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Fondren Library Center

Government Information Department

Circulation Policy

Government Information Resources Collection can be checked out, with the following exceptions:

  • Items under twelve (12) pages in length may not be checked out.
  • Items in microfiche and/or microfilm may not be checked out.
  • Items from the Fondren Library Center Government Information Reference Collection may not be checked out.
  • Items housed in the Fondren Library Center Government Information Cage area may not be checked out.
  • Certain items stamped "Not To Leave The Library" may not be checked out.

The Government Information Resources Librarian reserves the right to restrict the circulation of historic government information publications based on their physical condition.

For further information about the Fondren Library Center's Circulation Policies, borrower privileges, fines, etc., please consult the Circulation Department website.

Photocopying Policy

Non-circulating items may be taken out of the department for photocopying. Publications of the United States federal government are in the public domain and are not subject to copyright restrictions (17 U.S.C. 105). However, please be aware that U.S. government publications may contain copyrighted content. The individual making photocopies is liable for any resulting infringement under the doctrine of "fair use".

Computing Policy

Southern Methodist University's Computing and Communications Policy governs the use of computers and networks on the SMU campus. In addtion, the Fondren Library Center has instituted its own Guidelines for Computer Use.

Finally, computing resources within the Government Information Resources Department are provided in accordance with the following FDLP guidelines and recommendations:

Access Policy

In accordance with 44 U.S.C. 1911.

1911. Free use of Government publications in depositories [...]

Depository libraries shall make Government publications available for the free use of the general public.

Visitors who violate University policies, however, may have their use of Library facilities and access to Library collections restricted. Such measures are provided for in the FDLP's dead link (Instructions to Depository Libraries), Chapter 7, "Public Service":

Depositories are not required to serve patrons who do not have a depository-related need to be in the library. Depository users must adhere to the same standards of behavior expected of other library patrons... Use of the depository collection cannot be used as a pretext to circumvent library policies or Title 44, USC, Chapter 19.

Legitimate security concerns of depository libraries may necessitate various methods for administrators to heighten security for their facilities and personnel. Permissible actions include asking for patrons for identification, asking users to sign a guest register, asking questions that screen users to make sure that the library has what they need, and even escorting users to the depository collection.

Such actions in no way violate the responsibility of depository libraries to provide free access to the depository collection to the general public under 44 USC section 1911. Under a strict interpretation of the statute, the public patron may be limited to using only the depository collection. Additionally, depository libraries have the right to bar or remove any individual who poses a threat to library staff, other patrons, or the security of their collections. (Dead Link (

A number of other depository libraries in the Dallas-Fort Worth area exist to serve citizens' information needs. A directory of Federal Depository Libraries may be found here.

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