Administrative Notes: Newsletter of the FDLP

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

Incentives Document Progress Report:
How’s the Carrot Crop Doing?
October 2004

To encourage depositories to remain in the Federal Depository Library Program, the Depository Library Council identified a number of services/added benefits that GPO could provide. Some of these were viewed as short-term (less than two years) implementation projects. It was recognized that others would require more time or need further study. With the addition of these services, the depositories will get a better return on their investment, their partnership with GPO will be strengthened, and the public will receive enhanced access and better services.

Incentives that could be implemented within two years

Provide depository libraries with access to fee-based government information database services.
Databases identified as being of particular interest to the depository community include: Internal Revenue Service’s Business Master File, MILSPECS database, Davis-Bacon Wage Rate Database and Service Contract Wage Rate Database, NTIS database (pre-1990), World News Connection, and EuroTrade Online.

Of these to date, access to World News Connection, NTIS’ version of the Davis-Bacon Wage Rate Database, and PACER have been sought unsuccessfully. In seeking access to PACER, GPO sent a letter to the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) proposing free access to PACER from one workstation in every Federal depository library. While AOC did not reject the proposal, approval of the Judicial Conference was required. The proposal was sent forward to their Electronic Public Access Working Group for approval but was rejected. It was rejected on the grounds that they already provide free public access. They currently provide public access terminals in every courthouse, they don't charge for the first $10 of searches, and people can apply for fee waivers. They have been authorized by Congress to charge a reasonable fee.
GPO is continuing to work to seek access to these and other Government databases.

Create a GPO Web page listing accessible databases.
Since the FDLP Desktop was launched in July 2000, there has been a Web page that lists all the databases to which GPO has negotiated access for Federal depository libraries. Some of these services no longer require passwords. The page will be updated as GPO negotiates access to more databases. The URL for this page is:

Allow certain titles, ephemera and posters to be more easily weeded.
FDLP Guidelines for Determining Superseded Materials, which can be found on the FDLP Desktop at, give depository libraries some flexibility in using their professional judgment to discard materials not specifically addressed in the Superseded List. The Guidelines allow discard, before the five-year holding requirement is met, for the following:

Notify depository libraries of new electronic titles added to the FDLP.
New Electronic Titles (NET) has made depository librarians aware of electronic-only titles within the FDLP since 2000. Archives are maintained as well. These are available from the FDLP Desktop at: At present there is no e-mail notification of new online titles in the FDLP. One of the features of Ex Libris’ Aleph 500, the Integrated Library System that GPO procured, is the ability for selective dissemination of information. The ILS team is investigating how this might be used to notify the community of online titles added to the FDLP. A related service of interest is GPO-ELSALE, an awareness service of FDLP electronic titles that are available for sale. Subscribe, or search the GPO-ELSALE archive that dates from July 2000, by pointing your browser to:

Publish, in Administrative Notes, the 1995 memorandum on eliminating microfiche from future discard lists.
The 1995 memorandum on eliminating microfiche form future discard lists will be printed in the next edition of Administrative Notes. Many of the recommendations from this memo were incorporated into the 2000 revision of the Instructions to Depository Libraries. In Chapter 9 (Regional Services) section C Publication Disposal Process, regional depositories are given the option to “exempt specific categories or formats from the disposal listing requirement.” The regional is given the discretion to decide what those categories or formats should be, taking into consideration the collections in their state or region.

Add OCLC holding symbols for regional depositories.
Working with GPO, OCLC has begun to develop an automated process to set the holdings of the 53 regional depository libraries in bibliographic records contributed by GPO. This process will initially include records GPO creates “live” on OCLC and any records GPO may contribute for batchloading after the implementation of the ILS. The project is open to all regional depository libraries; the library may decide whether or not to participate. Regionals were given an opportunity to sign on to this project while at the fall conference. GPO expects to start adding these holdings in early 2005, or approximately 90 days after OCLC receives the list of participants.

Provide branded recognition of GPO/FDLP electronic information.
GPO is currently investigating the ability to provide branded recognition of authentic GPO/FDLP files from search results in Google and Yahoo.

Allow depository libraries to purchase the print edition of the Serial Set from GPO Sales at a discounted price.
GPO is exploring the possibility of depositories purchasing the Serial Set from GPO at a discounted price.

Provide depository libraries with allowances, discounts, and free shipping for Print on Demand (POD) services.
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. GPO is still in the process of evaluating different options but one possible scenario is that the depository library could use an allowance to quickly order and receive a printed copy of a publication regardless of its item number. The policies being developed for use of a POD allowance will permit libraries to order multiple copies, replacement copies, or to supplement item selections with print publications that are of interest.

A survey of Federal depository libraries was conducted from September 8 to 27, 2004 to help gauge the future demand for print on demand (POD) publications. The survey presented two different hypothetical scenarios and enabled GPO to gather data regarding the level of interest for a representative sample of potential POD publications. For the purposes of the survey, the cost of each title was the estimated POD sale price, less a 25% (book dealer discount).

