|Vol. 25, no. 12-13||GP 3.16/3-2:25/12-13||November 15/December 15, 2004|
At its fall meeting in October 2003, the Depository Library Council identified a number of services/added benefits that GPO could provide to encourage depositories to remain in the Federal Depository Library Program. A report, titled Incentives Document, Progress Report: How's the Carrot Crop Doing? October 2004 , and located at http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/staywiththeprogram.html , summarizes developments and progress to date. One of the Council requests asked GPO to publish a memorandum concerning discard lists. The request, the GPO response, and the memorandum are reprinted below.
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.
UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT MEMORANDUM
REPLY TO ATTN OF: Chief, Depository Services
SUBJECT: Implementation of Disposition Policies
TO: Regional librarians
Under 44 U.S.C. §1912, "regional depositories may permit depository libraries, within the areas served by them, to dispose of Government publications which they have retained for five years after first offering them to other depository libraries within their area, then to other libraries."
Regional libraries were created under the Depository Act of 1962. While GPO expected that each regional depository issue written guidelines for discard to the selective depositories under their jurisdiction, the first documented guidance appeared in the 1974 Instructions to Depository Libraries. The language in these Instructions drew heavily from recommendations of the Depository Library Council to the Public Printer. The Guidelines for the Depository Library System, section 12, outlined responsibilities of the regionals as well.
Regional depositories require every selective depository to exhaustively list each document they are discarding including SuDoc number, title, and date per the Instructions. Many regionals also require depositories to number the lists. In conjunction with State Plans, some have implemented weeding schedules and only evaluate certain categories of documents during specific months. Many receive the lists electronically as well.
Regionals are expected to cull any documents missing from their own permanent collection in order to create a comprehensive one. This is particularly important for younger libraries designated regionals.
After regional library review, the lists are distributed to other libraries in the state and the materials can also be offered to depositories nationwide. Once this procedure is completed, the discarding depository can offer any remaining documents to non-depository libraries or recycle them.
This procedure is onerous for depositories. Compiling the lists of materials is labor intensive. It is difficult to find space for storing documents to be discarded for months until the lengthy procedure is completed.
1. Grant regional depositories greater flexibility, more latitude, and more discretion in the weeding process. The Instructions (1992) already state that "[T]he regional library should issue these special instructions with the concurrence of the Superintendent of Documents."
2. Allow regional depositories to permit discard of materials by visiting the library and "eyeballing" the items offered rather than requiring lists.
3. Allow regionals to issue "needs" lists in lieu of the "offers" procedure now in place. States in which libraries cooperate can create a union "needs" list for the state. Electronic communication can make this procedure very efficient.
4. Encourage regionals to follow the already approved "Cornwell method" for discarding microfiche [see attachment 1].
5. Allow regionals to list documents that (a) must always be listed and (b) should never be listed on disposal lists.
6. Create a list of "automatic discards" as part of the Superseded List that can be weeded after 5 years without listing.
In his memo of April 4, 1995 [see attachment 2], GPO's General Counsel stated that "[T]he six-point procedure...does not conflict with the controlling provisions of Title 44 as cited above....the manner by which this is accomplished would remain a programmatic decision for the Superintendent of Documents to make in consultation with regional and other depositories so affected. The inclusion of the newly agreed-upon and newly- adopted procedures in the Instructions to Depository Libraries or other advisory document also would be a decision for the Superintendent of Documents."
If you have any questions, please contact me by telephone on 512-1119; by fax on (202) 512-1432; or by e-mail at <email@example.com>.
SHEILA M. McGARR
February 1, 1993
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32611
Thank you for your memorandum of January 8 eliciting comments and advice regarding a proposed discard policy for Florida depository libraries. I have taken this matter up with the members of the Library Programs Service Inspection Team for review. These are our conclusions:
Under provision of 44 ~ 1912, "libraries designated as regional depositories may permit depository libraries, within the areas served by them to dispose of Government publications which they have retained for five years after first offering them to other depository libraries within their area."
The Instructions to Depository Libraries states, “The principle responsibility of a regional depository library is to ensure the comprehensiveness and integrity of the States' or region's depository resources.”
GPO advises the regional depository to pursue the following strategy:
1) Carefully define those areas of Federal information need within the purview of the selectives in Florida. This can be done by collecting the collection development policies in the area.
2) Authorize disposal based upon an analysis of the collection development policies of the libraries. The regional may find that it does wish to authorize disposal of certain categories of material in certain areas of the state.
3) Remain alert to staff changes in selective depositories in the region and insure that no bad advice is passed from one local depository staff to another.
Obviously, the purpose in doing this is to ascertain that the State is adequately served for Federal documents. How this is accomplished is the responsibility of the regional depository.
It is the view of GPO that the regional may legally authorize disposal of the material as suggested after the mandatory five-year retention period. GPO finds this policy generally acceptable, as long as the comprehensiveness and integrity of the region's Federal depository resources are guaranteed. Consequently, GPO would appreciate the regional's response on how meeting this requirement would be accomplished.
