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University Library

Government Publications

Government Publications - an Introduction

Federal Publications

Something relevant to virtually every field of study taught and researched at Cal State L.A. may be found in the publications of the United State Government. You will find statistics, legislative materials, Census reports, research monographs, technical reports, educational frameworks, and more. Information about income tax, Social Security and Veterans benefits, careers, small business, citizenship and immigration, federal grants and fellowships, travel and recreation, nutrition and exercise, household safety, and many other consumer-oriented topics is also available.

The Government Publishing Office (GPO) is the Federal Government's primary centralized resource for producing, procuring, cataloging, indexing, authenticating, disseminating, and preserving the official information products of the U.S. Government. The agency is responsible for the production and distribution of information products for all three branches of the Federal Government, including U.S. passports for the Department of State as well as the official publications of Congress, the White House and other Federal agencies, and the courts.

GPO's primary information dissemination program is through a partnership with 1,200 Federal depository libraries nationwide. The Cal State L.A. Library has been a congressionally designated depository for U.S. government publications since 1956, serving the 34th U.S. Congressional District of California. The Library currently receives catalog records for all electronic federal publications as they are cataloged by the Government Publishing Office as well as a few significant reference titles in print. You will find both online and print publications when you search the library catalog. Additional Federal publications and information can be located using the resources included under the Online Finding Aids tab above or the GPO Catalog database listed on the library’s Articles and Databases page.

State Publications

California State documents are published and distributed in a more decentralized system, most of them published electronically on various State agency websites and some in paper format distributed through a limited depository program. Official designation as a State depository was made in 1960, although very few State publications are received and kept by the library.

California State publications may be located using the University of California's MELVYL®; electronic catalog or the California State Library Catalog. Online California information can be found using standard web search engines like Google or Yahoo or by going to the State of California website. 

Reference Assistance

Reference assistance is provided at the Reference Desk, 1st Floor, Library North.


John F. Kennedy Memorial Library
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8300