The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
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An Introduction to the Department

Depository Library

The Public Documents & Patents Department collection of government publications includes:

Almost every day, boxes arrive in the department with books, magazines, maps, CDs, microfiche and other materials direct from the Federal Government, amounting to many thousands of items a year. This collection covers an amazing range of subjects.

The Library receives all of this information free from the Federal Government because of our special status as a federal depository library since 1884. In turn, we make all of these documents accessible to the public free of charge. Only faxing and photocopy fees may apply.

Basic Q&A about the Public Documents & Patents Department:

What are your location and hours?
The department is on the second floor of the North building at the Main Library and is open all the hours that the Main Library is open.
Are all federal documents in the catalog?
At this time, most of the collection is in the catalog. Please contact us if you are having trouble finding a particular document in the catalog.
Can I check out materials from the documents collection?
Yes! Many of the documents are available for checkout. Please ask at the service desk for more information. With a valid library card, you may be able to borrow materials for 21 days. Like other Library materials, documents can be renewed and may be returned to any branch.
Can I use depository documents at my branch library?
Some branches have selected government documents; these can be found in the Catalog. Other government documents are available online; ask staff for help in locating these. However, most are available only in the Public Documents & Patents Department at the Main Library.
How do I get to the Main Library and where can I park downtown?
The Main Library is easily accessible from all major roads. There are several nearby parking lots. The Garfield Garage on 9th St. just west of the Main Library offers parking for 2 hours for only $1.00. Meter parking is free after 5 p.m. and all day on Sunday.