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Newsletter of the Federal Depository Library Program

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Cumulative Table of Contents Vol. 1 - present [ PDF ] ( includes current issue )

April 15, 2003

GP 3.16/3-2:24/04
(Vol. 24, no. 04)

Identification Issues in Depository Libraries Reviewed

In light of recent security concerns and the heightened atmosphere for public safety since the events of September 11, 2001, LPS has reviewed the Instructions to Depository Libraries and the general guidelines associated with Internet access and service policies to reassess the prohibition on identification requirements. LPS recommends that libraries also review their security policies and procedures currently in place that allow the public to access depository resources. In the past, the Instructions have prohibited requirements for patrons to present identification to utilize depository resources. With continued security concerns, it is appropriate for depository library administrators to determine operating hours, access and security procedures.

In developing identification requirements for public patrons to access depository resources, the libraries should take into consideration that some constituents with legitimate library needs may not be able to meet these requirements. Thus, requiring identification to access the depository collection is allowable, but libraries are encouraged to continue existing procedures that already may be in place for most libraries where identification is not required, such as asking users to sign a guest register and escorting patrons to the depository collection.

Identification requirements should not be so onerous as to impede access to the depository resources. Requirements for a driver's license or state identification card are considered reasonable; provisions should also be made for juvenile users, such as high school and middle school students. Libraries are also reminded the FDLP exists to ensure access for all patrons requesting to use the depository resources, not simply the residents of the local Congressional District or locality.

As a result of this review, the online version of the Instructions has been updated to reflect this change in policy. Please take a few minutes to review the changes made to Chapter 7, Public Service, Section A. Access <http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/pubs/instructions/in_ch7.html#A>. If you have any questions or concerns about these changes, please contact Depository Services staff at (202) 512-1119.