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Ivan Allen Jr. Reference Department

Location: 2nd Floor
Phone: 404.730.1900


About the Department
U.S. Government Depository
Directory Collection
Newspapers and Magazines
Interlibrary Loan Service
Foundation Collection
Reference Line and Virtual Reference Service

 About the Department
The Ivan Allen Jr. Department contains a broad range of reference materials (materials that cannot be checked out) in all subject areas. A special Wellness Information Zone houses consumer-oriented health information, including computer terminals for accessing web-based resources. The Department also houses a collection of business and demographics resources and business plan templates. Computer terminals dedicated to library catalog searches and online database searches are available.

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 U.S. Government Depository
Since 1880, the department has been a selective federal depository for documents published by the United States Government Printing Office. Currently, 43% of the items available from the Federal Government are selected by the Atlanta-Fulton Public Libraryfederal_depository_image System. These materials include census statistics from 1790 to the present, Congressional reports and documents, United States Statutes at Large and United States Reports. The department has a complete run of the Federal Register and the Congressional Record and the current year of the Code of Federal Regulations and United States Code.

Increasingly, government documents are being made available online, and library users can view them from public access terminals in the Ivan Allen, Jr. Reference Department. For links to key Federal Government websites, please visit U.S. Government Information.

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 Directory Collection
A collection of directories of all kinds - advertising, financial institutions, retailers, trade associations, even campgrounds. We also keep the current Haines Criss-Cross Directory. Some of our directories are available as online databases available through Galileo.

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 Newspapers and Magazines
See our Newspapers and Periodicals Holdings and our Government Periodicals Holdings. Please call the Central Library at (404) 730-1900 to verify that the magazine/periodical/journal you are looking for is currently available before coming to the library.

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 Reference Line and Virtual Reference
Contact us by Email, Phone, or Fax
The Atlanta-Fulton Public Library's Reference Line is designed for users who cannot come to the library in person. Call or email us whenever you need any kind of factual information that can be found in readily available sources. In most cases, our ability to satisfy a request will depend both on the complexity of the question and on the time needed to answer it--we attempt to limit each transaction to a duration of 5-7 minutes. If your question requires more involved attention or expertise than we can provide, you will be provided with an appropriate referral or invited to visit your local library for staff assistance or access to a computer.

 Virtual Reference: You can get live online help from a librarian by clicking the "Ask A Librarian!".

Remember: the Library's website (www.afpls.org) offers links to many research databases and other online resources (see Electronic Resources below)-please take advantage of this wealth of valuable information.

 What Kinds of Questions Do We Answer?

All questions consistent with our scope of service are welcomed via telephone, e-mail, or fax. In general, with a few exceptions, you can ask us any type of question that doesn't require extensive research. Here's a sampling of some of the most common types of requests.

Library Holdings and Catalog: we will search the Library's online catalog to determine whether we have a specific item, and we can tell you what the Library has on a particular subject. If you want an item that is checked out or unavailable at your branch, we can place a hold on it for you and have it sent to any branch you choose.

Business and Corporate Information: all kinds of basic information about public or private companies, e.g. corporate office holders, sales, line of business, contact information, corporate office locations, etc.

Language, Literature & the Arts: we can help you find an obscure quotation, a well known painting, or a favorite poem, or get the lyrics to a popular song. And we can tell you how to spell difficult words, and help you decide whether to use a colon or a dash at the end of a phrase.

History & Biography: when was the Thirty Years War? How do I contact Oprah? How many children did Picasso have? What was Elvis' middle name? Or what does the "S" in "Harry S. Truman" stand for?

Consumer Information: discover whether a product has been evaluated by Consumer Reports or other popular rating sources.

Financial Information: stock, bond, and mutual fund prices (both current and historical), dividend information, and merger histories are available in print and online sources.

Government Information: find out how to contact local, state, and federal agencies, get in touch with your senator or representative or city council representative, copyright a song or a story, get a patent or trademark, or apply for student financial aid.

Legal Information: we can provide definitions of legal terms and assistance with locating laws and regulations. The Reference Department maintains local, state, and federal law codes as well as a collection of popular legal self-help resources to help you research basic legal problems and issues.

Health & Medical Information: we can help you find definitions of terms and descriptions of diseases, and assist with locating basic health information in both print and online sources. On the 2nd floor of the Central Library downtown, you will find an extensive selection of resources chosen to help you research a wide variety of health and medical issues, in our Consumer Health Collection.

Statistics: get interest rate and cost of living index information, demographics and population figures, Census information, unemployment rates, dropout and graduation rates, vital statistics, and lots more.

Obituary Searching: provided on a limited basis by Reference Line (404.730.4636)-and by our Special Collections Department (Fifth Floor, Genealogy & Georgia History, 404.730.1896).

Electronic Resources: In addition to GALILEO (www.galileo.usg.edu), Georgia's statewide electronic research portal, the Library subscribes to premier database services in all subject areas. You can find a list of these resources on the AFPL Web page at this address: http://www.afpls.org/eresources.

Reference staff at Central and at branches are available to help you with any questions you might have when using these online resources. And don't forget to check the links under "Books & Materials" at the top of our homepage-you'll find lots of helpful information there, organized and presented by Library staff.

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 Contact Us

 By E-mail
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Please provide all background information on the question; how you wish to be contacted; complete name and contact information. Please state where you are e-mailing from and include a phone number in case we need to clarify your request. Reference Line will attempt to respond within 48 hours.

 By phone
By phone during Central Library business hours: 404.730.4636
Call above number when Central Library is open. (All times are Eastern Time).

By fax
Please provide all background information on the question. Reference Line will attempt to respond within 48 hours.

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