The MacPháidín Library at Stonehill College has housed a selective depository collection of Government Documents since its opening in 1989. The Cushing-Martin Library originally housed the collection when the College was designated a selective Federal depository in 1962. This designation was given shortly after the Federal Depository Act increased the number of possible Federal depositories. It was our United States Representative Joseph W. Martin, Jr. who helped to confer Federal depository status upon the library.

Since 1962, the depository has collected a steady portion of the publications offered by the Government Printing Office. We currently collect approximately 19% of the item numbers available for selection. These publications come in electronic, paper, microfiche, and DVD formats.

Mission Statement

The Federal depository at the MacPháidín Library serves two distinct populations. As part of an academic institution, the library is dedicated to serving the information needs of the Stonehill students, faculty, and staff. To aid these patrons, the depository collects materials that support the college’s core programs such as: business, the social sciences, and the humanities.The depository collection also emphasizes statistical materials, congressional, and education items that may cross subject areas to support the academic needs of the Stonehill Community.

In conjunction with the library’s role within the college setting, the depository also has an obligation to serve the government information needs of the Fourth Congressional District and the local area. We maintain an awareness of the geographic and demographic characteristics of the surrounding areas and provide federal publications which are of need and interest to this user group.

Geographically, the Fourth Congressional District includes:

In Bristol County:
Attleboro, Berkley, Dighton, Easton, Fall River: Ward 4, Precinct C; Ward 5, Precinct B1 and C; Ward 6, Precinct C1; and Wards 7, 8,and 9, Freetown, Mansfield, North Attleboro, Norton, Raynham: Precincts 1A, 2A, 3, and 4, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Somerset, Swansea, and Taunton.

In Middlesex County:
Sherborn, and Newton.

In Norfolk County:
Bellingham: Precincts 1, 2, 3, and 4, Brookline, Dover, Foxborough, Franklin, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Needham, Norfolk, Plainville, Sharon, Wellesley, and Wrentham.

In Plymouth County:

In Worcester County:
Hopedale, and Milford

Communities that are close to the library, but not in our Congressional District include:
Abington, Avon, Brockton, Canton, Dedham, Duxbury, Hanover, Holbrook, Kingston, Marshfield, Norwell, Norwood, Plymouth, Scituate, Stoughton, Taunton, Walpole, Westwood, and Whitman


All government documents are accessible for public use in the library. Students, faculty, and staff may borrow paper documents that circulate. Library users who do have borrowing privileges may borrow documents that circulate through interlibrary loan from their own public library.

Library hours for the general public during the academic year are from 8:00 am to 12:00 am. Monday through Thursday, Friday 8:00 am to 9:00 pm. Saturday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm and Sunday 10:00 am to 12:00 am. The library is closed to the general public during student exam periods, but a community user can access the documents collection.

The library is closed to the general public during the student exam period. Community users can access the documents collection during this period by contacting the library staff to confirm their access to the documents collection.

The MacPháidín Library and the collections are accessible to individuals with disabilities. Aid is always available for patrons who need assistance reaching materials, using a computer or microfiche reader, or photocopying and scanning.

Selection of Materials

A. Criteria

The Documents Librarian selects documents with input from the Head of Collections, Assessment and User Engagement and the Reference Librarians. Students, members of the faculty and community user requests are also considered when reviewing items. The collection is assessed throughout the year and selection decisions are based on subject, usage, and format.

1. Duplicates:

Additional copies of a document may be considered for purchase if there is heavy demand for the title and it is only available in paper format or a circulation copy is needed in addition to one placed in the reference collection.

2. Replacement Copies:

The Documents Librarian and Head of Collections, Assessment and User Engagement decide whether or not to replace lost or damaged materials. Decisions are usually based on the demand for the title and the availability of the title in question.

3. Gifts  

Unsolicited materials received from various U.S. federal agencies are considered gifts. A Superintendent of Documents number is assigned to the publication before it is added to the collection. Materials not added to the collection are offered to other institutions or discarded.

4. Discards from other Depositories.

The Needs and Offers lists, as well as discard lists from other depositories are utilized as sources to locate paper, microfiche or DVDs to replace or fill in gaps in the collection. These lists are reviewed as time permits.

B. Responsibility for Selection

When a student, faculty member or a person from the community makes a request for a document that the depository does not select, in either in paper, microfiche, or DVD format, the Documents Librarian will refer to the item number of the requested documents and review to consider it for addition to the depository’s profile. The decision is based upon relevance to the existing collection and the needs of the library patron. If the document is available in electronic format the requestor will be contacted and given the permanent PURL (Permanent Uniform Resource Locator).  If they do not have Internet access, a copy will be printed and mailed to them.  If the requested document is an online database, the Documents Librarian will make arrangement to meet with the requestor and assist them using the resource.

