of full-text government publications, divided by broad category (Federal, State/Local, Statistics, etc.) and by subject.

Who can use the Government Publications collection at Lied Library?

  • Access to the Government Publications collection is open and free to UNLV students, faculty, and staff, as well as the general public.

What Government Publications are available at Lied Library?

  • Federal Publications: These can be found online and on the 2nd floor of Lied Library in compact shelving. Also, many databases index government publications.
  • State and Local Publications: Most of the Nevada state publications, as well as many of those from county and city governments, come to UNLV from the Nevada state depository program. 

Can I check out Government Publications?

  • Most of the U.S. and Nevada publications may be checked out at the circulation desk. If the publication is microfilm or -fiche, you may read it in the library or use the microform scanners to make copies.

How can I tell from searching the UNLV Libraries online catalog if an item is a Government Publication?

  • Check under the Location box on our catalog for the following: UNLV Gov Pubs, UNLV Gov Pubs Microforms, or UNLV Gov Pubs CD-ROM.

What types of maps are collected at Lied Library?

  • The Lied Library map collection contains a wide variety of maps, including maps accompanying environmental impact statements for federal and state land, U.S. Geological Survey, miscellaneous maps treated as government publications, and CD-ROMs containing maps that have been scanned or loaded as datafiles.

How do I find a particular map?

  • The Map Cases are located on the second floor of Lied Library. Our large flat maps are located in these cases, and are called UNLV Maps in the online catalog. Folded maps are in the Government Publications stacks, and are called UNLV Gov Pubs.

Can I check out maps?

  • Most maps may be checked out of the library for the same circulation period as books.

How do I cite Government Publications?

I need more help with Government Publications!

  • For further assistance in finding government information, contact the 1st floor Research & Information desk at (702) 895-2100
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