The top titles identified by participating libraries as the most desirable for purchase with $500 POD allowance are:

Complete survey results are on GPO Access at:

GPO has been testing potential vendors to see exactly what capabilities are practicable now, as well as investigating future POD capabilities. The results are encouraging in most cases and the ability to deliver quality reproductions through POD is available now. The goal for the application of POD in the FDLP would be to offer POD publications as close to the original quality as possible, without sacrificing the ability to use the information. Quality access to authentic Government information remains an essential goal to GPO and will always be considered in the deliberations of how POD could be used to benefit the FDLP.

Samples from the vendor tests are available for viewing at the conference. Any questions regarding POD may be directed to Bill Grennon at

Reorganization of the Superintendent of Documents organization has allowed the creation of the Office of Education and Development, which will focus on education, training, and outreach. Dr. Larry Blevins, who has extensive experience in training and distance learning technologies, was hired to head this office. GPO is in the process of hiring additional staff for this area.

Produce a GPO PowerPoint for the Web.
An Interagency Agreement (IA) was recently finalized, which provides a mechanism for producing Web-based tutorials and other training tools. Through this IA GPO will produce training materials in the use of GPO Access as well as for the community to assist with depository administration and operations.

Provide small competitive grants for new documents librarians to attend DLC and other GPO sponsored meetings. GPO does not have grant-giving authority. GPO does have the ability to issue invitations to travel and will explore how this might be used to support training efforts for new documents librarians. GPO currently provides support to members of Council to attend the Fall Depository Library Conference and Depository Council Meeting and the Spring Depository Library Council Meeting. GPO has also provided support to representatives from the regional libraries for attendance at the regional meeting preceding the Fall Depository Conference last year and is doing so this year as well.

Support training for small non-depository libraries.
Once consultants are placed in the field through the Consultant Initiative, members of the community have suggested that training sessions be extended to non-depository libraries. Since GPO Access training has been provided to interested parties regardless of depository library affiliation, the expectation is that this will be the case in FDLP-related training conducted by consultants in the field. Non-depository libraries, or anyone with Internet access, will be able to use the Web-based tutorials once they become available.

Provide training for new technology.
The consultants in the field are expected to provide training as the FDLP moves toward an increasingly electronic dissemination service that may require additional technology-related skills from depository staff.



Clarify and simplify the “Instructions to Depository Libraries”.
The Instructions were reviewed to update links and contact information. The Office of Library Program Planning, responsible for policy for the FDLP, will be reviewing FDLP policies and administrative publications.

Update the List of Classes.
Updating the List of Classes is an ongoing process. To facilitate identifying and deleting obsolete items, a file was generated of item numbers for which nothing has been distributed within the last five years. The entire item number process will come under review as part of the ILS implementation and the development of the National Bibliography.

Provide cataloging for pre-1976 cataloging projects.
GPO established a working group to develop a retrospective conversion plan for pre-1976 publications. This project will be contracted out and GPO is in the process of conducting market research. Conversion record samples of shelflist cards, old Monthly Catalogs, and microfiche versions of the Monthly Catalog will be produced and used to help determine the strategic directions for the project. Statement of Work (SOW) drafting is in process.

Provide credits to libraries that provide pre-1976 cataloging to GPO.
GPO is exploring what type of credits or incentives could be provided to libraries for providing cataloging to GPO.

Coordinate a list of retrospective cataloging projects.
The 2003 Biennial Survey of Depository Libraries asked libraries to identify their retrospective cataloging activities. GPO is reviewing these results in relation to its retrospective conversion plans and this can become the basis for a “clearinghouse” of retrospective cataloging projects.

Create a consultant program based in geographically dispersed areas.
The Consultant Program, as envisioned, is for the consultants to visit selectives within their specified region and improve communications between the depositories and GPO as well as with their regional library and with each other. They will also assess depository operations in a consultative spirit, identify and share best practices for depository management as well as provide training. It is expected that regional libraries will play an instrumental role in establishing the duties of the consultant, although the host institution does not have to be a regional. The consultant program resides in the Office of Education and Development. To date proposals have been received from:

The first consultant will be placed in Michigan. The Memorandum of Understanding between Michigan and GPO was signed at the regional meeting this week. GPO is still accepting proposals.

Fund library school students for projects and/or clearinghouse of library school practicum.
GPO funded the use of library school students for the University of Arizona Electronic Depository Pilot Project, which was recently completed. In this project electronic titles were identified and systematically substituted for tangible titles they receive from GPO as a selective depository library. GPO is willing to consider other proposals.

Provide cataloging records free to libraries.
At present libraries can download GPO’s cataloging records are available for downloading from the Federal Bulletin Board (FBB). When the ILS is implemented, libraries will be able to download records from the OPAC. The ILS Team is exploring how this service can be enhanced.

