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Government Documents & Law Information

Helm Library, Ground Floor (Go downstairs from your left in Java City outside the Confucius Institute Chinese Learning Center)

(270) 745-6441


Voter Information Center -- 
Find your precinct, poll location, sample ballot, etc.
Warren County Poll Locations

A popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps, both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. -- James Madison, 1822


About Government Documents and the Law Collection

The government documents and law collections are located on the ground floor of Helm Library and are accessible any time the main library is open. In this area one can find information produced by the United States and Kentucky governments. Since federal documents have only recently been included in the One-Search Box online catalog (formerly TOPCAT), the online catalog, one must seek assistance at the Reference Center on the first floor of Helm Library or at the Documents Processing Offices (Rooms 1, 2, 4, 13 or 15) on the ground floor of Helm Library. Kentucky documents are cataloged into the online catalog. Most of the government documents may be checked out with a WKU ID. Materials from the Law Collections do not circulate. Research instruction sessions and reference appointments may be scheduled for these areas by contacting the Government Information & Law Coordinator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who's Who in Government Documents & Law

Kentucky Government Information

Kentucky does not have a formalized depository library program. However, the government documents area does acquire information from state agencies. Statistics, planning documents, periodicals, legislative materials, and more may be found in the state collection. The Kentucky documents collection is cataloged on the online catalog. If you have questions or need assistance with this collection, please ask, or call 745-6107. Call 745-6441 to schedule a reference appointment.

You may visit these sites for Kentucky government information.

Federal Depository Library Program and US Government Information at WKU

Since 1934 Western Kentucky University has received US government publications through the Federal Depository Library Program, which is administered by the Superintendent of Documents at the US Government Printing Office. Depository libraries, numbering nearly 1,400 around the nation and its territories, provide the informational link between the citizens and their government. Currently we receive approximately 50% of the items that are available for selection through the depository program. These may be hearings, court decisions, presidential addresses, periodicals, bibliographies, maps, statistical compilations, annual reports, etc. and may cover almost any subject imaginable. They may be paper, microfiche, diskette, CD-ROM, and more recently, online and via the Internet. The Federal Register, Congressional Record, bills, the United States Code, and more are now Internet accessible by using the GPO Access Services.

The major index to this information is The Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications. We currently subscribe to MarciveWeb DOCS . This is the Monthly Catalog with a web interface that covers from July 1976 to the present. Access to the MarciveWeb DOCS database is available on campus and off campus with WKU NetID & password. Contact the Government Information & Law Coordinator to find out more about government information or to schedule a research instruction session.

Service Hours in Documents & Law

Although the Government Documents and Law area is accessible all hours the library is open, reference assistance for this area is only available during certain hours.


Seek assistance at the Research Assistance Desk on the Cravens 4th floor in the Commons at Cravens or in the Government Documents and Law area offices, Helm Library rooms 1, 2, 4, 13, and 15. An appointment for reference assistance or research instruction may be made by contacting the Government Information & Law Coordinator or the Documents/Law Librarian.

Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 12/5/18