All publications are selected in the appropriate and available format; considering content, usage, service, and storage. Formats include but are not limited to: electronic, paper, microfiche, maps and DVDs. Electronic documents are the preferred format since it is more accessible, and the most cost effective way for the library to provide access.

Throughout the year the Documents Librarian compares the library’s item selection profile to possible selections listed in The List of Classes of United States Government Publications Available for Selection by Depository Libraries. Changes are noted and addition and deletions to the selection profile are made during the year using the Depository Selection Information Management System (DSIMS). The DSIMS immediately adds new electronic documents to the library’s selection profile, while paper and microfiche documents are processed by the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) on October 1 of each year.

Each month the Documents Librarian consults the New Electronic Titles (NET) lists for new electronic documents and PURLs that have been assigned to older paper documents.  These newly assigned PURLs are then added to the bibliographic records of the corresponding paper documents while new electronic documents are processed by the Cataloging department.

WEBTech Notes are consulted on a monthly basis for new item numbers available for selection and corrections to existing documents in the collection.

Overall the library does not want to increase its paper collection, nor does it have sufficient space to allow for growth. We are strongly committed to the selection of the electronic version of a document. In addition the library provides access to the Federal Digital System (FDsys) which enables online access to official publications from all three branches of the Federal Government. The Government Documents LibGuide provides Internet links to all of the 15 executive departments of the United States government.

Arrangement and Subject Areas

The documents collection is arranged by Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) order with some documents located in the Reference Collection, shelved by Library of Congress call numbers. Journals still received in paper format are shelved in the periodicals collection by title. All documents have a bibliographic record and can be located using HillSearch. If the document is available in electronic format, the document can be accessed directly in HillSearch.

The collection currently includes documents in the following subject areas: business, congressional and legislative information, criminal justice, demographics and other statistical resources, education, military history, health and human services, and foreign policy. The primary language of the collection is English.

Resource Sharing

The library is located near a number of depositories in the Boston area and Southeastern Massachusetts. The Documents Librarian is familiar with these institutions and can assist patrons who wish to locate documents that Stonehill does not have in its depository collection.

Collection Evaluation

Use statistics for paper documents are obtained from circulation reports. At this time we do not have the capability to compile individual title usages statistics of electronic documents accessed from the catalog. The FDLP offers monthly statistical reports of PURL referrals that determine how often documents within the Federal Depository Library Program Electronic Collection are accessed through library catalogs and Web pages. These reports begin in 2001. Early reports 2001 to 2005 are cumulative reports, while monthly reports are available from 2006 until the present. 

Selection Tools

The Documents Librarian consults a number of selection tools. The List of Classes of United States Government Publications Available for Selection by Depository Libraries is the main selection tool. Secondary reference and selection tools include guides, catalogs, indexes and bibliographies published by government or commercial sources, both retrospective and current.

Weeding and Maintenance

The Government Documents Librarian is responsible for weeding and maintenance of the documents collection.

The paper collection is weeded on a regular basis. Shelf space dictates priority in areas to be weeded. Microfiche and CD/s/DVD are weeded when time permits. Documents in electronic format are not weeded and a document is discarded only when a revised edition is available.

Superseded documents identified using the Superseded List published by the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) are withdrawn and discarded.  Documents not identified on the Superseded List must be retained in the collection five years before they can be considered for discard in accordance to the standards outlined in the Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program web site.  

The entire holdings are weeded on a regular basis to maintain a current collection. Discontinued and deselected items are priority areas to be weeded. Congressional publications are the major exception to this rule and are retained indefinitely regardless of space concerns and conditions. Publications from the Census Bureau that report on any of the New England states are also retained.

The Head of Collections, Assessment and User Engagement and Reference Librarians are consulted when documents have been identified for discard. Once a final decision is made, the Depository Librarian compiles the final list and sends it to our Regional Depository, Boston Public Library, for permission to discard. When permission is received, the list is posted on the Need and Offers web site and emailed to other area Federal depositories. We wait 2-3 months after the list is posted before discarding and recycling the documents.

To keep current the Documents Librarian consults the FDLP Desktop to keep current on issues by RSS feed to the  FDLP Connection monthly newsletter and other informational sites on this web portal.

MacPhaidin Library provides informational resources that support the College's academic programs. Its goal is to provide faculty and students with the material and services needed for effective teaching, learning and research.