Using OCLC WorldCat to Survey Government Publications in a Library’s Collection

Linda Zellmer


A method to evaluate a library’s government information collection using OCLC’s WorldCat is described. By searching material type codes for government publications, and limiting the search to an owning library, it is possible to find the number of cataloged government publications in a library’s collection. The system can be used to identify the age of government publications in a library, the number of items on a given subject, and find publications on a topic from a specific time period. This method of analysis is especially useful for analyzing government information collections when publications are cataloged into a library’s main collection. The search technique can be used to generate statistics on government publication collections which can be used to prepare reports on library collections and materials.

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