HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (May 12, 2014) - The year was 1964: the cost of a stamp was five cents; the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show; Lucky Charms hit store shelves; and President Lyndon B. Johnson signed The Civil Rights Act.
It was also the year that Alabama Congressman Robert "Bob" E. Jones asked the U. S. Government Printing Office to make The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) an official depository library. Depository libraries are entitled to receive all federal government publications.
On Thursday, May 15, at 10:30 a.m., the UAH Louis Salmon Library will host a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary the library has served as a Federal Depository Library. David Moore, director of the Library will give a brief address, and the display cases in the lobby will display some of the government documents held in the library.
"This recognition is significant in that Congressman Jones, the administrators of the university and of the library had the foresight to apply for this designation. There can only be two Federal Depository Library Programs (FDLP) in each Congressional District, so when Congressman Jones applied for this distinction for UAH, it was quite an honor," said Anne Coleman, archivist in the special collections area of the university's library. The government documents collection is housed in the lower level of the library. The Government Printing Office (GPO ) is the largest printing agency in the world, and as such, provides documents about every subject, with no cost for the materials. The materials may be used by the general public, as well as UAH faculty, staff and students. The documents do not circulate, but can be used in the library. The UAH Library continues to receive paper shipments on a weekly basis.
Coleman said the UAH library will house the documents indefinitely, but notes the print collection continues to shrink as more and more of government documents are available online. "The UAH library is a Selective Federal Depository Library, which means that materials, such as legal, educational, historical, and scientific, are chosen that best serve the researchers and students who would use the documents. Additionally, the UAH library has a wide selection of NASA documents that complement the NASA materials held in archives, such as the Hubble telescope updates, and the history of space travel," she said.
The Depository Library Act of 1962 created the present-day FDLP. Depository libraries, such as the UAH Louis Salmon Library must maintain collections of at least 10,000 books, not including the collection of government documents. Every depository library is required to have certain publications available for use. These include:
- Budget of the United States Government
- Catalog of U.S. Government Publications
- Code of Federal Regulations
- Congressional Directory
- Congressional Record
- United States Code
The Congressional papers of Robert "Bob" E. Jones are housed at the UAH Louis Salmon Library, and are available for research or viewing during Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m., until 4 p.m., in Archives and Special Collections.
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