Government Resources Online!

Monday, May 4, 2020

Since Governor Cooper issued a stay at home order on March 30, many of us have a lot of extra time but fewer resources at hand. And more than ever we need public health and government information from reputable sources. In addition to preserving and promoting our state’s government publications, the State Library of North Carolina also acts as a Federal Depository Library. Much of the content we receive through the depository system is accessible online through our catalog.

What is a Federal Depository Library?

The United States government is the largest publisher in the world. The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) enables the Government Publishing Office to distribute many classes of government documents free of charge to designated libraries across the country. In turn, FDLP libraries must offer free, public access to their Federal documents collection.

In the past, FDLP libraries received shipments of books, serials, and maps. These publications increasingly come to us in online formats. The State Library adds between 150 and 200 new digital titles to its catalog every month on topics like agriculture, public health, education, even travel, and weather. And dates of coverage vary widely, too. Some old and rare documents are becoming available digitally, alongside current publications.

Accessing Government Resources

Did you know that all of the State Library’s digital holdings (state publications, federal publications, and other digitized resources) are available through the NC Cardinal catalog? Anyone using the NC Cardinal library catalog, anywhere in the world, is likely to find links to digital content during their searches.

This is because, unlike copyrighted electronic resources and privately owned databases, government publications do not have copyright restrictions and are freely distributed to libraries like GHL. In turn, the library makes these government publications accessible through a hyperlink right in the catalog search results. No need to log in to an account, or enter any personal information. Instead, by clicking on the URL in the catalog, patrons can expect content to open in a new tab. Often federal publications will direct patrons right to the PDF or a website that hosts the publication. Meanwhile, digital state publications will redirect patrons to the North Carolina Digital Collections (

Website with games, activities and lessons for children

Get Started Today!

Not sure where to start? We recommend these new and notable federal resources: 

  • Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids ( From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, this website breaks down the branches of government, law-making, elections, history, and other topics at three different age levels. It also includes games, printable items, and additional resources for teachers and libraries. 
  • Everyone Counts! ( is a printable activity book for children that highlights the how and why census data is important for U.S. government programming.
  • Share facts about COVID-19: know the facts about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and help stop the spread of rumors ( From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this one page printable provides facts about preventing the spread of COVID-19.
  • This is not a Drill: Education-related Response and Recovery in the Wake of Natural Disasters: Hearing before the Subcommittee Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, Committee on Education and Labor ... June 5, 2019 ( Current research presented to the House on the topic of educators responding to natural disasters.
  • Impeachment of President Donald John Trump: the evidentiary record, pursuant to H. Res. 798 ( Access the entire proceedings of the impeachment trial, including thousands of pages of transcripts, testimony, and evidence. 

We hope you enjoy these and the many other digital government publications accessible via our online catalog. If you need any help finding more resources, we invite you to contact our reference staff at or to utilize the chat box available site-wide at


Jessica Efron, Cataloging Librarian