Government Information in Electronic Formats


The mission of the Federal Depository Library Program of the United States Government Publishing Office is “to provide free, ready, and permanent public access to Federal Government information, now and for future generations.” The Roberts-LaForge Library of Delta State University, as a selective depository library of federal government documents, is obligated by law to provide public access to its government documents, including those that are in electronic formats. Electronic government documents may be in tangible formats, such as CD-ROMS, or in online formats, such as GPO Access. The guidelines below provide information about what the Roberts-LaForge Library provides for its patrons in regard to use of electronic government documents.


  1. Roberts-LaForge Library provides free access to depository CD-ROMs and Internet resources for Delta State University and Delta area communities. University and library policies guide the use of these electronic resources.
  2. The Government Documents Librarian will make every attempt to accommodate patrons who wish to use electronic government documents in the Roberts-LaForge Library.
  3. All depository electronic items are made available to patrons in the most efficient and timely manner. Most CD software is not regularly loaded on designated CD workstations. However, the software will be loaded upon patron request. Certain FDLP CDs circulate upon request. The circulation period for any government document, electronic or not, is seven (7) days. Please see a reference librarian for more information on circulating government documents.
  4. Internet access to government information is free and readily available on all public workstations. Printing and downloading are also available. For more information, please see the library’s Internet Use Policy for Federal Depository Library Materials.
  5. In accordance with section 4.6 of the FDL Handbook, the Government Documents Department maintains a web page for government information.
  6. Electronic government information is also available through the Roberts-LaForge Library’s online catalog. To access the catalog, visit
  7. Librarians will, when necessary, fax or email relevant government information to distant users.
  8. Roberts-LaForge Library provides reference assistance for electronic information through personal interaction, email, telephone, written guides/handouts, and online tools. Reference assistance is available at the point of need or through scheduling for in-depth research. Certain questions may be referred to another librarian or government contacts for more specialized needs.

Further Information

For more information, please see the following documents:

  1. DSU Library Computer Use Policy
  2. FDLP Mission, Vision, & Values
  3. American Library Association. Access to Digital Resources and Services: An Interpretation to the Library Bill of Rights. Adopted January 24, 1996 by the ALA Council and most recently amended on June 25, 2019.
  4. Association of College and Research Libraries. Intellectual Freedom Principles for Academic Libraries: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights. July 2000.