Additional COVID-19 Guidance for Federal Depository Libraries

Federal depository libraries are alerting GPO when their library has closed, closed their facility but remains in service virtually, or has set restrictions on who may enter the library. GPO appreciates communication with libraries and is heartened to hear of the actions being taken to protect people during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Some institutions have decided to close their institution to members of the public to limit exposure to the virus. As a result, libraries have specifically questioned whether members of the public may temporarily be denied physical access to the depository collection during the outbreak, while library affiliates (students, faculty, staff, etc.) have continued access.

GPO’s position is that institutions acting to limit exposure to the virus should address their situation as appropriate. Given the state of emergency, libraries may temporarily block the public’s physical access to the depository collection. Libraries that do so are strongly encouraged to advertise the changing access restrictions on their website and in signage visible from outside the library. Additionally, libraries should emphasize how the public may get help remotely over the phone, email, or other virtual means.

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This guidance supplements the March 9, 2020: COVID-19 Guidance for Federal Depository Libraries

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