The New York State Library is set to mark the conclusion of its bicentennial celebrations on Friday, November 16, 2018 at 2:30 pm with a talk from George Barnum, Senior Program Specialist and Agency Historian at the United States Government Publishing Office.
As the New York State regional depository for U.S. Government publications, the State Library receives and permanently keeps a copy of every document distributed under the Government Publishing Office Federal Depository Library Program. In his talk, Barnum will discuss the history of the printing and distribution of government documents to citizens across the country. The program is free and open to the public.
In addition, the State Library will display a collection of rare and significant federal documents on the 7th floor of the State Library from November 1 to November 30, 2018. The display will feature visual material from federal government publications about art, health, military history and geographic exploration. It will also include documents significant to the history of public printing in the United States.
In 1818, the New York State Library began accepting and providing public access to United States legislative documents sent directly from the United States Government. As one of the oldest depositories in the country, the State Library receives and permanently keeps a copy of every document distributed under the Government Publishing Office Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). These documents include official publications of all three branches of government, including congressional bills and hearings, federal register of proposed regulations, federal agency annual and special reports and U.S. census materials. However, many people are unaware of the more unique publications distributed by the federal government including national park handbooks, resources for small business owners, history books, guides for new parents and even children’s books. The State Library also coordinates depository operations at 66 selective depository libraries in New York, supporting an informed citizenry at the local level.
Created in 1818 at the urging of Governor DeWitt Clinton, the New York State Library is the third oldest state library in the nation. When first established in 1818, the Library served as a law and reference library for legislators, judges and state employees. In 1844, the Board of Regents became the Trustees for the Library. Then, 60 years later, the Library officially became part of the State Education Department, where it still remains. Today, the New York State Library continues to collect, preserve and loan materials that support State government and now has holdings of more than 20 million items that are available to New Yorkers on-site, online and interlibrary loan.
The New York State Library is a program of the State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education. Located at 222 Madison Avenue in Albany, the Library is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 5 pm except on legal holidays. Further information can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5355 or visiting the Library’s website.