The Government Information Unit strives to provide free access, as defined by the Government Publishing Office: any member of the general public can handle, view, and use government information at the library without any restrictions. However, there are hours, typically during the evenings, when only authorized Vanderbilt ID holders are allowed in the building. During hours restricted to authorized card holders, patrons without card privileges wanting to use the depository can gain access by informing library staff that they wish to use the library's depository resources. For questions about access to government information, please ask a library staff member.
In addition, any government documents that circulate are (as with all other library materials) allowed to circulate only to patrons who have a Vanderbilt affiliation and a library account.
Access to depository publications is ensured by:
- Prominent placement of the depository library logo at the Central Library building main entrance;
- Provision of reference service for government information by appropriate staff;
- Open access to the depository collection during all hours of operation, with access by request during restricted hours;
- The arrangement of depository publications by SuDocs number in a separate Government Information Unit, except for a few titles that are more useful in the Reference or General collections;
- Records of all government publications since 1976 listed in the online public catalog;
- Circulation of most government publications to any patron with library privileges;
- Ready availability of microfiche scanners and reader-printers, one computer capable of using CDROMs and DVDROMs, and one photocopier in the Unit;
- Unrestricted interlibrary loan of any circulating depository publication to any requesting library within the state. Access to any circulating depository publication to any requesting library outside the state if other copies are not readily available;
- Interlibrary loan from the regional depository at the University of Memphis.