Administrative Notes: Newsletter of the FDLP

Vol. 25, no. 11 GP 3.16/3-2:25/11 October 15, 2004

Depository Library Council Meeting Update
October 2004

GPO recently completed the operational “stand-up” of a Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) at the U.S. Government Printing Office. As part of this process, GPO completed a key-generation ceremony and also successfully passed an external independent audit of its PKI operation. The Chief Information Officer's (CIO) organization is now taking steps to both test and evaluate several digital signing tools using GPO's PKI. The purpose of this testing is to lead to the future application of digital signatures on GPO Access files. In conjunction with this activity, steps are underway to cross-certify GPO's PKI operation with the Federal Bridge Certification Authority (FBCA). GPO staff and representatives from the FBCA are currently mapping business and technical processes and discussing FBCA audit requirements. Once certification and testing have been completed, live signatures will be made available on GPO Access files. Additionally, steps are already underway to create a complete redundant backup of GPO's PKI operation at the Alternate Congressional Facility.

GPO contracted with the Center for Research Libraries to develop a decision framework for creating shared federal document repositories. Council commented on the draft version of the framework, and found it a reasonable initial draft for developing regional repositories for tangible federal government documents. Three related decision framework documents were developed for repositories by tangible repository type. These documents provided criteria for establishing accessible, light and dark archives for the CLR. The three documents were merged into a single document and released for public comment on September 20, 2004. Comments should be forwarded to Judy Russell at by November 1, 2004.

[Discussed on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 at 10:30-12:00 in Council Session.]

The CLR supports GPO’s mission to provide permanent public access to U.S. Government publications in all formats. CLR consists of multiple collections of tangible and digital publications, located in multiple sites and operated with various partners within and beyond the U.S. Government. The CLR includes publications of the federal government of public interest and educational value regardless of format. Although publications produced solely for administrative or operational use are excluded by law from depository distribution, GPO, where possible, will acquire such publications for the CLR and identify them by metadata to include in the National Bibliography. The CLR will also serve as a repository for products from future GPO initiatives. The planning document was released for public comment on June 18, 2004 with comments to be submitted by July 30, 2004. Although this deadline has passed, comments can still be forwarded to Superintendent of Documents Judy Russell at For quick reference, this document is located at:
[Discussed on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 at 10:30-12:00 in Council Session.]

The transformation of GPO’s mandate to monitor the performance of depository libraries from the traditional inspection process to a proactive model of regional consultation and education is gaining momentum. Draft agreements with various depository partners to place consultants at host institutions are nearing completion. Consultants will be located at the host institutions, close to the depository libraries they will be working with. This work will be focused on close consultation with the depository libraries to improve the quality and effectiveness of library services through sharing best practice, collaborative discussion, and local educational opportunities. The first six host agreements should be signed soon, after which, recruitment and placement of the consultants will take place.

Information Dissemination’s new Contact Center is standing by to provide users with the highest quality service. Contact representatives are available to respond to all of your queries about GPO and its information dissemination programs. While there will certainly be times when contacts must be transferred to subject matter experts for handling, the resulting responses will be captured in a knowledgebase for ready access by others. The Contact Center was launched on August 2, 2004, replacing operations such as the GPO Access User Support Team,, and the Order and Information Desk. The knowledgebase has been populated with answers to frequently asked questions related to the following services: GPO Access, the U.S. Government Online Bookstore, and the Federal Depository Library Program. Users can search or browse the knowledgebase as a whole or by category/subcategory. Questions that cannot be answered by the knowledgebase can be sent to GPO using the “Ask a Question” tab, and questions will be routed to the appropriate subject specialists within GPO. The Contact Center is available through the Web at, by e-mail at, or by phone (Toll-free) 866-512-1800, (Washington Metropolitan Area) at 202-512-1800, Monday through Friday, 7:00 am - 9:00 pm, EST.

GPO is working with the library community on a national digitization plan with the goal of digitizing a complete legacy collection of tangible U.S. Government publications held in libraries participating in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). The objective is a digital collection available, in the public domain, for permanent public access through the FDLP. The legacy collection of what has been distributed since the beginning of the Federal Depository Library Program includes approximately 2.2 million print documents. It is comprised of over 60 million pages, mostly textual, but the documents contain additional information, such as charts, diagrams, and photographs. Digitizing such a large collection is a large undertaking that cannot be accomplished all at once. To focus efforts, GPO conducted a survey of our depository partners to determine which tangible U.S. Government documents are most important to digitize and in which priority. Results of the Digitization Ranking Survey indicate the five most urgent titles, including the Congressional Record (Bound), the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, the Statistical Abstract of the U. S., the U.S. Statutes At Large and the Code of Federal Regulations. For more detailed information, link to

[Discussed on Monday, October 18, 2004 at 1:30-3:00 in Council Session.]

