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NLS Operations Alert

No. 20-57

DATE        :   August 27, 2020
TO            :   Network Libraries
FROM       :   Karen Keninger, Director
SUBJECT :   Electronic Signatures for Applications


After consultation with Library of Congress legal counsel, we have determined that, in lieu of a handwritten signature from both the certifying authority and the applicant, we can accept complete contact information for certifying authorities submitted on a properly completed electronic application form. "Complete contact information" for certifying authorities includes the following mandatory fields: full legal name; title/position; organization name; complete mailing address; email address; telephone number; and date.

Completed forms can be transmitted electronically, emailed, faxed, printed and mailed via USPS or any other carrier, or hand-delivered to the appropriate network library. These forms will be considered as "certified" copies and should be stored according to the guidance in Section 3.3 "Eligibility and Certification" of the Network Library Manual.

As is currently the case, libraries will be responsible for verifying the authenticity of the information in cases where more clarity is required. NLS will be implementing a new online application form in FY21, which will include this option.

If libraries choose, they may update their current online application forms to incorporate this new option. Per Section 9.5 "Reader Application Forms" of the Network Library Manual, revised forms should be submitted to network consultants for review by the NLS Chief of the Network Division before they are printed or posted online.

If you have questions, please direct them to your network consultant.

Karen Keninger
Director, NLS