Public Service Policy: Electronic Federal Depository Library Materials, Government Documents Collection
Revised June, 2009
Part 1: University policy and guidelines
All computer users at the University of Nebraska at Kearney are governed by the Policy for Responsible Use of University Computers and Information Systems, Executive Memorandum No. 16, as signed by President L. Dennis Smith, President, University of Nebraska, on 27 October 1999 (revised August 28, 2001). In addition, computer users must follow Use of Information Technology Resources at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (November, 2000).
- Sections from Memorandum 16 governing public access to electronic federal depository library materials in Calvin T. Ryan Library include:
- 2. General (paragraphs 2 - 5)
- Access to electronic information systems at the University of Nebraska is a privilege, not a right, and must be treated as such by all users of these systems. All users must act honestly and responsibly.
- Every user is responsible for the integrity of these information resources. All users must respect the rights of other computer users, respect the integrity of the physical facilities and controls, and respect all pertinent license and contractual agreements related to University information systems. All users shall act in accordance with these responsibilities, and the relevant local, state and federal laws and regulations. Failure to so conduct oneself in compliance with this Policy may result in denial of access to University information systems or other disciplinary action.
- The University of Nebraska is a provider of a means to access the vast and growing amount of information available through electronic information resources. The University of Nebraska is not a regulator of the content of that information and takes no responsibility for the content of information, except for that information the University itself and those acting on its behalf create. Any persons accessing information through the University of Nebraska information systems must determine for themselves and their charges whether any source is appropriate for viewing.
- Accepting any account and/or using the University of Nebraska's information systems shall constitute an agreement on behalf of the user or other individual accessing such information systems to abide and be bound by the provisions of this policy.
- The University may restrict or prohibit the use of its information systems in response to complaints presenting evidence of violations of University policies or state or federal laws. When it has been determined that there has been a violation, the University may restrict or prohibit access by an offending party to its information systems through University-owned or other computers, remove or limit access to material posted on University-owned computers or networks, and if, warranted, institute other disciplinary action.
- From Part 11 (second paragraph):
- Each University campus shall be responsible for enforcing this Policy in a manner best suited to its own organization. It is expected that enforcement will require cooperation between such departments as computer systems administration, human resources, affirmative action, academic affairs and student affairs. Prior to any denial of access or other disciplinary action, a user shall be provided with such due process as may be recommended by the University's Office of General Counsel.
Part 2: Public Service Guidelines for Electronic Government Information
Access to computers in the Library is free of charge to all users during normal library hours. All public computers have removable storage drives and open (unfiltered) Internet access.
- All public computers are connected to a networked printing system with printers located on all three floors of the Library. Students have free copies/pages encoded on their identification cards at the beginning of each semester. When these are used, they must pay to have more copies put on their cards. The general public must pay for print cards.
B. Formats selected
The Government Documents Department will provide access to any electronic information it selects as a federal depository library. This currently includes CD, DVD, and Internet formats.
C. Hardware specifications
The Library, to the best of its ability and budget, will provide computer hardware that meets the "Recommended Specifications for Public Access Computers" (revised 2008). If the recommended standards cannot be completely met, the Government Documents Department will have computer equipment as technically advanced as that found in other Library public service areas.
D. Availability of tangible electronic products
The Government Documents Department will process tangible electronic products it selects within the same time frame as government documents received in paper format.
E. Tangible electronic formats (CD and DVD) and public access
All Library computers have CD, DVD drives, and USB ports.
- Three computers in the Government Documents public service area are connected to the Library's online system and the Internet. They available to any library user.
Library computer security software does not allow storage of files to the hard drives of public computers. Files may be downloaded to portable devices.
In keeping with the Library's philosophy of allowing the most open access possible for government documents, and with the exception of a few reference titles, tangible electronic products are allowed to circulate to faculty, students, and the public.
- G. Software
All Library computers have the Windows suite of software.
A computer lab on the main floor of the library open to use by anyone when not being used for library instruction. A second computer lab is located on the lower level of the Library.
Should a library user need access to data for which the Library has no software, the Government Documents Dept. librarian will contact UNK Information Technology Services (computer services for the campus) or the UNK Geography Department (GIS software) to provide access. Both IT Services and the Geography Dept. are located close to the Library. Access will be provided as expeditiously as possible.
Library computer technicians are available should assistance be needed.
H. Communication with library users
The Government Documents Department librarian has access to e-mail to communicate with students, faculty, and the public.
The Library has 24/7 help available via its home page: "Ask Us 24/7". Both chat and e-mail are available
All government documents except reference titles are available for interlibrary loan.
I. Indexes and the Government Documents Department home page
The Documents Department's home page went live in May, 1997. It is divided into four sections:
- "About the Government Documents Department"
- Contains general information, hours, contact information, and a number of guides and bibliographies for government document collection resources
- "Nebraska Government Documents and "Buffalo County and Kearney"
- Links to state agencies, selected agency publications, statistics, and information about the local area.
"United States Government Documents"
- Links to Nebraska's U. S. House of Representatives and Senators' pages, general federal sites of interest, sites which index federal government agency information by subject, agency name, and title of individual electronic publications.
- "International Resources: Countries and International Organizations"
- Links to foreign country sites, the United Nations, and international statistical information.
- The department's home page has been revised numerous times since it first came up and is checked and updated on a regular basis.
- Indexes for government documents are linked from the Library's home page under "Articles and Research Information - General Indexes to All Subjects" and "Virtual Resources". Included are MarciveWebDocs, Lexis/Nexis Government Periodical Index, Lexis/Nexis Congressional, Lexis/Nexis Statistical, and Lexis/Nexis Academic. Several individual government document titles are also linked on the "Virtual Resources" sections.
J. In-house assistance for library users
Assistance is available in the Documents Department office during the day and at the main floor reference desk in the evenings and on weekends. See Reference Desk hours.
As mentioned above, many of the guides and bibliographies are also on the department's home page.
A number of bibliographies and guides to indexes, government document resources, compact discs, and Internet resources are available in printed form on literature racks in the Government Documents Dept. index table area. All are updated as needed.
- Interlibrary loan is available for acquiring document titles not held by the library.
K. Training for students and the general public
- Faculty who want a government document instruction session for their classes contact the Documents Librarian. Each year classes from a variety of academic departments receive instruction including use of the document collections (7 academic departments; 13 classes, 350 students, FY07-08).
The Documents Librarian has offered training sessions for the general public in past years. Instruction is given on a one-to-one basis as users come to the Library and other groups, such as the area genealogy club, have been given tours of the documents collection.
L. Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
- The Library is accessible to persons with disabilities. A ramp at the front entrance brings people to the main floor and elevators serve the other two floors.
- All library staff stand ready to assist users who may need help accessing or retrieving items.
Diana J. Keith
Head, Government Documents Department
Calvin T. Ryan Library
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Updated March, 2003
- Revised June, 2009
Michael R. Herbison
Director of Libraries
Calvin T. Ryan Library
University of Nebraska at Kearney
File added to Documents Dept. home page in March, 2003; linked titles that have been revised since policy's approval are noted.
- Links updated and page content revised June, 2009.