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Illinois Tech Library Guides
Free Public Access to Government Information
The Paul V. Galvin Library is a Congressionally designated selective depository of the Federal Depository Library Program. As such, the library is legally required :
- To make depository materials available for free use by the general public
- To maintain the depository materials and the collection so they are accessible to the public
However, the library is not required to serve users who do not have a depository-related need to be in the library. Under a strict interpretation of the statute, a user from outside (the) library's principal user group may be limited to using only depository information resources.
A central theme concerning the obligations of depositories to the public is the Principle of Free Public Access:
- Free public access, as defined by the Government Printing Office (GPO), means that any member of the general public can use government information resources in all formats, without impediments. Galvin Library will ensure access to all formats of government information, free of impediments, to any member of the general public.
- Free public access does not mean a depository must grant circulation privileges to groups outside of the library’s primary user community, although they may choose to do so. Currently, the Galvin Library does not provide circulation privileges to the general public.
- Free public access need not equal free printing or copying if your library users must pay for printing and copying of other library materials or resources. All patrons are expected to pay for photocopying and printing, regardless of their IIT affiliation or lack thereof.
The Paul V. Galvin Library is dedicated to meeting or exceeding both the Principle of Free Public Access and its legal requirements as a member of the Federal Depository Library Program. For more information regarding access to resources, consult our visitor's policy.