Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2021


This is an accepted manuscript of an article published by the American Library
Association in the journal DttP: Documents to the People, vol. 49, no. 1 (2021):
18-24, available online:


There is no question that libraries of all sizes, no matter how small, have an important role to play in preserving and facilitating the discovery of government publications. This is especially true for documents issued at the state and local level, precisely because they are less-well known nationally and therefore less likely to be included in larger national digitization projects. By focusing on what might as well be called small government publications, little libraries and small selective depository libraries can enter the digitization arena by undertaking small-scale digitization projects that, despite their diminutive scale, can achieve digital preservation successes in the range of minor to major. For inspiration, we should recall the hero of Robert Walser’s now celebrated novel from 1909, Jakob von Gunten, who adopts the motto “To be small and to stay small.”



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.