How to Find Federal Government Documents at OCC Library

There are a variety of ways to find government documents. One way is to use the Online Catalog, OCCat, to locate items within the Ocean County College Library.

1. Use the Catalog

Many relevant Gov Docs are cataloged and placed in the regular collection of the library.

The OCC Library Catalog is found on Ocean County College's main Library page at: http://www.ocean.edu/library
On the first page of the catalog, we can do a title search for the Occupational Outlook Handbook. You can also search by phrase or subject
The third item that comes up is the one we want. We know it is a governemtn document because it is published by the Superintendent of Documents or GPO.
Clicking on Details will bring you to more detailed information about the document.

2. Use the US Government Publications Catalog

You can find the link to the Find Articles link on the Library'a homepage at http://www.ocean.edu/library
You can find the link to the Government Publicatons Catalog on the Library'a homepage at http://www.ocean.edu/library/findarticlessubject.htm
You can search either by Term or Word, both are similiar. The following example is of a Word search.
An example of searching for the Occupational Outlook Handbook in the Government Publications catalog.
A listing of what comes up if you do a title search for the Occupational Outlook Handbook in the Government Publications Catalog
The long record of the Occupational Outlook Handbook. It has the SuDoc number and the url where the online version is located.
The bottom of the long record shows which libraries nearby have this document. OCC is listed first. if we do not have it, it lists nearby libraries that do.

Now even though it says "OCC Library" under holdings that doesn't mean we still have the document. If it's over 5 years old, we probably no longer have it.

Once you've established that OCC does select a particular item, first check the catalog to see if it's cataloged in the regular library collection. If it isn't, then it's housed upstairs in the Government Documents area.

3. Understand How the Upstairs Government Documents Area is Arranged

The Gov Docs located upstairs are currently NOT in the library catalog. These items are arranged according to the Superintendent of Documents classification system (SuDoc).

SuDoc is very different from the Dewey Decimal system, which is how the rest of the library is arranged.

First of all, a SuDoc number begins with a letter or series of letters. Like so:

Image showing the SuDoc number C 61. 34:987. The Cis for the Commerce Department, the 61 for a bureau within the agency, the 34 identifies the title and 987 is for the year: 1987

Second - SuDoc is NOT a decimal system like Dewey. So the numbering might be a bit different from what you're used to.

Dewey Example in order SuDoc Example in order
342.34 C 61.34: 987
342.347 C 61.64: 999
342.64 C 61.347: 2000
342.642 C 61.642: 2001

4. How to Find New Jersey Documents

A. Certain New Jersey Documents, like many Federal documents, have been places in the regular collection and cataloged.

The OCC catalog for books can be found on our website http://www.ocean.edu/library
Clicking on Power Seach on our catalog page will bring you to an advanced search screen.
On the advanced search of the OCC catalog, you can limit the type of document to NJ or Federal Government Document.
NJ Documents section

B. New Jersey Documents have their own separate section upstairs. Unlike the Federal Documents, there is no fancy numbering system for them. Instead, they are divided up by subject words and placed alphabetically according to subject.

5. Finding Government Documents on the Internet

There are a variety of indexes and portals to government information online. (You can find a lot of them in the links section of this page). We will look at two main ones here.

Google Uncle Sam

Like the regular google, only better. Google Uncle Sam searches only .gov and .mil sites, so it will only bring up Government Webpages. (a bit of caution. Some government webpages, such as www.oceancountygov.com end in .com instead of .gov, so Google Uncle Sam will not pick them up.)

Image of the Google Uncle Sam interface
Doing a search for Ocean County in Google Uncle Sam. It does not bring up www.oceancountygov.com because it only finds websites with a .gov, .mil or .us

GPO Access

GPO Access is the Government Printing Office's (GPO) official portal to government information online. The main page often contains links to recent hot button items, like the 9/11 Commission Report. Those "Featured Items" change from time to time. The rest of the site stays the same

First page of GPO Access, the Government Printing Office's official portal to government information online.
First column of the GPO webpage lists the services GPO provides.
Second column lists GPO resources by branch of government.
The right hand column of the GPO webpage lists the featured items and constantly changes.
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