US. Government Information

Government Information Guidelines and Policies

Five Colleges of Ohio

Public Service Guidelines for Government Information in Electronic Formats

As federal depository libraries, we offer free access to online federal government information disseminated through the Federal Depository Library Program to the campus community and the general public.   Services for electronic materials are provided under the same principle of free access that governs the use of traditional depository materials, according to Section 1911 of Title 44, United States Code.

All information provided through the FDLP is available to any library user free of fees or other restrictions such as age, or filtering software.   All security measures are consistent with FDLP guidelines and requirements. No library user will be required to present identification for any reason, except to check out library materials or as required by library and university policies.

Workstations

Free and unrestricted searching is provided on designated depository computers for government information.   The use of depository workstations by a library user is subject to each library's overall acceptable use policy.   These depository workstations will meet or exceed the latest "Recommended Specifications for Public Access Workstations in Federal Depository Libraries" to insure efficient and effective access to government information.   The limits to and costs associated with downloading and printing on these workstations shall be consistent with other public service provisions of each library.

Internet Access

All depository libraries provide Internet access to government information to the campus community and the general public at no cost.   Public access includes telnet and ftp capabilities to encourage downloading and/or transmission of electronic data.   All depository libraries also provide the ability to print electronic government information from the Internet.   Limits to and costs associated with downloading and printing shall be consistent with other public service provisions of the libraries.

All depository libraries maintain depository homepages and provide links to prominent or useful government Web sites.   The Five Colleges of Ohio Government Resources Web site provides links to the depository homepage of each library.

Tangible Electronic Products

All depository libraries will make tangible electronic products (CD-ROMs, floppy disks, DVDs) which they select available to the general public in a timely manner.   If a product is not currently loaded and/or supported on a dedicated depository workstation, the depository libraries will attempt to provide access to it within a designated time frame as determined by each library.   If any depository library is unable to provide adequate access to tangible electronic products, circulation of those products should be made available in accordance with the library's circulation policies of other non-governmental tangible electronic products or other depository resources.

Reference Service and Training

The government documents staff of each depository library will provide, whenever possible, appropriate reference services, training, and help guides/documentation of tangible and Web-based products for the general public.

FDLP Internet Use Policy

All depository libraries provide access to the information products in the FDLP (Federal Depository Library Program) Electronic Collection, which is available to the campus community and general public free of fees or other restrictions such as age, or filtering software.   Security measures are consistent with FDLP guidelines and requirements.   No library user will be required to present identification for any reason, except to check out library materials or to print. Free and unrestricted searching for government information is provided on depository workstations.   The use of depository workstations by a library user is subject to the library's overall acceptable use policy.   Users may be charged the "usual and customary" fees for printing and diskettes.   Use or access may be mediated or unmediated.

The use of filtering software may restrict access to official FDLP information.   If filtering software is used, the depository libraries must allow users the option to use workstations without filtering software or to turn off the filter while searching FDLP information.

If necessary, log-in or sign-up sheets may be used to assure equitable access.   As with circulation records, confidentiality of these records is assured and consistent with applicable privacy statutes.   Special passwords may be used, and e-mail capability of the Web browser(s) may be blocked.



(Guidelines and policy discussed and written by members of the Cooperative Collection Development Task Force for the Five Colleges of Ohio Government Documents Subcommittee, 2003.)

-----