Gwen Sinclair

I developed this textbook for use with a course I teach for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Library and Information Science Program, LIS 648: Government Documents. The intended audience is not only library and information science students but also practicing professionals who may not have the opportunity to take a semester-long course on government information or who would like a refresher. Several excellent textbooks have been written about government information; however, many of them have tended to focus on the Federal Depository Library Program exclusively. Few sources cover state and local or foreign government information. Moreover, the government information field changes rapidly, so texts soon become outdated.

Equally important is this book’s emphasis on government information produced in and about Hawaiʻi. Because the state’s history, government organization, and other factors make it markedly different from other states, I felt that a text that delved more deeply into the idiosyncrasies of Hawaiʻi government information was needed.

Each chapter begins with a list of learning objectives and ends with Librarian’s Library, a list of additional readings and reference sources that enlarge upon the text. Glossary entries provide definitions for terms that may be unfamiliar. I’ve provided examples and illustrations of concepts and specific documents to amplify the text.

A note on diacritics: Hawaiian diacritics have been used throughout the text. However, if a source did not employ diacritics, I did not add them.

I was inspired to write an open textbook after learning about the benefits of open educational resources (OERs). Aside from being cost-free, OERs offer a more interactive experience, they can be updated more easily, they can be customized for a specific audience, and students can contribute content. In addition, anyone can reuse the content. I hope that other librarians will be inspired to improve upon this text and to author texts that cover other state/local and foreign government information in greater depth. One of Ranganathan’s laws is “The library is a growing organism.” This text, too, is a growing organism that will change, expand, and evolve as government information changes and as new tools, techniques, and resources are developed.

Gwen Sinclair

September 2020



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