Government Documents Access Policy

This library is a congressionally designated depository for U.S. Government documents. Public access to the government documents collection is guaranteed by public law. (Title 44 United States Code)

As a Federal Depository Library, the public has free access to any government publication in Trexler Library. Most government documents are listed in the Library’s online catalog. Most depository documents are shelved in open stacks and are available during the Library’s normal service hours. Some documents have been relocated to the Rare Book Room and are available from personnel at the Reference Desk or Special Collections, on Level B of the Library. Some print publications do not circulate, most specifically decennial Census materials and legislative titles, i.e. Federal Register, Congressional Record and others. These materials, however, are shelved in the open stacks, freely accessible to the public, but limited to in-library use only. Printer and scan stations are available, as are microfilm and microfiche reader-printers. Unmediated, electronic access to government publications and information is available by several means:

  • Full text access to many documents is available from the Library’s online catalog. All online government information may be printed, downloaded, or emailed. Students may use the wepa printers; visitors will be charged  $.10 per page.
  • Government publications on CD-ROM are accessible on two specially marked PCs in the Concourse. These computers are wholly dedicated to accessing government information available on CD-ROMs, on the Internet or through direct links from the Library’s on-line catalog. The CD-ROMs are stored in the two towers next to the PCs.
  • Free Internet access to government information and publications is available locally or remotely from the Library’s documents webpage.

Most hard copy government publications may circulate to the public. The following policies apply:

  • Government documents may be checked out to anyone with a library card. Faculty and staff may check them out for a semester. Students may check them out for a period of 28 days. All other patrons may check them out for 21 days. A renewal may be possible.
  • Pennsylvania (local or state) and federal political workers, upon filling out an application, will be issued Town Borrowers cards and may check out government documents for a period of 21 days, with one renewal. The normal registration fee will be waived and the card must be renewed annually.
  • Town patrons who are not Muhlenberg affiliates, alumni or LVAIC borrowers wishing to check-out materials, including government documents, must register as Town Borrowers and pay an annual registration fee of $25.00.
  • Requests for exceptions to the above policies are referred to the Head of Lending and Borrowing Services and approved by the Library Director.

Please ask at the Information Services desk if you need help with accessing and locating government documents.

Reviewed 2011