Skip to main content

Collection

This guide includes information about the collection at Pace Law Library, including our collection development policy and policies for environmental material, government documents, intercampus and interlibrary loan, and weeding.

Government Documents Policy

I. Mission

II. Community Analysis

III. Selection Responsibility

IV. Collection Arrangement

V. Subject Areas

VI. Choice of Format

VII. Indexes

VIII. Resource Sharing

IX. Collection Evaluation

X. Weeding and Maintenance

XI. Access

 

I. Mission

The Pace Law Library was designated a Federal Depository Library under 44 U.S.C. § 1916 in 1978. It serves the government information needs of the 17th U.S. Congressional District of New York. SUNY Purchase Library shares this responsibility. The 17th Congressional District consists of part of Westchester County and most of Rockland County (separated by the Hudson River). Because Elisabeth Haub School of Law is centrally located in Westchester County and in the County Seat of White Plains, the Law Library also serves the government information needs of Westchester County generally.

Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University's Mission states that it is dedicated to educating students animated by a concern for the communities that they will serve, and dedicated to contributing to society in ways consistent with legal education and scholarship. The Federal Depository in the Law Library helps achieve this mission by serving the government information needs of the community.

The Law School serves approximately 530 full-time and part-time students pursuing J.D. degrees. The Law School also offers Certificates in International Law and Environmental Law, LL.M. degrees in Comparative International Law, and LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees in Environmental Law. The Law School sponsors an Energy and Climate Center, Women’s Justice Center, Land Use Law Center, Center for Continuing Legal Education, National Environmental Moot Court Competition, John Jay Legal Services Clinics, Pace Community Law Practice, Center for Environmental Legal Studies, Pace Institute of International Commercial Law, and a number of other law centers, clinics, and moot court competitions. Active student organizations and the Law School curriculum also serve as the bases for development of the government information collection as it relates to the Law School.

The Pace government documents collection includes primary legal sources from the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches of the United States Government, including federal law and regulations, as well as selected secondary sources published by the U.S. Government Publishing Office. Environmental law is a particular area of interest.

II. Community Analysis

In the congressional reapportionment that followed the 2010 Census, the City of White Plains, home of Elisabeth Haub School of Law, became part of the 17th Congressional District of New York. The 17th District contains part of suburban Westchester County, reaching from Harrison and Port Chester in the east through mid-Westchester to the Hudson River, and north to Peekskill and Mohegan Lake. It includes White Plains and Pleasantville, where the Westchester campuses of Pace University are located. The 17th District is primarily suburban, with a number of state and local parks and greenways  Most of its rural area was swallowed up during the 20th Centry as workers moved farther from New York City in search of affordable housing. The 17th District crosses the Hudson River below the Tappan Zee Bridge and extends through all of Rockland County. It includes landmarks such as Jay Gould’s Gothic revival mansion Lyndhurst, Washington Irving’s charming Sunnyside, and John D. Rockefeller’s spectacular estate Kykuit, all of which are open to the public. Beautiful scenery along the Hudson River and Long Island Sound is among the many attractions of the 17th District. North of White Plains, Westchester and Rockland Counties are crossed by the first of several mountain ridges – the closest the Appalachians come to the ocean.

In the mid-20th century, Westchester County became home to some of America’s leading corporations, from IBM to Pepsi. In recent years, Westchester has also drawn biotech companies, which have helped to keep unemployment relatively low; the county's jobless rate has mostly stayed below 8% during the recession; since mid-2014, the rate has been below 5%.

Much of the 17th Congressional District’s population is in White Plains. The District includes affluent communities such as Scarsdale, Harrison, Armonk, and Chappaqua, where Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton own a home. Mark Zuckerberg, Chairman and CEO of Facebook, was born in White Plains and grew up in Dobbs Ferry, now the southernmost town in the district on the east side of the Hudson River.

Across the Hudson, Rockland County includes river towns up to Bear Mountain and West Point, and extends west of Route I-87. Rockland's demographics have changed from small towns and farms to part of the sprawl of New York City's suburbs. The first span of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge opens to westbound traffic as of August 25, 2017, part of a new eight-lane bridge to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge.

