Guidelines for Response to Genealogy-Related Letters

  1. New York State residents will receive a higher priority of service than out-of-State residents.
  2. The question "Do we have [a particular book, journal, or other item]" will always be answered.
  3. Only three known item requests per letter will be checked and copied (if available).
  4. If someone asks for one or two more than the three known items allowed, the request will be processed, but the patron will be informed that it is our policy to do only three.
  5. Checks enclosed with the request for more than the amount due for copying will be returned promptly to the user, and a bill will be sent for the amount due.
  6. When a check enclosed with the request is for less than what is due for copying, the sender will be contacted for authorization of the additional charge, and if the work is authorized, the Photoduplication unit will bill the user for the extra amount due when the work has been copied.
  7. We will not answer subject requests.
  8. We will not check books for references to specific people.
  9. When a user requests something through interlibrary loan, we will evaluate the loanability of the item wanted, and instruct the person to place the order through his or her local library if the item may be borrowed, or notify the person if it cannot be loaned.
  10. We will not refer letters to other places for an answer, but we may suggest other places for the user to consult.
  11. State Library homepage access information will be provided in each response as part of the form letter, or as a separate sheet.
  12. When someone sends a genealogy request by fax, in expectation of a faxed response, we will respond, asking for the full name, address, and phone number (if not given), explaining the charges for faxing materials and the limitation on the number of pages we will fax, and offering alternative means of delivery.


Last Updated: March 18, 2014