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September Depository Library Spotlight:
Indiana University Kokomo Library

Collaboration at its Best

Depository libraries are often looking for ways to raise their public profile and awareness of the materials that they make available in the communities they serve. One way to achieve these goals is to partner with other organizations in the library’s service area. The depository library at Indiana University Kokomo (IU Kokomo) recently did just that. They collaborated with the non-depository Kokomo-Howard County Public Library (KHCPL) to create a display of Government publications that celebrated the July 4th holiday and promoted the depository to the public library’s clientele.

Indiana Univ. Kokomo Library

The origin of the display came from a successful table display that IU Kokomo created in 2011 by Ria Lukes, the current depository coordinator at IU Kokomo, and Eddie Clem, an employee of IU Kokomo at the time and currently employed by KHCPL. After Eddie was employed with KHCPL , the two remained in contact and continued to look for further opportunities to create displays and increase collaboration. Such an opportunity arose when KHCPL wanted to do a patriotic display for July 4th. What better way for a library to celebrate July 4th than with a display of materials either from or about the United States Government!

Planning the Display

Planning began with the decision to place the display in the KHCPL South Branch. This location presented some interesting opportunities and challenges. The library has a large open space with low shelving and a main tabletop, very thin display case. This constraint required the selection of items that fit into the small space and whose titles could easily be read when lying flat. Ria met this challenge by selecting materials such as books, CDs, and DVDs, thus presenting a wide variety of formats. She also sought to select items that would be of general interest and that have a strong “wow factor.”

Subjects displayed included the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, digital forensics, agricultural statistics, and the history of flight. This range of subjects helped to demonstrate the large number of U.S. Government agencies whose information is available through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and the far-ranging subjects presented in government information products. The display was not limited to materials from the FDLP; Eddie selected appropriate items for the display from the KHCPL South Branch circulating collections, including materials for both adults and children.

The exhibit was comprised of four parts, spread throughout KHCPL South Branch: the main display case, an adjacent book case that displayed a range of FDLP and IU Kokomo library promotional materials, a display of relatedchildren’s books, and a bookshelf of adult materials from the KHCPL collections that included explanatory information about the display. A FDLP poster and large FDLP Eagle emblem were installed in the library as well.The display was also promoted by an article in a local newspaper, the KokomoPerspective.

Interestingly, the day after the display was launched, the KHCPL reference desk received an email question concerning the Army Nurse Corps during World War One. It just so happened that Ria had placed Answering the Call: the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, 1917-1919: a commemorative tribute to military nursing in World War I in the display. This inquiry served to underline the importance and value of the depository library at IU Kokomo and its excellent working relationship with KHCPL.

About the IU Kokomo Depository Library

The IU Kokomo library was designated as a depository in 1969. It serves both its university population and residents from several North Central Indiana counties from its 182 acre campus located within the city limits of Kokomo. The depository collection is fully cataloged, and their catalog is available, along with links to GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) and the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, via the library’s guide to searching government documents: GovDocs Research Guide.

Ria Lukes is the depository coordinator at IU Kokomo, and she also is professionally active outside her local area. She is a member of Indiana Networking for Documents and Information of Government Organizations (INDIGO).  She has also been involved with a number of statewide committees, one involving the creation of a Government Information Day, and another participating in the recent statewide efforts related to the FDLP Forecast Study.

GPO appreciates IU Kokomo Library’s dedication to promoting Government information and collaborating with other local libraries. They have reached out beyond their university population to expand access and awareness of depository resources and services to their greater community.


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