Accessing Government Documents

  • Chapter 19, Title 44 of the U.S. Code guarantees that “Depository libraries shall make Government publications available for the free use of the general public.”

    The IUP Libraries, as a federal depository library, impose no restriction for using the collection, but a fee may be charged for printing or photocopying documents. The photocopy machines in the library can only accept IUP-issued I-Cards and photocopy cards, but a book scanner is available for scanning materials. 

    If you are not an IUP student, faculty member, administrator, or staff member, you will need to purchase a photocopy card from a card machine located on the first floor. The charge for the card is $5.00.

  • How to Find Government Information

    United States federal and Pennsylvania government documents can be found through the Library Search on the Libraries' home page, the Catalog of US Government Publications, or Worldcat.

    Government documents are housed at different locations in Stapleton Library based on types of materials. For assistance in locating items not in our catalog, or for retrieving any of these documents, please see Theresa McDevitt, government documents librarian, in her office in Stapleton Library 110, or email her at

    Printed Materials

    Federal and Pennsylvania state government publications are shelved in the government documents section, located to the rear of the first floor of Stapleton Library. Publications are arranged by SuDocs number (Superintendent of Documents Classification System) for federal documents and by Pennsylvania documents number (PA documents Classification scheme) for Pennsylvania government documents. 


    All maps are filed in map cases located outside the back stacks on the ground floor, arranged by countries, regions, and types. 

  • Getting Help with Government Documents

    Reference Assistance 

    For general reference assistance involving government information, contact us via Ask a Librarian, or email the government documents librarian directly at

    Circulation of Government Materials

    Most items that are cataloged and kept as a permanent part of our collection can be checked out at the library’s main Circulation Desk.

    Reference materials and items that are not cataloged may be borrowed with special permission from a librarian. Learn more about circulation policies and procedures at Circulation Services.

    Interlibrary Loan

    If a needed item—physical or electronic—is not in our collections, take advantage of our Interlibrary Loan service to request the item.

    Note: general interlibrary loan services are only available to individuals affiliated with IUP. If you are not an IUP student or member of the IUP staff, faculty, or administration, and you want to request federal or state documents, please contact the government documents librarian at so they can assist you.

    Technology Support

    When the Library is open, users are free to use our public computers to access online publications from the state and federal government. Our computers have high-speed internet access, and we also provide WiFi access for personal devices.

    Contact the Information Commons Support Desk with any questions about accessing our technology resources.

    Government Web Portal

    The US Government provides an official web portal help the general public access government publications and answer other questions regarding government activities and services.