FAQ: What is a Depository Library Anyway?

Both the United States and Texas governments make their publications available to the general public through depository programs, which means that the Cornette Library receives documents free from the government in exchange for making them freely available to all the public, not just to WTAMU students, faculty, and staff. The Cornette Library became a depository for United States documents in 1928. While we are officially the depository library for the 13th Congressional District in Texas, we encourage residents throughout the Panhandle as well as nearby states to use our collection. We joined the Texas depository program on its creation in 1974 but our Texas documents collection dates back into the 1930s. Because more and more federal and state government information is now available online, we also provide access to government information via the Internet.

United States

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The Cornette Library is a partial (or "selective") depository for United States documents, currently receiving 58% of the items available from the Government Printing Office. In particular, we emphasize those subjects which are of interest to the people of the Panhandle and the five state region of Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado. Some of the strengths of the collection include:

We also collect maps, primarily of the five-state region, including USGS topographical maps (paper and CD-ROM), as well as photomaps and county highway maps for Texas.

In addition to selective depositories, there are full (or "regional") depository libraries which receive everything the United States government publishes. The nearest regional depository is the Texas Tech University Library in Lubbock.


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Some of the strengths of the Texas documents collection include:

While the Texas State Publications Depository Program was severely curtailed in June of 2010, the Cornette Library is one of the Texas State Depository Libraries that retained their collection and has staff who continue to assist patrons with the Texas Depository resources.