McIntyre Library named Federal Depository Library of the Year

| Julie Poquette

Looking for U.S. government information? When the need arises, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s McIntyre Library has you covered.

On Oct. 21, McIntyre Library was named the 2019 Federal Depository Library of the Year by the U.S. Government Publishing Office. Robin Miller, associate professor and government documents librarian in McIntyre Library, accepted the award during the annual Federal Depository Library Program conference in Washington, D.C.

FDLP Library of the Year logo

The award is given to one federal depository library that furthers the FDLP’s mission of “ensuring that the American public has free access to its Government’s information in extraordinary ways,” according to the FDLP website. There are 1,123 FDLP libraries in the U.S. and 19 in Wisconsin, and McIntyre Library is the only library in the state to ever receive the award.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from the U.S. Government Publishing Office," said McIntyre Library Director Jill Markgraf. “The McIntyre Library faculty and staff are committed to encouraging those in our community to use free government information for civic engagement and informed decision-making."

From photos of the first U.S. lunar landing in 1969, to U.S. Tax Court decisions, to centuries-old treaties with Native American tribes, to the “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election” (also known as the Mueller Report) — the requests for government information received by McIntyre Library are diverse. And given that the U.S. Government Publishing Office is the world’s largest publisher, that’s not surprising.

McIntyre Library was designated as a federal depository library in 1951. Its fully cataloged federal documents collection, prominently displayed on its first floor, contains 126,000 items and 86,000 titles (with some titles consisting of multiple items, or volumes). Its entire government information collection includes publications in print, microfiche, CD and online formats.

McIntyre Library is a selective depository library, which means it can choose the government publications to be added to its collection based on the needs of the community it serves. The library also provides access to all available GPO publications through an online network and interlibrary loan system.

“As a federal depository library, one of the commitments we make is to serve the public,” Miller said. “When I came to McIntyre Library in 2010, I knew I was joining a library with a strong tradition of helping people to access information. I am grateful to work with colleagues who are so committed to creating an accessible library where anyone can find and use information.”

As a federal depository library, McIntyre Library responds to frequent reference inquiries related to government information from residents throughout Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District. Area public libraries also refer patrons to McIntyre Library for assistance in accessing government resources and understanding complex census, legislative and regulatory information.

McIntyre Library staff provide outreach to university faculty and area teachers, helping them incorporate government documents into their curriculums, and they assist university and younger students in the use of government information to complete academic projects.

“Government information is not always easy to use or understand, and I love helping students, faculty, staff and the general public find data, documents, and even forms and instructions that help them to answer a question or solve a problem,” Miller said.

Markgraf said the FDLP award recognizes the collective efforts of McIntyre Library faculty and staff past and present, noting that an FDLP representative who visited as part of the award selection process was highly impressed with the curation and organization of the library’s government documents section.

”In addition to acknowledging McIntyre Library government documents librarian Robin Miller and cataloger Laurie Roach for their outstanding work in managing and promoting the government information collection, it is important to acknowledge their predecessors, including retired staff members Leslie Foster, Karen Pope and Mary Hayden, whose years of dedication to curating government information at McIntyre Library contributed to this award.”

As part of providing access to government resources, McIntyre Library also promotes active citizenship by serving as a voter registration site, and staff are working with local officials to continue expanding voter turnout and education.

“In reaching out throughout our community we learn again and again that the expertise provided by librarians is valued, and we are continuously working to support the GPO’s mission of ‘keeping America informed’ in every way that we can,” Miller said.

Top photo: The staff of UW-Eau Claire's McIntyre Library have been honored by the U.S. Government Publishing Office. The GPO named McIntyre Library its 2019 Federal Depository Library of the Year during the annual Federal Depository Library Program conference in Washington, D.C.