COVID-19 Guidance for Federal Depository Libraries

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) is monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and is aware that state and Federal offices and institutions throughout the country are making adjustments to work schedules, using telework and online options, and closing as precautionary and preventive measures.

GPO is receiving questions from depository libraries about access to their collections in these situations. These actions are taking place for the safety of library employees and patrons. Depository libraries will not be required to provide access to their collections when the library is closed. GPO is treating closures due to the COVID-19 virus the same as when libraries close for inclement weather, flooding, other disasters, or Federal holidays.

If your library closes, please inform GPO and your Regional Depository Coordinator. Communication is key. Place a notice on your library’s door and website, and consider putting a public note in your library’s entry in the Federal Depository Library Directory about the closure. For more guidance and sample text you can use or modify, consult “What To Do If Your Library Has Unplanned Access Restrictions.” And if you haven’t already, you might also want to register for the March 25, 2020 webinar, “Pandemic! NLM Resources for Librarians to Assist Researchers and the Public in Understanding the Coronavirus and Influenza.”

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