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MetaLib: Multiple U.S. Government Database Searching Has Arrived!

May 11, 2011
Many of us are familiar with government search engines such as GPO Access, launched in June 1994, where the Government Printing Office provided electronic access to collections of official federal documents produced by the three branches of government.   GPO Access’ successor, the Federal Digital System (FDsys), became the official government information web site on December 20, 2010.   In contrast to GPO Access and FDsys, however, few researchers seem aware of GPO’s MetaLib, an invaluable search tool released around October 2010, several months before FDsys.  
As the Metalib web page indicates, “MetaLib is a library portal providing end users with an easy and personalized interface which can search simultaneously for information in a variety of electronic resources, such as catalogs, reference databases, digital repositories or subject-based Web gateways. These information resources are collectively referred to as databases. Once you have found the information in which you are interested, MetaLib provides you with the tools to save it for future reference in your E-shelf, save it to disk or send it by email.  You can search multiple databases in parallel using the Basic, Advanced and Expert modules.”  
Curious about MetaLib, I decided to “test-drive” the portal, by running a recent student research question, which focused on determining what steps or measures the Obama administration has taken on carbon dioxide regulation, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Massachusetts v. E.P.A.  
The first illustration is my basic search query, followed by a second illustration showing 10 of 58 records retrieved   My third illustration shows record 7 in “table view” with an “external” link to the publication itself.


  I have only highlighted the power of MetaLib.   Why not give MetaLib a try during your next literature search for government documents and more.