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Jefferson College Library in Hillsboro, Missouri - Hybrid Depository Library Flies Like a (Depository) Eagle, Serves the Public
Jefferson College Library has a unique role in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Its main focus is to serve its college’s students, but it also serves as the local public library.
Jefferson College is located in a rural/suburban area of Missouri, about a 40 minute/44 mile drive south of St. Louis. The local economy is based in large part on retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and construction. In 1984, then Congressman Dick Gephardt designated the library as a Federal depository. For about 25 years, it was the only depository to serve its U.S. Congressional District; recent redistricting changed this designation, but Jefferson is still the only depository in its county.
Jefferson College includes three campuses, and the Hillsboro campus library is the main library for the three campuses. All of its depository documents are at the main campus library. The library houses the documents on the main floor of the library in a very visible location with signs highlighting the collection. Most of the depository documents are included in the library’s online catalog, and the library has web pages and LibGuides to help online visitors navigate Government documents.
Jefferson College offers students a variety of programs, such as two-year degree programs, including liberal arts and sciences degrees for students transferring to a four year college, and a variety of career programs in law enforcement, emergency services, nursing, and automotive technologies, to name a sampling of the offerings.
The Government documents are utilized heavily by campus patrons, and the library circulates most its documents. Some areas that have strong campus uses for assignments are Congressional hearings, information about the War in Iraq, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISIS), education, minimum wage, and healthcare.
As mentioned, the library also serves as the local public library. There is no public library in the Hillsboro area, and Jefferson College Library has happily assumed that role. Strong community use of depository collections includes use of information about statistics, Census, the Americans with Disabilities Act, maps, national parks, and health issues, to name a few. A key service the library staff provide is guiding patrons, like retirees and veterans, to Government information from legitimate sources such as from the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and other Federal agencies. The library offers face-to-face, phone, email, and chat reference services to the public.
Last year, on October 24, 2014, the Library celebrated its 30th anniversary as a depository library. This event had 200 attendees, which included library patrons; staff; Government Documents Regional Coordinator, Marie Concannon from the University of Missouri‐Columbia’s Elmer Ellis Library; and representatives from a number of Missouri state and Federal government offices. The celebration included many impressive elements, for instance, some volunteers from the college’s theater department dressed in costumes related to Government documents. Perhaps the highlight of the celebration was the appearance of an American eagle, which was brought into the library by the staff of the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park, Missouri.
After the event, there was follow up with media outlets – radio, newspaper, and campus publications.
All in all, Jefferson College Library exemplifies the spirit of the FDLP to “Keep America Informed,” and from this rural/suburban corner of Missouri, this hybrid academic/public library does the job to great effect.
Read more about the library’s 30th anniversary celebration.
Also, view a recent webinar about this celebration at the library and the 150 year depository anniversary celebration of the University of Missouri at Columbia Elmer Ellis Library in our FDLP Academy archive.
GPO thanks and salutes Jefferson College Library for their excellent service to the patrons of Missouri and beyond.
LSCM Year in Review