Collection Policy | Item Selections | Adding/Deleting Item Numbers
Will It Come? | Shipping Lists | Claiming | Electronic Preservation
Format Changes | Fugitive Documents | Unfilled Claims | Purchasing Copies | Weeding

Traditional Cataloging | Locations/Inscriptions List | Finding Uncataloged Documents
MARCIVE Cataloging | Finding In-Process MARCIVE Publications

Biennial Survey | Inspection 2002 | Self-Study

Depository Libraries | Description | Electronic Guidelines
Instructions | Law | Manual | Regulations

Professional Support
Guides | Listservs | Organizations

Last updated on June 11, 2009

Collection Development

Collection Development Policy

Federal Documents Collection Development Policy

Describes the University of Michigan's clientele, both academic and statewide. Outlines the collection policy by subject and format, acquisition process, procedures for weeding and disposal, binding and preservation, public access and reference service. Revised in February 2002 in conjunction with the GPO self-study.

Location of Documents at the University of Michigan

Although federal documents are cataloged for various locations throughout the library system, they are concentrated in the Graduate Library/Documents Center, Map Library, Science, Media Union, and Public Health based on the agency and subject matter.

Art, Architecture and Engineering Energy, DOE, NUREG, AEC
Most EPA Publications
Weather, Transportation
Patent Depository, Standards
Govt Contracted Technical Reports
Most Pamphlets in Docs
Documents Center Historic Legislative Fiche
Basic Legal
United Nations Depository
ASI/SRI/IIS Microfiche
SUDOCS Microfiche and Pamphlets
Foreign Censuses
Graduate Library Documents in Social Sciences
Historic Censuses, Legislative Materials
Some European Union
Asian Development Bank
South Pacific Commission
World Bank
Map Library USGS, Defense and Oceanic Maps
Numerous GIS Programs, especially ARCVIEW
National Park Guides
Public Health Health Statistics, Hospital Administration
Most DHHS Series
World Health Organization
Science Water and Geology
Forestry and Fisheries
Some FAO and South Pacific Commission
Most Microfiche in Docs
Law Library
Separate GPO Depository
Administrative Law
Court Decisions
Foreign Legal Materials
League of Nations Collection
European Union Depository

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Item Selections

University of Michigan Item Number Selections

The most recent List of Classes (i.e. item number selections) for the University of Michigan appears in Excel format in the "sudocs" directory of the Documents Center web site. The list is arranged by item number and then by Superintendent of Documents classification number. Only University of Michigan selections appear. The most recent spreadsheet lists, for each SUDOCS number, the intended location (divisional library), format, and occasionally URL. The list is color-coded with changes made since the last MARCIVE profile. Codes include yellow (for location and format changes resulting in a location change), green (for additions), and hot pink (for discontinued titles.)

Documents Data Miner

Search the GPO List of Classes by agency, item number, SUDOC class stem, title, format (paper, fiche, CD, electronic), and status (active/inactive). Example: all CD-ROMS issued by the Labor Department. Indicates format; active/inactive; whether one library or other libraries are selecting the item number.

Additional Selection Tools

GPO publishes its List of Classes [] with all available item numbers. Item Lister provides GPO's official list of item selections. The University of Michigan's depository number (used with Item Lister) is 0278.

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Adding/Deleting Item Selections

ADDING AND DELETING. Under the new MARCIVE regime, the University of Michigan can delete our subscription to individual GPO item numbers twice per year and add them once per year. You can make your recommendations to Grace York at any time

She will note your decisions on Sheet 2 of the current University of Michigan item list and make the changes at the appropriate time.

DELETING ITEM NUMBERS. When you delete an item number, you delete all SUDOCS classes coming under that item number. You can check to see everything published under the item number by doing an item number search in the GPO version of the Catalog of Government Publications <>. If you decide you want to keep the item number but don't need one particular series issued under that item number, Serials Records can designate that series for the "green box," the depository disposal queue. The Detroit Public Library and Library of Michigan receive all item numbers and are convenient sources for referrals.

DISCONTINUED ITEM NUMBERS. Item numbers are automatically deleted from our profile when agencies discontinue titles. The item numbers are designated as deleted (hot pink) on our current item number list. You can also identify them by searching Web Tech Notes <>, a data base of item number changes since 1991. If all else fails, fill out an AskGPO Form []

NEW ITEM NUMBERS.GPO seldom surveys libraries to determine whether they would like to receive a new item number. Often it splits and existing item number and automatically gives publications under the new number to those libraries which received the old one. These are noted in GPO's Administrative Notes Technical Supplement under the Miscellaneous and New Item Number sections. Copies of the Technical Supplement are available at:

Grace York has been continuously monitoring item number changes since July 2002 and incorporating them into the spreadsheets appearing at I drive:/GROUP/U.S. Depository. Sheet 2 of the current spreadsheet is a cumulative list of new items numbers to be selected or deleted. When a divisional library does not want an item number appropriate for campus, the Graduate Library will often take it.

