Government Documents Policies

Government Documents Access Policy

The Musselman Library of Bluffton University serves as a federal depository in Ohio's Fourth Congressional District. Our goal in selecting government documents is to support the research and general information interests of Bluffton University students, staff and faculty. We also seek to provide government information for members of the general public. This Government Documents Access Policy complements our Policy Concerning Depository Library Public Service Guidelines for Government Information in Electronic Formats and our Policy Concerning Federal Depository Library Program Internet Use.

Library Hours
Library hours are posted at the front entrance as well as on the library's website. Exceptions will be posted on the front entrance and on our website. Our status is also represented by the depository emblem adjacent to the front door.

Who can use?
Bluffton University students, staff and faculty, and members of the general public may make use of depository materials at any time during the above hours. No fees are associated with the use of these materials in the library. Photocopying charges apply equally to all users. Members of the general public wishing to check out materials will be charged $10 to have a card made.

Reference Services
Reference services are available from the library's Research and Information Desk. During the academic year, the desk is typically staffed Monday through Thursday from 1-3 p.m. and 6-10 p.m., and on Sunday from 1-10 p.m. Staff will be happy to assist with questions even when no one is stationed at the desk. Reference assistance is available to Bluffton University users and to the general public.

Location and Access
Most of our depository documents are currently integrated with the rest of the library's collection in Library of Congress call number order. These items can be freely accessed by Bluffton University patrons and by the general public. A number of other items are held in non-public areas -- some of these are accessible via our web-based catalog and need only be requested from staff. Other documents in closed areas had previously been available only through our Government Documents shelflist. This type of arrangement is expected to be phased out as we move to establishing a separate open-stacks area for Government Documents. Materials in this new area will be arranged in Sudoc call number order and accessible via our online catalog. In addition, a number of documents are housed in our pamphlet file, which is in a public area adjacent to the Research and Information Desk. Maps are held in several locations on the fourth floor of the library.

Indexes and Databases
The library has access to a number of indexes and databases, both in print and electronically, that can be useful to government documents researchers. Examples of these include, electronically: CIJE and RIE via ERIC, Congressional Universe, PAIS and the GPO Monthly Catalog. CIJE and RIE are also available in print, as is Andriot's Guide to Government Publications (1995). Researchers also have unrestricted internet access that allows them to use the vast array of government information online.


Policy Concerning Depository Library Program Internet Use

The purpose of this document is to clarify Musselman Library's policies concerning access to online government information available through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). This policy complements our Government Documents Access Policy and our Policy Concerning Depository Library Public Service Guidelines for Government Information in Electronic Formats.

General Access
Musselman Library seeks to offer free access to online government information offered through the FDLP. This service is available to Bluffton University students, staff and faculty, as well as to members of the general public. To this end, Musselman Library offers access to the FDLP Electronic Collection. Access is free and unrestricted by factors such as age or residency status. At this time, neither time limits nor sign-up sheets are in use. Filtering software is not used at the present time. Patrons' use of workstations is subject to the library's overall standards of acceptable use.

Security Issues
Patrons are not required to present identification in order to use FDLP products. Log-in or sign-up sheets are not used at the present time. Patrons can use a guest username and password to gain access to the FDLP through the library's website.

Printing and Saving
Electronic government information can be printed in the library, currently at no cost. Bluffton University student, faculty, and staff users are able to save information to designated locations on the campus network for later viewing or printing.


Policy Concerning Depository Library Public Service Guidelines for Government Information in Electronic Formats

The purpose of this document is to clarify Musselman Library's policies concerning the use of and access to government information in electronic formats. This policy complements our Government Documents Access Policy and our Policy Concerning Federal Depository Library Program Internet Use.

General Access
Musselman Library seeks to offer free access to online government information offered through the FDLP. This service is available to Bluffton University students, staff and faculty, as well as to members of the general public. To this end, Musselman Library offers access to the FDLP Electronic Collection. Access is free and unrestricted by factors such as age or residency status. At this time, neither time limits nor sign-up sheets are in use. Filtering software is not used at the present time. Patrons' use of workstations is subject to the library's overall standards of acceptable use.

Security Issues
Patrons are not required to present identification in order to use FDLP products. Log-in or sign-up sheets are not used at the present time. Patrons can use a guest username and password to gain access to the FDLP through the library's website.

Printing and Saving
Electronic government information can be printed in the library, currently at no cost. The library also makes available blank diskettes for 75 cents apiece to encourage saving to disk. Bluffton University users are able to save information to designated locations on the campus network for later viewing or printing.