The InfoPass Program is aimed at solving the problems of library users who need personal access to resources not open to the general public, if such access is needed over and beyond the assistance their own libraries can provide through existing use policies.

Library users need to contact their home library about InfoPass access to other libraries; RAILS does not issue the passes or make arrangements for library visits.

The InfoPass Program is reciprocal. Libraries using InfoPass to refer their users to other libraries will, in turn, accept InfoPass referrals from other participating libraries, unless they are open to the public anyway.

Participating libraries are free to determine the level of services to be extended to individuals from outside their own user communities. It is hoped that their willingness to assist InfoPass holders will be enhanced by: the required careful screening of user requests by referring libraries, the benefits their own users can derive from InfoPass use, and the simplicity of the arrangement.

Instructions for Library Staff Members

Screen the Request

When a user needs personal access to materials or information not available in your library, conduct an interview to determine whether the request is valid. An InfoPass should not be issued to provide access to bestsellers, widely held material, etc. Your good judgment and experience will be your best guide in deciding when an InfoPass should be issued.

Consult Resources

Determine where requested material or information is available by consulting subject information resources such as the American Libraries Directory (Bowker) or by performing a search in WorldCat. Publicly supported libraries should be used, whenever possible, before private ones.

Call Source Library

Confirm by advance telephone call that the needed service can be given by the source library and confirm its open hours. If necessary, make an appointment for your user. Give the InfoPass user's name to the source librarian.

Issue Infopass

It is the responsibility of the referring librarian to fill out the InfoPass form completely, be sure to include sufficient identifying information about the user. The InfoPass is valid only with the signature of the referring librarian. (Suggestion to new participants: familiarize yourself with the form before you are called upon to make your first referral.)

Direct User to the Source Library

Assist the user with directions for locating the source library, if necessary.

Record Keeping

Records are not required by the InfoPass program. However, referring librarians may keep any records they choose for their own purposes. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact