Notable Government Documents

About the Notable Government Documents To recognize excellence in government publications, identify documents of distinction, and commend
individual works of superlative nature.

The "Notable Documents List" was originally begun by the Notable Documents Panel of the American Library Association's Government Documents Round Table, with hopes that the list would promote awareness and acquisition of government publications by libraries and use by library patrons. The list also was intended to recognize the individuals and agencies involved in producing these excellent sources of information and inspiration.

The Notable Documents Panel was initiated in 1982, by a proposal from the Education Task Force to the GODORT Steering Committee. The annotated citations lead to hundreds of outstanding publications from all levels of government and in an ever expanding range of formats. Reprints are available free as a public service from LexisNexis, 7500 Old Georgetown Rd, Bethesda, MD 20814.

The "Notable Documents List" first appeared in RQ in the 1984 and 1985 spring issues. From 1986 on it has been published in the May 15 issue of Library Journal. Yearly citations cover documents from the previous two years, so "1983 Notable Documents List" published in 1984 would include items published in 1982/1983 and so on. Beginning in the early nineties, the annual feature took on distinctive titles, with the subtitle "Notable Documents" and, 1992 on, "Notable Government Documents."

A complete bibliography of the lists can be found

Administered by:

Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) logo

State & Local Documents

2011 Selection(s)


Aquifers of Texas

by Peter Gillham George & others. Texas Water Development Board. 2011. 172p. illus. maps. OCLC# 787271257. Free.

This study provides an overview of nine major and 21 minor Texas aquifers. Summaries describe the geology, hydrology, and water use of the aquifers, while the report discusses water issues and reviews groundwater basics and management. Although this report is technical in nature, it serves as a layperson’s guide to Texas groundwater resources.


A Community-Based Food System: Building Health, Wealth, Connection, and Capacity as the Foundation of Our Economic Future

by Eric S. Bendfeldt & others. Virginia Cooperative Extension Svc. 2011. 40p. illus. maps. Free.

Interest in local foods is increasing throughout the United States. Leaders in the Martinsville, VA, region realized this growing awareness could help foster a community-based food system, thus contributing to the economic, social, and environmental stability of local farms and neighborhoods. This report defines a local food system, assesses the Martinsville region’s setup, and highlights many potential health, economic, and synergistic outcomes that result from building a vibrant community-based food system.


Fast Forward: Regional Transit System Plan (RTSP)

Indian Nations Council of Governments. 2011. 144p. illus. maps. ISBN 9781885596888. OCLC# 747978209. Free.

Facing new and evolving challenges, agencies and institutions in Tulsa have taken the opportunity to engage the public, study alternative transportation solutions, and create community visions to help guide regional success. This resource compiles the findings of extensive transportation studies of existing services, historic transportation models, community input, and city infrastructure into a plan that will guide the future of regional transportation in the Tulsa area.


Federal Health Care Reform: Do Recent Changes in Federal Health Care Reform Have You Puzzled?

State Corporation Commission, Commonwealth of Virginia. 2011. 27p. illus. Free.

Many questions and much misinformation arose after the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The Bureau of Insurance in Virginia took action to offer its residents clear information about new health-care and insurance requirements. This guide provides Virginians with straightforward answers to common questions about the act and sister legislation passed in the state; it also outlines the rights and responsibilities of the insured.


ODOT 100: Celebrating the First 100 Years of Transportation in Oklahoma

by Bob Burke. Oklahoma Dept. of Transportation, dist. by Oklahoma Heritage Assn. 275p. illus. maps. OCLC# 787978209. pap. $25.

Well before statehood, Oklahomans began building roadways and advocating actively for better road conditions. On March 16, 1911, the Oklahoma Legislature passed House Bill 318 creating the Oklahoma State Highway Department. Since then, Oklahoma’s developing transportation system has seen vibrant growth, from Route 66 to the aeronautics industry. Through historic photos, maps, and text, this volume provides a look at the colorful and vibrant history of Oklahoma’s highways, waterways, railroads, turnpikes, and aeronautics. 


Stream Fishes of Ohio—Field Guide

by Brian Zimmerman. Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife. 2011. 78p. illus. maps. OCLC# 740435870. Free.

Fish are far harder to observe than most other wildlife. But for the adventuresome naturalist who doesn’t mind getting a little wet, this resource provides for easy identification of 76 of Ohio’s most common stream fish species. The colorful guide includes photographs and descriptions of each of the featured species along with maps of some of the principal rivers and streams that crisscross the state. The title also provides general information on stream ecology and conservation, Ohio fishing license requirements, references, and a glossary. For aspiring ichthyologists.


Virginia Memory Project

Library of Virginia. 2011. Free.

The Library of Virginia maintains vast and varied collections of print materials, manuscripts, archival records, newspapers, photographs and ephemera, maps and atlases, rare books, and fine art. Virginia Memory offers a wide array of complementary digital collections, representing the history of Virginia’s government, life, and local color. This website also serves as an online classroom with lesson plans, featured collections, and guides for educators to incorporate digital materials into their traditional classroom settings. A worthwhile resource for genealogists and historians, too.

International Documents

2011 Selection(s)

Against the Odds: Disadvantaged Students Who Succeed in School

Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development, dist. by Bernan & Renouf. 2011. 198p. illus. map. bibliog. pap. $54.

Why do some socioeconomically underprivileged students succeed in the classroom while so many others fail? This report uses data collected through the Programme for International Student Assessment—a study that evaluates education systems worldwide by testing 15-year-olds—to answer this question. The narrative is accessible to a wide audience.

Atlas of Global Development

3d ed. World Bank & HarperCollins, dist. by Bernan & Renouf. 2011. 144p. illus. maps. pap. $29.95.

Through the use of thematic maps, charts, tables, and clear prose, this book portrays progress in the struggle against a wide range of global problems. The publication was accompanied by the release of the eAtlas of Global Development, a free online resource that allows users to create customized maps, import and export data, and graph more than 175 statistical series over longer periods than covered by the print atlas. Everyone from high school students to professors will find these resources fascinating.  eAtlas of Global Development:

Combating Discrimination on Grounds of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity: Council of Europe Standards

Council of Europe, dist. by Bernan & Renouf. 2011. 111p. pap. $38.

The Council of Europe—a major human rights organization—has developed 18 standards, resolutions, and recommendations concerning the rights of lesbian, gay, bi­sexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons. This compilation serves mainly as a reference for European governments and NGOs but also provides model language for legislation, regulations, and policy statements worldwide. A reader with no legal training can immediately grasp this material. Suitable for both law libraries and LGBT studies collections.