According to the 2015 American Factfinder one-year estimates, the total population of New York’s 17th Congressional District was 742,344 (52% females and 48% males). The median age was 39 years, with 25% of the population under 18, and 14% 64 and older.

Sixty-two percent of those living in the 17th District who report being one race alone are white; 10% are Black or African American; 6% Asian; and 0.4% are American Indian and Alaska Native. Ten percent identify as some other race, and 1% report being two or more races. Twenty-one percent of the population is Latino.

In 2016, the average household size of the 242,318 households in the 17th District was four people. Families make up 73% of the households in the District, and more than half are married-couple families. Sixteen percent of households are female householder families with children under 18 years of age and no husband present. Twenty-seven percent of all households are not families, and most of those (85%) are individuals living alone. Forty percent of all households in the District include one or more people 65 years and over; sixteen thousand grandparents live with their grandchildren under 18, and about 20% of grandparents have financial responsibility for their grandchildren.

Seventy-five percent of the people living in the 17th District are natives of the United States, and 80% of those were born in New York. Twenty-three percent of the population is foreign born, nearly half of whom are naturalized U.S. citizens. Among people at least five years old living in the District in 2015, 35% spoke a language other than English at home. Of those, 50% spoke Spanish and 50% spoke another language; 42% reported that they did not speak English "very well."

Eighty-seven percent of the population 25 years and older has attained a high school diploma, high school equivalency, or higher, and 43% have a bachelor's degree or higher. Twenty-two percent of people in the 17th District have graduate or professional degrees. As of 2015, the school enrollment for children three years of age and older was 204,320, with nursery school and kindergarten enrollment at 25,000, and elementary through high school enrollment at 127,739. Roughly one-third of kindergarten through 12th grade students attend private schools. College and graduate school enrollment is 52,000.

Sixty-six percent of people over age 16 in the17th District were employed in 2015; the unemployment rate in the District is approximately 6%. Most of those employed are in the civilian labor force. Approximately 7% are self-employed in their own businesses. More than sixty-five percent of workers drove to work alone in 2015, and less than 10% carpooled. Among those who commuted to work, it took on average 30 minutes to get to work.

The median income of households in New York Congressional District 17 was $88,000 in 2016. Thirty percent of households had income below $50,000 a year, and nearly 15% had income over $200,000. In 2016, 11% of families lived below the poverty level.

Among the civilian non-institutionalized population in the District, 93% had either public or private health insurance coverage, and only about 7% did not have any health insurance coverage in 2016.

The 17th Congressional District had a total of 262,000 housing units in 2015, 51% of which were single-unit structures, 39% were multi-unit structures, and less than 1% were mobile homes. Fourteen percent of the housing units have been built since 1990. The median number of rooms in all housing units in the District was 6; 59% have three or more bedrooms. Of the 241,000 occupied housing units, 65% were owner-occupied and 35% renter-occupied.

(Community analysis adapted from Michael Barone, The Almanac of American Politics (2016); statistics taken from U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates 2015).

III. Selection Responsibility

The primary responsibility for the selection of government documents and collection development of the depository collection rests with the Documents Librarian. Selections are made with the advice of the Head of Reference Services and other subject specialists under the direction of the Law Library Director.

Each year a zero-based review of selections is made and appropriate adds and drops are made. Items can be added or dropped throughout the year. The zero-based review includes reviewing the FDLP’s List of Classes and the list of items selected by Pace Law Library. The Suggested Core Collection for Law Libraries in the Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program is another important tool.

IV. Collection Arrangement

The government documents collection has been intensively cataloged and integrated into the Law Library collection. Although many government documents are now published in electronic format, the print documents that we still receive through the FDLP (primarily federal statutes and regulations) are periodically reviewed for relevance to the Law Library collection. A small group of paper documents deemed not pertinent to our collection are shelved on the first floor of the Law Library, arranged according to their Superintendent of Documents Classification (SuDocs) numbers, for the period of time Pace Law Library is legally required to retain them. We catalog most print documents and many electronic titles within our selection profile, in order to give our patrons access to both tangible and online government resources.

