Regional Depository Library Public Access and Service Guidelines for Government Information in Electronic Formats at the University of Kentucky Libraries
More and more Federal Government information products are being provided to federal depository libraries in electronic formats. These electronic information products may be in a tangible, physical format, such as CD or DVD; or they may be accessible only from an electronic Federal Government information service, such as GPO Access. Every depository is expected to be able to offer public access to electronic information made available through the Federal Depository Library Program. In fact, the General Counsel of the U.S. Government Printing Office states that "any library selecting items in electronic formats must maintain a capability to allow for unimpeded use of those documents by its public patrons."
As the Regional Depository for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the UK Libraries receive one copy of all tangible electronic depository information products to be permanently retained, and are expected to offer access to all online resources from the Federal Government to all citizens of the Commonwealth upon request. To accomplish this mission, the following policy has been developed:
Policy for Public Access to and Service for Electronic Depository Products
The UK Libraries offer the general public, the UK community, and citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky free access to electronic and online Federal Government information provided through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). This access includes a link to the FDLP Electronic Collection via our homepage. This policy follows the same principle of free access that governs the use of traditional depository materials, as provided in Section 1911 of Title 44, United States Code. Therefore:
Public Access Guidelines:
Information products in the FDLP Electronic Collection are available to any library user free of fees or other restrictions such as age or residency status. Free and unrestricted searching of this collection is extended to any user of the UK Libraries. Any time limits or sign-up sheets that are imposed for the use of FDLP electronic resources will be the same as those applied to electronic resources purchased with library funds. If sign-up sheets are used, confidentiality of these records will be assured, and will be consistent with applicable privacy statutes.
The number of available workstations will be sufficient to serve the UK community and the Commonwealth of Kentucky efficiently and effectively. Appropriate hardware and software will be provided for public users accessing electronic information available through the FDLP, e.g., CD-ROMs and online databases. This hardware and software will include computer workstations capable of providing Internet access that requires GILS-aware software, CD-ROM or DVD readers, printers, etc. Every attempt will be made to obtain hardware and software that meets the latest "Recommended Specifications for Public Access Work Stations in Federal Depository Libraries" as published annually in FDLP's Administrative Notes.
Access will also include ftp capabilities to encourage downloading and/or transmission of electronic data. While disk space is available on a limited number of public workstations for short-term storage of electronic government information for patron use, library users are expected to provide their own diskettes or other storage devices for downloading of data they want to keep. All library patrons are charged for printing from any electronic resource.
Since the use of filtering software may restrict access to official FDLP information, for example in the health or biological science fields, the UK Library system does not use workstations with filtering software. Patrons' use of electronic depository resources and workstations is subject to the library's overall acceptable use policy. Passwords and other security measures may be required just as they are with access to other electronic information resources offered by the UK Libraries. In most cases, e-mail, chat rooms and game playing will not be allowed on the library's public machines.
Public Service Guidelines:
The UK Libraries will make tangible electronic depository products and services (CD-ROMs, floppy diskettes) which they select available to the general public in a timely manner. If an electronic depository product is not currently loaded and/or supported on the library's computer workstations or LAN, depository library staff will attempt to provide access to it within a time frame that is acceptable to the library user. If the library is unable to provide adequate access to and technical support for a tangible electronic depository product, the user will be allowed to check out the electronic product. Fax and email delivery of government information is made available to distance users.
To assist users in accessing Federal Government Internet resources, the library has developed a homepage for Federal Government information and regional depository services:
This page provides links to prominent or useful sites for the UK community, other depository libraries in Kentucky, and the general public. While some guides to the use of electronic depository products are available in hardcopy in the library, the regional depository homepage points to numerous sites that provide a wealth of user aids for these electronic products. The UK Libraries will offer training for the general public in using tangible electronic products and Internet resources upon request.
This page was last updated 10 April 2006. Send comments to Sandee McAninch at firstname.lastname@example.org.