“Though almost all government documents are now "born digital”, university libraries continue to acquire domestic government documents in print for their govdocs collections. Print is an option which non-academic and special libraries (especially in law firms) can no longer afford. One commercial publisher has collected Canadian “born digital” govdocs into a comprehensive collection and made it available to subscribers online: the Canadian Electronic Library-Canadian Public Policy Collection. This is a collection of “monograph” publications (no periodical series) from Canadian federal and provincial government agencies, public policy institutes, advocacy groups, think-tanks, university research centres and other public interest groups, in both English and French. The collection, which is built on the ebrary ebook platform, currently includes over 24,000 titles. Licences are surprisingly liberal and subscription costs reasonable, so that it is as easy for law firms to subscribe as it is for a larger public or academic library.
Because our university library – as does the library of every university with a law school – has a govdocs library that is an official government depository, and also because we subscribe to the Canadian Electronic Library described above, we at the Osgoode Hall Law School Library essentially no longer acquire govdocs.”
Chief Law Librarian
Osgoode Hall Law School
From Slaw: Canada’s online legal magazine
"The reason a service like the Canadian Public Policy Collection makes sense is that libraries cannot cope with all the good free material on the web. There is so much material from so many sources that we cannot possibly keep track of or download everything that's pertinent. A library also needs to add worthwhile materials to its catalogue, which is where it lists what it selects for its users. By supplying the documents in an aggregated form along with MARC cataloguing, the Canadian Public Policy Collection is fulfilling both these needs for libraries. And in doing so, it's providing a worthwhile service for the organizations whose publications it covers by making their material more widely available to
students and library users."
Information Services Librarian
Memorial University Library