Depository Access Policy

Depository Access Policy
U.S. Government Documents
Joseph Anderson Cook Library
The University of Southern Mississippi

As part of a state-supported public institution, The University of Southern Mississippi's Joseph Anderson Cook Library serves the general public in addition to its primary clientele, the university community. As a selective depository, Cook Library provides access to numerous United States government documents in a variety of formats.

Most of Cook Library's U.S. documents in paper format are arranged in an open-stacks area in 2nd Floor South. Selected paper items have been placed in the general collection or in the serials collection. The large collection of U.S. documents on microform is housed in a separate section of film and fiche cabinets in 2nd Floor South. U.S. documents on CD-ROM and DVD are also housed in separate cabinets in 2nd Floor South. Increasing numbers of U.S. Government documents are available via the Internet on government agency Web sites.

Patrons in Cook Library who are members of the university community or the general public may use the U.S. government documents housed there. Presently, paper documents housed in 2nd Floor South, microform items in 2nd Floor South, and those items designated as serials regardless of location do not normally circulate outside the library. Exceptions to this are arranged through the librarian responsible for U.S. government documents or the Head of Public Services or other appropriate library employees. Circulation of all except the most heavily used CD-ROMs is permitted, particularly where application software is unavailable in-house. Otherwise, the library provides photocopiers, scanners, and printers for duplicating paper and microformat document items. U.S. Government documents in all formats housed in Cook Library may be sent via shuttle to a library at the university's Gulf Coast Campus. Documents of all formats may be requested through Document Delivery Services. Depending on the item requested, photocopies or the actual document may be provided. The patron may be requested to use the document at the library borrowing the item on their behalf. Otherwise, outside borrowers may be requested to use heavily used or reference-type documents on-site at Cook Library.

Access for the handicapped to depository resources is consistent with general library policy. University students registered with the Office of Disability Accommodations may arrange for use of most documents outside the library under conditions worked out with the appropriate library employee. The public computer area in Cook Library maintains specially equipped electronic workstations for visually and aurally impaired university students. Arrangements can be made to use document materials in that facility.

Depository publications are represented in the library's online catalog, which is accessible to the public via the Internet. The catalog contains records for most federal documents published since 1976, both tangible and electronic, selected by Cook Library, as well as records for a growing number of older publications held in the various collections. The library maintains a homepage for government information with links to GPO Access, the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), and many other federal government Web sites.

*Note: This policy has been adapted from policies set forth by the Federal Depository Library Program and by the Government Reference Services Department of the John Davis Williams Library, University of Mississippi, the Regional Depository for Mississipppi.