Provide grants for equipment.
GPO does not have grant-giving authority. Other projects guided by legal agreements, may provide opportunities for libraries to receive equipment. GPO is working with the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff (UAPB) to test the feasibility of an Economic Development Program (EDP) for Federal depository libraries located in economically depressed areas. This pilot project, located in UAPB's Watson Library, seeks to create community awareness of existing Federal, state and county resources available for small business development in the local area. GPO has enhanced the depository's collections by providing a dedicated computer workstation and a customized Web page template with links to area economic development agencies, small business concerns and minority business services and opportunities.

Provide funding for depository librarians to attend one FDLP meeting per year.
GPO does have the ability to issue invitations to travel and will explore how this might be used to support attendance at FDLP meetings for documents librarians. GPO currently provides support to members of Council to attend the Fall Depository Library Conference and Depository Council Meeting and the Spring Depository Library Council Meeting. GPO has also provided support to representatives from the regional libraries for attendance at the regional meeting preceding the Fall Depository Conference last year and is doing so this year as well.

Provide allowance for travel to support training at selectives.
The intent of the Consultant Program is to place consultants in the field to bring the training to the selective depository libraries, both on-site at the hosting regional or depository library and at selective depository libraries within the consultants’ assigned regions.

Develop web and video based training modules.
The Office of Education and Development is planning to develop Web-based training modules covering the eight areas of the Instructions to Depository Libraries: Collection Development; Bibliographic Control; Maintenance; Human Resources; Physical Facilities; Public Service; Cooperative Efforts; and Regional Services. There will be capabilities to pre-test to determine existing knowledge and to post-test. The training will be available via the Internet twenty-four hours a day. An Interagency Agreement was recently finalized, which provides a mechanism for assisting GPO to produce Web-based tutorials and other training tools.

Digitization, preservation, legacy collections.
GPO’s mission is to provide comprehensive, timely, permanent public access to U.S. Government publications in all formats, which is carried out through the mandates of 44 U.S.C. Chapters 19 and 41. This is a period of continuous development and change, both within and beyond GPO as procedures and mechanisms have been developed to manage both our digital and tangible assets. In recent months meetings of experts were convened and plans were developed and made available for comment. Highlights are below:

The Collection of Last Resort (CLR) is comprehensive and includes publications of the Federal government, which are of public interest and educational value, regardless of format. Publications classified for reasons of national security and those produced solely for administrative or operational use are excluded by law from depository distribution. However, whenever possible administrative and operational publications will be acquired for the CLR, identified by metadata and included in the National Bibliography. Since the legal scope of the GPO Cataloging and Indexing Program is broader than that of the FDLP, some products will be included in the CLR solely because they are represented in the National Bibliography. The CLR will also serve as the repository for products from future GPO business initiatives. The CLR consists of multiple collections of tangible and digital publications, located at multiple sites, and operated by various partners within and beyond the U.S. Government. The CLR plan is online at:

The second edition of the FDLP EC plan 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.

This second-generation plan defines parameters and requirements for the EC, and refines the policy framework on which development and maintenance of the Collection are based. In managing the EC, the guiding principle that the public has a right of access to Government information prepared and published at Government expense is the same principle that has guided the FDLP throughout its history. The FDLP EC plan is online at:

GPO is encouraging the movement toward shared repositories, or shared housing agreements, that allow libraries to eliminate some of the redundancy among their collections. Though still in the early stages, these initiatives are very important since they assure active preservation of the government documents collections in Federal depository libraries by moving toward a smaller number of comprehensive sets of tangible publications that can be more readily preserved. GPO contracted with Center for Research Libraries (CRL) for the development of a Decision Framework for Federal Document Repositories that can be used to evaluate the level of assurance provided by such repositories based on their physical characteristics, resources, governance and other factors.“Federal Document Repositories: Decision Framework by Tangible Repository Type” is online at: This draft document is open for comment until November 1, 2004.

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 to ensure that the digital collection is available, in the public domain, for no-fee permanent public access through the FDLP. The project will ensure that the collection is digitally reformatted for preservation purposes. The digital preservation masters and the associated metadata will be preserved in the GPO electronic archive (in addition to any other places that the materials might be held) and there will be no-fee public access to the content through derivative files on GPO Access.

For more information on GPO’s digitization and preservation initiatives, including the Report from the Meeting of Experts on Digital Preservation and the digital priorities survey results, see

GPO could serve as a clearinghouse for digitization projects.
GPO has been working with the Government Information Technology Committee (GITCO) of ALA GODORT. GITCO is transferring their Clearinghouse of Government Documents Digital Projects to GPO. GPO developed a matrix that compares various digital registry elements.

Agree to take over a database of digital material if a library is no longer able to maintain the site.
Standard language to this affect is included in all Memorandums of Understanding that relate to “official content” to which GPO agrees.