Welcome to the Government Publications Department at San Francisco State University!
The J. Paul Leonard Library is one of 1300 Federal depository libraries that provide access to government information. It has been a selective federal depository library since 1955, and serves the 12th Congressional district. We select approximately 52% of available U.S. documents from the Government Printing Office (GPO). We also collect State of California documents and international documents from the United Nations.
Let us know if you need help, as our collection is not completely catalogued. Our contact numbers are: (415) 338-7325 and (415) 405-2517, or email Nina Hagiwara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The main search engines for U.S. Government information are:
FDSys (Federal Digital System from the U.S. Government Printing Office)
FDSys provides access to official U.S. government publications from all three branches of government. It's more complicated to search than the Catalog of Government Publications, so the following tutorials may be helpful:
FDSys Educational Webinar Recordings. Most of these presentations are 1-1.5 hours long.
-Introduction to GPO's Federal Digital System
-Tracking Federal Regulation in FDSys
-Navigating Government Information Using GPO's Federal Digital System
-Advanced Navigation in GPO's Federal Digital System
-Tracking Legislating in GPO's FDSys
Catalog of Government Publications (CGP, U.S. Government Printing Office)
"The CGP is the finding tool for federal publications that includes descriptive records for historical and current publications and provides direct links to those that are available online. Users can search by authoring agency, title, subject, and general key word, or click on 'Advanced Search' for more options." The Catalog of Government Publications has been superseded by FDSys, but it's still useful for searching for older publications.
USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web Portal
This website includes a detailed list of Federal, State, Local, and Tribal agencies, listed under the "Find Government Agencies" tab.
Google has quietly discontinued its U.S. Government (aka Google Uncle Sam) web search. There is no link on the Advanced Search page, and government information librarians noticed that it disappeared in mid-June 2011.
You can still use Google to find government information, by adding "site:gov" to your search. Or you could go to the Advanced Search and enter .gov in the "Search within a site or domain" box. Unfortunately, this will not replicate the old Google Uncle Sam search,which included state, county and military websites.
To search for California state documents, add "site:ca.gov" to the end of the search.
For San Francisco City & County documents, add "site:sfgov.org" to the end of the search.
Government information comes from federal, state, and local sources and offers a broad array of information formats.
Think about the following questions:
1. Do you need U.S., state, local, or international government information?
2. Do you need a specific type of information (statistics, hearings, environmental impact statements, patents, laws, treaties, scientific information, etc.)?
3. Are you searching for information or data from a particular time period?
Then click on the Advanced Search tab, next to the search box.
Find the Location box and click on Government Collection. That will limit your search to items from the Government Publications collection.
We are currently in the process of cataloging older print publications. Some of them may be found via the Government Printing Office's Catalog of Government Publications.
Call or email us for help in finding older documents.