As the U.S. Government Publishing Office pursues a policy of distributing more and more publications exclusively online, it assigns permanent URLs (PURLs) intended to keep the electronic publications accessible over time. A primary goal of the depository library community is to ensure permanent public access to important government publications by notifying the Superintendent of Documents of broken links and by preserving electronic publications. At Pace, we make every effort to keep links to online government documents current in the library catalog and work with depository libraries nationwide on permanent preservation issues.

Depository microforms were not cataloged at Pace until 2003. Since then, however, all depository microform serials and selected monographs have been added to the Library catalog. Cataloged depository microfiche retain their SuDocs classification numbers, and can be cross-referenced to Pace Law Library’s Shelves database that lists every government document selected by Pace by its item number, SuDocs number, title, date of receipt, shipping list number, and location in the library for tangible items. Because the depository microfiche collection was not date-stamped from 1992-1996, in accordance with the Federal Depository Library Program's 5-year retention rules, all unstamped depository fiche were retained in the collection through 2001, then selectively weeded.

Depository CD-ROMs retained by the Law Library are cataloged and filed in cabinets behind the Circulation Desk in LC call number order. Those we intend to discard are kept in SuDocs order for the mandatory retention period of five years.

There are no selective housing agreements in place at this time.

V. Subject Areas

Some of the important subject areas in the Pace Law School curriculum are Environment, Health, Energy, and International Law. There is a huge body of government information available in these and other areas within Pace Law Library’s selection profile. Not all of the government titles we receive through the FDLP are appropriate for a law school collection, and thus selections must be made judiciously, but as comprehensively as needed to support Pace Law School’s curriculum.

The Environmental Protection Agency is the agency with primary responsibility for environmental matters, and other agencies also provide related vital information. These include the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Interior, and Transportation. Several other government departments publish their Environmental Impact Statements. The Energy Department, Nuclear Regulatory Agency, and the Tennessee Valley Authority issue material relevant to study in the area of environmental law. Each of these departments includes documents of interest as well as materials beyond the needs of the Library and must be analyzed accordingly.

Selections made for the general public include all the items in the Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program Basic Collection; selected portions of the U.S. Census; Occupational Outlook Handbook; World Factbook; Congressional District Atlas; IRS taxpayer information publications; Foreign Relations of the United States; Social Security Administration publications; and State Department publications (nearly all of which are now available electronically via the Internet or on CD-ROM). Most of these items are also used by our primary patrons.

VI. Choice of Format

The preferred format for government information is now online. Currently, approximately 97% of government documents are published online, either exclusively or in addition to the same titles published in tangible format. The Superintendent of Documents plans to switch to electronic-only publication of all but a core collection of essential government titles in the near future. However, important primary legal resources will continue in paper format, including the United States Code and United States Reports. For voluminous sets such as the Congressional Record and congressional hearings, reports, and documents, as well as federal agency publications, microform is the preferred format. Microforms are also selected when needed titles are available only in that format. CD-ROMs are selected only when the information on them is uniquely available in that format, and searching capability is needed. They are also used as a compact storage medium for voluminous material.

Equipment for using microforms available in the Pace Law Library includes a digital reader/scanner that can read both microfilm and microfiche, with a dedicated computer for e-mailing or saving scanned pages to portable drives.

VII. Indexes

Pace Law Library has purchased a number of indexes and other resources that support and provide access to the depository collection. These include print and online indexes of congressional and legislative history materials, including United States Code Congressional and Administrative News (in print and on WestlawNext), Lexis,  Westlaw, Bloomberg Law, and HeinOnline (current Pace Law School faculty and students).

The online Catalog of U.S. Government Publications is the primary finding tool for historical and current federal publications, with direct links to those available online. Pace Law Library selects online depository indexes and maintains databases containing yearly piece-level inventories of all government documents, in all formats, that the Library selects and receives.

