Barbara Costello

Associate Professor; Government Documents and Research Librarian

I see my role as guiding students and community users through the tangle of government agencies and websites to help them find the information they need.

  • M.L.S., Southern Connecticut State University, 1989
  • BA, political science, Boston College, 1980




Barbara Costello has nearly 30 years of experience in government information and reference librarianship in both academic and government agency settings. She administers the government documents collection at the duPont-Ball Library, which has been a selective federal depository library since 1887, when it became the first library in Florida to be given that designation by the U.S. Government Printing Office. Costello has been active and has held office in government documents groups of regional library consortia, as well as at state and national levels. While at Stetson, she has guided the Documents Department through the transition from a predominately tangible collection to one that is increasingly electronic-based. Her areas of expertise are census data, federal regulations, and congressional hearings and publications. Costello also provides research assistance to library users and is responsible for library instruction for graduate level courses at the DeLand campus.


Prior to joining the Stetson faculty in 1998, Costello worked at the Connecticut State Library for eleven years.

More About Barbara Costello

Areas of Expertise

  • Government databases
  • Census Bureau demographic data
  • Congressional publications
  • Federal government publishing trends

Course Sampling

  • Library instruction

  • Access to online government information, in particular, U.S. Congressional hearings transcripts
  • Open and permanent access to U.S. Government data and publications

Book Chapter

  • Costello, Barbara. "Academic Libraries in Partnership with the Government Publishing Office: A Changing Paradigm." Space and Organizational Considerations in Academic Library Partnerships and Collaborations. (2016): 87-110.


  • "Free U.S. Government Databases for Non-Depository Libraries." The Reference Librarian 54, no. 1 (2013): 1-22.
  • "Moving in the Right Direction: Developments in the Online Availability of Full-Text Congressional Committee Hearing Transcripts." Government Information Quarterly25, no. 1 (2008): 104-117.
  • "Reference Service in the Digital Age: An Analysis of Sources Used to Answer Reference Questions." Journal of Academic Librarianship 31, no. 3 (2005): 263-272. Co-authored with Jane Bradford and Rob Lenholt.
  • "Using Blackboard in Library Instruction: Addressing the Learning Styles of Generations X and Y." Journal of Academic Librarianship 30, no. 6 (2004): 452-460. Co-authored with Rob Lenholt and Judson Stryker.
  • "A Snapshot of Availability of U.S. Congressional Committee Hearings: How Complete are Online Sources?" College and Undergraduate Libraries 10, no. 2 (2003): 73-87.
  • "Utilizing Blackboard to Provide Library Instruction: Uploading MS Word Handouts with Links to Course Specific Software." Reference Services Review 31, no. 3 (2003): 211-218. Co-authored with Rob Lenholt and Judson Stryker.