Government Documents Policies


Steely Library is a federal depository library housing Federal Government information products being provided to federal depository libraries in electronic formats. These electronic information products may be in a tangible, physical format, such as CD-ROMs, 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 a Federal Depository serving the 4th Congressional District of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Steely Library receives one copy of many tangible electronic depository information products to be added to the federal documents collections, and is expected to offer access to these online resources from the Federal Government to all citizens of the 4th Congressional District upon request. To accomplish this mission, the following policy has been developed:

Policy for Public Access to and Service for Electronic Depository Products

Steely Library offers Northern Kentucky University and the Northern Kentucky Community free access to electronic and online Federal Government information provided through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). The Steely Library Government Documents homepage provides "GPO Access" at the U.S. Government Printing Office, and a link to the FDLP Electronic Collection. 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:

  1. patrons will not be required to present identification to use electronic government information;
  2. services and access associated with FDLP electronic information products will be at the same level as those accorded to products which are purchased for the library's own collection;
  3. due to our depository responsibilities within the 4th Congressional district, we will maintain public access to all tangible electronic depository products that are not superseded by newer versions or formats.

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 Steely Library. 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 NKU community efficiently and effectively. Appropriate hardware and software will be provided for public users accessing electronic information available through the FDLP, e.g., CD-ROMs, online databases, etc. This hardware and software will include computer workstations capable of providing Internet access that requires GILS aware software, CD-ROM 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 telnet and ftp capabilities to encourage downloading and/or transmission of electronic data. Library users are expected to provide their own diskettes 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 Steely 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 Steely Library. On some of the library's public machines e-mail is available as are chat rooms.

Public Service Guidelines:

Steely Library 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, library staff will attempt to provide access to it as circumstances permit. 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 e-mail delivery of government information is made available to distance users.

Steely Library will offer training for the general public in using tangible electronic products and Internet resources upon request.

Steely Library phone number:  859.572.5457