Mastering United States Government Information
Sources and Services
by Christopher C. Brown
April 2020, 419pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-4408-7250-1
$80, £62, 70€, A110
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7251-8
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

This book provides a broad and current overview of the field of government information, filling important gaps left by other resources on the topic.

This up-to-date guide provides informational professionals and their clients with much-needed assistance in navigating the immense field of government information.

When information professionals are asked questions involving government information, they often experience that “deer in the headlights” feeling. Mastering United States Government Information helps them overcome any trepidation about finding and using government documents.

Written by Christopher C. Brown, coordinator of government documents at the University of Denver, this approachable book provides an introduction to all major areas of U.S. government information. It references resources in all formats, including print and online. Examples are provided so users will feel comfortable solving government information questions on their own, while exercises at the end of chapters enable users to practice answering questions for themselves. Additionally, several appendixes serve as quick reference sources for such topics as congressional sessions, the most popular government publications, federal statistical databases, and citation of government publications. It serves as a practical and current guide for practitioners as well as a text or supplementary reading for students of library information studies and for in-service trainings.


  • Acts as a training book for public and academic librarians who provide reference services
  • Includes background, with exercises, for professors needing a text to teach government information
  • Provides coverage of the newest electronic resources, with references to print resources
  • Offers exercises to assist in the learning process for these challenging topics
Christopher C. Brown is reference librarian and coordinator of government documents at the University of Denver, Main Library. For more than 20 years he has overseen the large government information collection and provided reference services to the university community and members of the general public. He is author of Harnessing the Power of Google: What Every Researcher Should Know and Librarian's Guide to Online Searching, 5th Edition (with Suzanne S. Bell). Brown has taught as an adjunct professor in the University of Denver Library School for 20 years, and many students have taken his government publications course.


LJ Best Reference of 2020—Library Journal, March 1, 2021


"Well-written and extremely thorough, this guide will be indispensable to any public or academic library."—Booklist, May 15, 2020

"Brown’s discussion of both print and digital government documents has paid off in an invaluable reference for all readers—professionals, academic, public and secondary school students."—Library Journal, July 1, 2020

"Mastering United States Government Information is filled with practical, clear, concise information about government resources. The book is well-written and readable and provides sensible advice about finding and using government information. While written for government document librarians, it is a great resource for any librarian who has occasion to work with government information. I highly recommend it for all public and academic librarians."—Alabama Library Association Government Documents Roundtable, October 7, 2020

"Whether new to govdocs or a veteran, all reference and govdocs librarians should put this solid, functional handbook on their professional shelf."—Online Searcher, November 1, 2020

"Rather than overwhelm readers, [Brown's] book will empower them to make use of the wealth of information produced by the federal government."—Technical Services Quarterly, April 30, 2021
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