Government Documents: Depository Access

As part of a state-supported public institution, the University of Mississippi's J.D. Williams Library serves the general public, on site or by long distance, in addition to its primary clientele, the university community. Any resident of the state can apply for a borrower's card and can check out materials in person or can borrow them via interlibrary loan through his local library. Children and youth under the age of 12 who do not have an adult to accompany them to the library should call or e-mail before the visit to make arrangements to access the depository collection.

Following the policy for the general library collection, depository materials in all formats except microfiche are circulated. Exceptions include reference materials, old or fragile items, and current unbound periodicals. However, microfiche are loaned or duplicated in response to interlibrary loan requests, and all print materials can be photocopied or scanned.

The bulk of the federal depository collection is housed in an open-stacks arrangement. Rare and fragile nineteenth century documents are archived in a locked cage, which is accessible during public service hours from the Information Commons Desk.

Access for the handicapped to depository resources is consistent with general library policy. Extensive reference assistance is available, as well as retrieval of needed materials. The University has specially equipped electronic workstations for visually and aurally impaired students at the Office of Student Disability Services. Library materials can be used with this equipment.

As a Regional Depository, the Library sees its mission as serving all citizens, regardless of their location, both directly and indirectly by referral from Mississippi's selective depositories or from GPO. Reference assistance is provided in person and via telephone, e-mail, and fax. Long distance inquiries may result in the loan or photocopying of depository materials or in extended consultation via e-mail.

Depository publications are represented in the library's online catalog, which is accessible via the Internet 24 hours a day. The catalog contains records for all federal documents published since 1976, both tangible and electronic, as well as for a growing number (>70,000) of significant older publications. The Regional Librarian maintains web pages for government information with links to FDSys, USA.gov, and many federal agency sites and meta-sites from other depository libraries.

Updated February 8, 2012

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The University of Mississippi
P.O. Box 1848, University, MS 38677 USA
(662) 915-7211