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Government Information: Access Policy

Access Policy

As a designated selective federal depository, the MIT Libraries make U.S. government publications available for the free use of the general public.  As stated in the MIT Library Use Policy, all depository users must adhere to the same standards of behavior expected of other library users. The MIT Libraries also adheres to the Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program developed by the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). Section III, item 40  states:

Security measures to protect library users, staff, and collections are permitted, provided that access to depository
collections is not hindered. All depository users must adhere to the same standards of behavior expected of other library
users. Depository libraries have the right to bar or remove any individual who poses a threat to library staff, other
patrons, or the security of their collections.

Reference Assistance
Reference staff will assist, in person or on line through MIT Libraries' Ask Us! service, in accessing depository information users are seeking, regardless of format. If we do not have the items that are needed, we will attempt to help the user locate the information.

The MIT Libraries are accessible to the physically challenged. Special arrangements can be made to have books and journals retrieved from the shelves of any MIT Library by contacting the circulation desk of that library. More information on services for persons with disabilities is available.

Internet Use
Patrons wishing to access government information from the Internet are welcome to use any of the public workstations in the Libraries. Printers are available as well.

Location of Documents
The federal documents collection is housed in the various divisional and branch libraries, according to subject area. Many documents are cataloged, and the records are available in Barton, the MIT Libraries' catalog.

Government documents are available for circulation under the same borrowing rules as all other materials. Most books will circulate for 30 days, with a maximum of three renewals. Borrowing periods for other materials vary according to the library. All materials may be used within the library.

Materials in Storage
Some less frequently used documents are stored in the Library Storage Annex, either on-site or off-site. All users may request items from either of these locations by using the Annex request form or asking at the any reference or circulation desk for assistance. Materials from storage can be delivered to the library of the user's choice within 1-2 working days.

Materials on Reserve
Some high use federal depository documents may be placed on reserve in any of the Libraries and are available for in-library use to the general public. Circulation/Reserves staff may ask the borrower to leave an ID upon their borrowing of the material, but the borrower is NOT REQUIRED to show or leave an ID.

Interlibrary Borrowing and Interlibrary Loan
If the MIT Libraries do not have a particular government document, we can obtain it from another library's collection for you through the use of MIT's Interlibrary Borrowing Service. This service is only available to members of the MIT community. Other users are encouraged to consult their home libraries for interlibrary borrowing. Documents in the MIT Libraries are generally available for Interlibrary Loan, meaning another library can borrow materials from MIT on a user's behalf.