GPO is actively engaged in defining the next generation information life cycle management system for official U.S. Government information. A cross-organizational team has delivered a concept of operations for the system, which will support version control, authentication, and preservation of content as well as access to and delivery of the information. The concept of operations is predicated upon a rules based, policy neutral infrastructure, exhibiting modularity (plug-in components), scalability, extensibility, comprehensiveness and flexibility, optimally incorporating technology as required. Currently, no single system or group of systems adequately meets the needs and mission of GPO. The future digital system for the GPO is being developed in a structured manner beginning with a concept of operations. The Public Printer was briefed on the concept of operations on October 1, 2004.

[Discussed on Sunday, October 17, 2004 at 1:30-3:00 in plenary session and again from 3:30-5:00 in Council session.]

GPO awarded a contract to Progressive Technology Federal Systems Inc. (PTFS) of Bethesda, MD, to provide GPO with software and services to create a state-of-the-art integrated library system. The chosen Integrated Library System (ILS) platform is Ex Libris (USA)’s Aleph 500 software. GPO is also procuring their MetaLib/SFX federated search and reference linking application. These products provide for all metadata needs for GPO’s information dissemination programs, including the National Bibliography of U.S. Government Publications. Target date for the availability of the OPAC version of the National Bibliography is April 2005.

2nd Edition

GPO is engaged in the first major revision of the FDLP Electronic Collection plan since it was originally issued in 1998. The six years since the initial edition was published have seen continuous development and change, both within and beyond GPO, as procedures and mechanisms have developed to manage digital assets. This new edition incorporates advances in the theory, technology, and practice of managing digital collections. Much of the revision recognizes the reality of a program in which over 81% of titles are online, and that every title in FDLP will be available in digital format within five years. The EC is part of GPO’s Collection of Last Resort.

New assumptions in the second edition are:

§ Information included in the FDLP EC is public information published by an official source, i.e., the publishing agency or other trusted source.
§ GPO will certify EC digital content with varying levels of authentication dependent upon provenance, chain of custody, and level of quality assurance in the digitization process.

The second edition of the EC was released for public comment on June 18, 2004 with comments to be submitted by September 7, 2004. Although this deadline has passed, comments can still be forwarded to Judy Russell at For quick reference, this document is located at:

[Discussed on Monday, October 18, 2004 at 10:00-11:30 in Council Session.]


GPO intends to develop a comprehensive and authoritative National Bibliography of U.S. Government Publications that will contain descriptions and locations of unclassified publications in all formats. The initial planning statement examines ways to improve the comprehensiveness of GPO cataloging and metadata programs that enhance usability of bibliographic products and services at GPO. Within the scope of the National Bibliography is any information product regardless of form or format that any U.S. Government agency discloses, publishes, disseminates, or makes available to the public, as well as information produced for administrative or operational purposes that is of public interest or educational value. The initial planning statement was released for public comment on June 18, 2004 with comments to be submitted by September 7, 2004. Although this deadline has passed, comments can still be forwarded to Gil Baldwin at For quick reference, this document is located at

[Discussed on Tuesday, October 19, 2004 at 1:30-3:00 in Council Session.]

The primary purpose of the POD survey was to assess the applicability for utilizing Print-on-Demand technology to improve the FDLP. GPO has discussed the possibility of providing a POD allowance for depository libraries to be used as a tool to augment depository library collections with paper versions of depository titles. The survey results are being analyzed for planning purposes but one possibility is that the depository library could use its allowance to quickly order and receive a printed copy of a publication, regardless of its item number, even if it is an electronic-only title. The policies being developed for use of a POD allowance might even permit libraries to order a second copy or a replacement copy of a print publication that is of interest. A POD allowance might make the selection process of some print titles from GPO more like using a book dealer. For example, libraries would not have to guess in advance what titles will be issued under certain item numbers and then take everything issued under those item numbers. They could wait until the items are issued and then order only the titles they actually want. This added flexibility allows libraries to order print titles “just in time” rather than “just in case.” We will continue to involve the FDLP community in our planning process as we strive to provide more flexibility and enhanced benefits to each library. The survey showed considerable interest in a POD program, with most interest in items from the sample list such as the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Crime in the United States, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics, Condition of Education (Annual) and United States Health (Annual). The most recent results from the survey can be viewed online at:

In the light of working on several potential publishing agency withdrawals in the past few months, GPO is revising policy, SOD 72, on the withdrawal of federal information products from information dissemination programs. The revision effort seeks to clarify the conditions under which publications can be withdrawn, outlines the potential ramifications, and encourages the publishing agencies to make the least restrictive decision. This includes working to ensure that it is a fully considered decision endorsed by the head of the publishing agency. As part of the process, GPO will notify professional library associations as soon as a final publishing agency decision has been officially received.

During Fiscal Year 2004, GPO distributed a total of 32,821 titles in various formats. When multiple formats of the same title are removed, approximately 81% of the new titles were electronic and about 19% were tangible distributions.

June 2004 marked the 10th Anniversary of GPO Access Keeping America Informed. Since its inception, users have retrieved more than two billion documents from GPO Access. Usage has increased from an average of about 20,000 monthly retrievals in 1994 to an average of about 34 million a month in 2004. Users have also downloaded a total of 195 terabytes of information from GPO Access, which is equivalent to more than 98 billion typewritten pages.