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Public Service Guidelines


The Law Library is a designated selected federal Regional Depository Library and is obligated by law to provide public access to depository items, including electronic government information.

At the federal level, the United States Public Printer has approved public use guidelines with respect to electronic formats, which fit within the statutory framework of Title 44 U.S. Code. Depository libraries have a statutory obligation under section 1911 to make paper and microform publications “available for the free use of the general public.” The General Counsel to the Public Printer states that “any library selecting items in electronic formats must maintain a capability to allow for unimpeded use of those documents by its public patrons.”

At the local level, the University of California, Berkeley has a series of acceptable use policies for all users of campus technology resources.

The Depository Library Public Service Guidelines are outlined below.


The Law Library provides access for students, faculty and staff of the University of California, Berkeley and the general public to workstations supporting depository Internet resources, equal to or exceeding services provided for other library materials. This information is provided free of fees or other restrictions; however, use of the workstations is subject to the campus’s overall acceptable use policy.

In the provision of access, the Law Library takes into consideration Recommended Specifications For Public Access Computers, 2008 when making decisions about computer equipment.

The Law Library facilitates access to government information through its online catalog, LawCat, and from the federal research section of the Library’s online research web page. This includes but is not limited to GPO Access, FDsys (the Federal Digital System)and the FDLP (Federal Depository Library Program) Electronic Collection.

The Law Library allows users to download or print electronic government information for the delivery of government information to distance users, in accordance with GPO requirements and guidelines.

The Law Library encourages patrons to download electronic government information to USB flash drives. Due to security considerations provision of disk space on public workstations is not possible. Limits to or costs associated with printing, downloading, or faxing are consistent with other public service provisions within the Library.

The Law Library provides extensive reference service and assistance in person and via the telephone. This includes locating information at other libraries if unavailable at the Law Library.