Assessing the virtual depository program: The Arizona experience

Atifa Rawan, Cheryl Knott Malone, Laura J. Bender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A decade after passage of the Government Printing Office Electronic Information Access Enhancement Act of 1993, a pilot study at the University of Arizona examined the impact of one selective depository library's decision to select, whenever possible, Web-based government information instead of tangible formats such as print and microfiche. The pilot project focused on three key areas: (1) revision of the library's selection profile to prefer electronic over tangible formats; (2) identification and verification of government publications on the Web; and (3) assessment of, and experiences with, Web-based government information among the library's staff and customers. This paper focuses on the assessment of library staff and customer experiences. Several complementary methods, including computer-assisted questionnaires, were used for assessing the ways in which individuals interact with government information resources and the advantages of, and barriers to, Web-based access. Although the transition to virtual depository status requires ongoing monitoring, staff commitment, and assessment to ensure that individuals benefit from the move to more electronic access, the pilot study suggests that it is feasible for a depository library to begin making the transition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)710-726
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Government Information
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 2004


  • Arizona
  • Resources
  • Virtual depository program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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