The College of William and Mary's Swem Library, as a federal selective depository library and a depository for Commonwealth of Virginia government publications, is obligated by law to provide public access to depository titles, including electronic government information products.
The United States Public Printer, as head of the U.S. Government Printing Office, has approved public use guidelines for federal depository libraries. Title 44, Section 1911 of the United States Code states that paper and microformat publications of the U.S. Government are "available for the free use of the general public." The guidelines that follow extend that historic obligation into the electronic information era. The General Counsel of the Government Printing Office states that "any library selecting items in electronic formats must maintain a capability to allow for unimpeded use of those documents by its public patrons."