TITLE: Uncle Sam

ACCESS: http://www.lib.memphis.edu/gpo/unclesam.htm

The Government Publications Department of the Regional Depository Library at the University of Memphis has taken on the task of providing access to and information on many government publications available through the Internet. The result is Uncle Sam, an easy-to-use and informative site for anyone with an interest in government information.

The heart of Uncle Sam is "Migrating Government Publications," a list of government publications that are migrating from print to electronic versions. They are listed by title and by SuDoc number, and are marked as available in electronic only or in electronic and print versions. The links are annotated if the publication is available from more than one site, or for title changes or other irregularities. The listing is limited to serials and periodicals, which make up a large percentage of government publications, and links are provided to the GPO Access site for finding available monographs. Although there is no search engine (one is planned for the future), finding a known item is very easy. Some subject access is provided through the annotated pathfinders found in the "Internet Resource Guides" section. The University of Memphis librarians have created 14 subject guides which list Internet resources plus some essential print publications. "Geography and Map Information," with links to government and commercial sites as well as how-to and ordering information, is a separate section.

More useful information for all libraries is available under the "GPO Resources" and "Hot Links" sections. "Hot Links" includes pointers to other sites that have organized government publications by one criterion or another, plus the very useful "Reference Recidivism," a FAQ/Ready Reference page. Depository libraries can check out "Depository Library Information" and "Current Concerns," a listing of news sources about government documents.

Uncle Sam is a valuable starting place for students or faculty in subjects that rely heavily on government publications, and it is an excellent resource for librarians who need to locate government information in a reference setting. Its consistent, uncluttered look, good organization, and comprehensiveness all work together to provide access to information previously available only at depository libraries. Highly recommended for all libraries.

DeAnne Luck
Electronic Resources Librarian
Austin Peay State University

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