Retrospective materials in the Law Library include CIS Congressional Serial Set microfiche (including the American State Papers) from 1789 to 1970, CIS U.S. Congressional Documents (1970-1980), the U.S. Congressional Serial Set (1981-1996), and House and Senate Hearings, Prints, and Publications (1997-date) from the Federal Depository Library Program. The Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations are available online from their inception to the present through the Law Library’s subscription to HeinOnline, and are also available online from the U.S. Government Printing Office. The United States Reports are complete in all editions, supplemented by a substantial run of Records and Briefs and Oral Arguments before the United States Supreme Court, and complete sets of the United States Statutes at Large and the United States Code.

VIII. Resource Sharing

The Law Library is not able to single-handedly meet all the government information needs of the 17th Congressional District, so some cooperation among depositories is needed. Pace Law Library participates in METRO’s Government Documents Interest Group (GODIG) and with documents librarians nationwide through AALL and GOVDOC-L, a government documents listserv. Substantial information not appropriate for the Law Library collection, but of interest to area residents, is available over the Internet and can be accessed at the Pace University Law School Library. The Law Library is part of several consortia, including the Westchester Academic Library Directors Organization (WALDO), Academic Law Library Directors of Greater New York (ALLDOG), the New England Law Library Consortium, Inc. (NELLCO), ConnectNY, and the Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO). WALDO includes academic libraries in Westchester County. NELLCO is a non-profit corporation that provides mechanisms for resource sharing among law libraries. ConnectNY is an organization connecting academic libraries in New York. Pace Law Library is also active in several library associations, including the Westchester Library Association, LLAGNY, and AALL. The online catalog is shared among all the Pace University libraries.

IX. Collection Evaluation

Each year a zero-based collection review is made. The Library selects approximately 17% of U.S. Government Publications. Appropriate items will be added to the selection list based on notes compiled during the year. These numbers are listed in the Documents Librarian’s calendar when the selection cycle is due.

Selections are made based upon the Law School curriculum and the community’s needs. Guidance is provided by the FDLP’s Suggested Core Collection for Law Libraries, Essential Titles for Public Use in Paper or Other Tangible Format, and the Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program, Basic Collection. The Federal Depository Library Program’s WEBTech Notes is another valuable tool in making selections. Selection profiles and collection development policies for other 17th Congressional District depositories and other law libraries are also examined for guidance.

X. Weeding and Maintenance

The collection will be maintained in accordance with the guidelines set out in the Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program.

An accurate shelf list of all depository publications will be maintained in a database, and shipping lists retained as supporting records. All documents will be stamped in accordance with the Instructions. Looseleaf materials will be placed in binders before they are placed on the shelves. Other types of materials will be prepared for use before they are shelved. Serials will be bound as appropriate. Shipping materials must be removed.

Superseded documents shall be withdrawn promptly unless a decision has been made to retain them for research purposes. Notes regarding supersession are included in the Shelves database. Other documents will be reviewed after retention for five years. Items will be withdrawn from the collection in accordance with guidelines issued by the New York State Library:

  • The piece is not relevant to the law library collection,
  • Item is no longer current,
  • Item is little used,
  • Item is duplicated in the collection,
  • Item is replaced by another format.

Weeding is done in accordance with 44 U.S.C. § 1912 and guidelines issued by the New York State Library. Materials are to be listed and submitted to the Regional library electronically. They will then be loaded to a Needs & Offers webpage for thirty days. Microforms do not have to be exhaustively listed. See Federal Depository Library Handbook § 5.14.B, Discards by Selective Depositories (last updated October 2010).

XI. Access

All government documents are maintained so as to be accessible for public use in the Pace Law Library. Paper publications are either cataloged and shelved in the regular collection by LC call number, or else maintained in Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc) number order in the Government Documents section on the Law Library’s first floor. All holdings are listed in the Shelves database, with notes on location of each item and LC call number where applicable.

Depository microforms are maintained in Lektriever units on the first level of the Library. The large collection of congressional microfiche is accessible using the CIS Indexes and the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. A Microform Finding Aid prepared by the Documents/Special Collections Librarian lists all microforms and their locations.

The Reference Desk is staffed with a professional librarian knowledgeable in government documents from 10 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday, 11 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday (hours subject to some variation).

Updated Sept. 2, 2014.