(a) A request to inspect or obtain a copy of an identifiable record of the Library of Congress shall be submitted in writing to the Chief, OSS, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20540-9440, who shall promptly record and process the request.

(b) Requests for records shall be specific and shall identify the precise records or materials that are desired by name, date, number, or other identifying data sufficient to allow the OSS staff to locate, retrieve, and prepare the record for inspection or copying and to delete exempted matter where appropriate to do so. Blanket or generalized requests (such as “all matters relating to” a general subject) shall not be honored and shall be returned to the requester.

(c) Records shall be available for inspection and copying in person during business hours.

(d) Records in media other than print (e.g., microforms and machine-readable media) shall be available for inspection in the medium in which they exist. Copies of records in machine-readable media shall be made in media determined by the Chief, OSS.

(e) Library staff shall respond to requests with reasonable dispatch. Use of a record by the Library or Library employees, however, shall take precedence over any request. Under no circumstances shall official records be removed from Library control without the written authorization of the Librarian.

(f) The Chief, OSS, shall make the initial determination on whether:

(1) The record described in a request can be identified and located pursuant to a reasonable search, and

(2) The record (or portions thereof) may be made available or withheld from disclosure under the provisions of this part. In making the initial determinations, the Chief shall consult with any unit in the Library having a continuing substantial interest in the record requested. Where the Chief finds no valid objection or doubt as to the propriety of making the requested record available, the Chief shall honor the request upon payment of prescribed fees, if any are required by §703.8.

(g) If the Chief, OSS, determines that a requested record should be withheld, the Chief shall inform the requester in writing that the request has been denied; shall identify the material withheld; and shall explain the basis for the denial. The Chief shall inform the requester that further consideration of the denied request may be obtained by a letter to the General Counsel setting out the basis for the belief that the denial of the request was unwarranted.

(h) The General Counsel shall make the final determination on any request for reconsideration and shall notify the requester in writing of that determination. The decision of the General Counsel shall be the final administrative review within the Library.

(1) If the General Counsel’s decision reverses in whole or in part the initial determination by the Chief, OSS, the Chief shall make the requested record, or parts thereof, available to the requester, subject to the provisions of §703.8.

(2) If the General Counsel’s decision sustains in whole or in part the initial determination by the Chief, OSS, the General Counsel shall explain the basis on which the record, or portions thereof, will not be made available.