GPO is aware of the financial exigency facing depository libraries, and appreciates the effort the regional depository is taking to relieve selectives of some of the administrative tasks of documents librarianship. However, GPO advises the regional to proceed cautiously with this policy. Although the Directory will be issued biennially, there is a concern at GPO that the institutionalization of the discard process as described may become accepted and common practice among the selectives in its jurisdiction. This could foster a misunderstanding among selectives about the legal requirements for disposal. The concern is based on the presumption that once a library has regularly discarded the material, it may be difficult to re-instate disposal policies more commonly practiced among regional depositories and more in line with the requirements of the Instructions. Such procedures as the one proposed are easily inherited among depository staff and could lead to problems of illegal disposal of the documents. GPO would hate to see entire microfiche collections in the region served by University of Florida to be "Zuckered."
If I can be of any further assistance to you about this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me at (202) 512-1119.
SHEILA M. McGARR
Chief, Depository Services
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
The University Libraries
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA 32611
January 8, 1993
MEMO TO: Shelia McGarr
FROM: Gary Cornwell
RE: Disposition of Microfiche
The University of Florida libraries are in the process of revising our biennial Directory of Federal Document Depositories and Resource Information for F1orida and the Caribbean. A major section of the directory is our Instructions to selective depositories for preparing disposition lists.
As the regional for Florida and the Caribbean, we are seeking GPO's approval to allow selective depositories in our region to discard microfiche without offering it on disposition lists. Currently, selectives in our region are devoting considerable staff time to the preparation of these lists which we as the regional are essentially not even reviewing. (Nor are the other selectives in our region.) It is our policy to supply all libraries in our region with fiche copies of depository documents at no charge. Those documents which we are occasionally missing are easily obtained and copied for our collection on an "as identified" basis. Given the staff and budgetary problems affecting virtually every library in our region, it seems much more prudent for available staff to spend their time servicing their depository collections rather than preparing these lists.
If approved, it would be our policy to:
1) Allow selective depositories in our region to discard microfiche copies of depository documents after they have been retained for 5 years without offering them on disposition lists.
2) Libraries discarding large runs or sets of microfiche documents, such as DOE microfiche, must receive permission from the regional before discarding. The regional would reserve the right to require selectives to prepare disposition lists for this or any other type of material.
3) The regional would continue to supply all libraries within our region with microfiche copies of depository documents at no charge.
4) The regional would supply selective depositories in our region with claim copies of depository documents whenever possible.
5) The regional would continue to obtain replacement copies of missing microfiche as needed.
6) Selective depositories would continue to prepare disposition lists for paper depository documents as directed in our instructions to depository libraries.
I realize that you continue to be the bearer of many hats, but I hope that this request can be easily and expeditiously resolved so that we might proceed with the publication of our "Directory." Thanks in advance for your help and support.
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
DATE: April 4, 1995
ATTN OF: General Counsel
SUBJECT: Implementation of Disposition Policies for Depository Library Publications
TO: Chief, Depository Services
This responds to your memorandum to me dated March 27,1995, concerning the statutory requirements and procedures for the disposition of Government publications distributed by GPO to Federal depository libraries. Specifically, you have asked this office to review a six-point plan developed by Depository Services, which is designed to facilitate the disposal of Federal documents by depository libraries in a manner that would prove less cumbersome to the individual libraries while at the same time insuring full compliance with the applicable provisions of Title 44, United States Code.
Depository libraries which are served by regionals must retain for 5 years all publications selected and received through the Depository Library Program. 44 U.S.C. § 1911 (1976). As stated in your memorandum to me, Section 1912 of Title 44 authorizes regional depositories to "permit depository libraries, within the areas served by them, to dispose of Government publications which they have retained for 5 years after first offering them to other depository libraries within their area, then to other libraries." Of course, the rule for regional depositories is far more prohibitive in that Section 19-12 requires them to accept and retain, on a permanent basis, copies of all Government publications "(except those authorized to be discarded by the Superintendent of Documents)."
The six-point procedure outlined in your March 27 memorandum does not conflict with the controlling provisions of Title 44 as cited above. Provided the individual depositories retain their Federal collection for at least 5 years and dispose of eligible documents (with the permission of their regionals) only after making them available to other depositories and then to any other libraries in their region, the manner by which this is accomplished would remain a programmatic decision for the Superintendent of Documents to make in consultation with regional and other depository libraries so affected. The inclusion of the agreed-upon and newly-adopted procedures in the Instructions to Depository Libraries or other advisory document also would be a decision for the Superintendent of Documents.
You have requested a meeting with me to discuss your memorandum and my response on this matter. Should you believe that a meeting is still necessary, feel free to contact me on 20033 to schedule a time prior to next week's Depository Library Conference.
ANTHONY J. ZAGAMI