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Will It Come on Deposit?

You see an announcement for a new federal publication. Will it come through the depository program? The short answer: Don't count on it in paper. Approximately 60% of all government publications in on-line format are distributed to depository on the internet. See Superintendent of Documents Directive 71 []. If you can guess the item number from the name of agency, consult Item Selections [above] to determine the format. There is additional information on the GPO Online Migration [] web page. Otherwise, submit an Ask GPO ["] form.

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Fugitive Documents

Fugitive documents are regular unclassified government publications that should have come through the depository library program in tangible or electronic format. GPO was not notified of their existence so they do not appear in the Catalog of Government Publications. You can notify GPO of their existence through the Lost Docs [] web page.

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Shipping Lists

Publications sent through the depository program are shipped in boxes to Serials Acquisitions, 1 Hatcher North, although many maps are sent directly to the Map Library, 825 Hatcher South. Copies of the paper, microfiche, electronic, and map shipping lists are availablet through GPO []

Serials Acquisitions matches each shipping list to the contents of the box. It stamps the piece and inscribes both the item number and SUDOCS number on the publication. It then claims any publications which the University of Michigan selected but did not receive.

Shipping lists are retained for about three years so it is possible to trace whether a publication was received if you know the shipping list number. The shipping lists are not indexed but the information for monographs and monographic series should appear in the Catalog of Government Publications []. It is harder to trace an issue of a serial because of the Catalog of Government Publications does not list individual issues and their shipping list numbers separately.

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Serials Acquisitions automatically claims titles selected for the University of Michigan and appearing on a shipping list but not found in the box using the GPO Web Claim Form [] GPO titles go out-of-print quickly, so its success rate is questionnable. Serials Acquisitions cannot claim from GPO titles which never appeared on a shipping list, such as the November 2001 issue of X magazine.

Missing titles may have been discontinued. See Discontinued Item Numbers above for further details. GPO may have also changed the distribution format. See Format Changes below.

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Format Changes

Many paper titles issued in the mid-1970s had been shifted to microfiche distribution by 1980, and numerous paper or fiche titles have been shifted to internet only distribution since July 2000. Missing issues of serials may, in fact, be available in another format.

SERIALS FORMAT QUESTIONS.Any version of the List of Classes appearing under Item Selections will list the current format for serials. You can determine when the format changed by searching Web Tech Notes []

Changes as they occur can be monitored by browsing the Miscellaneous section of Administrative Notes Technical Supplement. To identify the URL for an electronic only serial, search Google's Uncle Sam [] or USAGov []

MONOGRAPHIC FORMAT QUESTIONS. The List of Classes (see Item Selections) may provide the format for monographs in a series but not for individual monographs. There is no easy way to predict depository format in advance. Your best resource is Catalog of Government Publications []. To identify the URL for an electronic only serial, search Google's Uncle Sam [] or USAGov []

ELECTRONIC PRESERVATION QUESTIONS. The Government Printing Office is committed to permanently preserving everything it official distributes to depository libraries in electronic only format since 2001. If it was also distributed in a tangible format, GPO does not ensure the electronic will remain forever. The best clue to permanent preservation is found by using a combination of New Electronic Titles [], the GPO Access Data Bases [], and the University of North Texas Cybercemetery [].

If you want something forever, download it yourself.

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Unfilled Claims

There are several options for obtaining copies of missing titles which were not filled by GPO. None of those options is perfect.

  • American Statistics Index Microfiche (Documents Center)
      Silver halide microfiche of every federal government publication containing statistics since 1978. Identify the availability through Statistical Universe

      Either borrow the microfiche from the Documents Center and print it out, or rely on the Documents Center to provide the microfiche upon patron request. Since 2007, most federal publications are also available on line.

  • Search the Web for electronic copies and print them off on acid-free paper. Our Preservation Department believes the laser printers and paper used within the library system are archival quality. Printing-on-Demand is a service being investigated by the Digital Library Project. You can identify web versions by searching Google's Uncle Sam [] or USAGov []

  • Submit a request to the Needs and Offers List []

  • Identify the publishing agency Federal Yellow Book [Doc.Ref. JK 6 .F2931] or the LSU List of Federal Government Web Sites [] and request a free copy.

  • Identify the title on OCLC's World Cat [;FSIP], borrow it on Inter-Library Loan [], and photocopy it. Most federal documents are not subject to copyright.

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Purchasing Copies

U.S. Government On-Line Bookstore

Searchable and browsable catalog of publications sold by the Government Printing Office. Occasionally GPO sales a hard copy of a publication it distributes to depositories online. Most often it does not sell any hard card copy of the publications it distributes in any format. Most orders should be submitted to Monograph or Serials Acquisitions. You can also use your library's deposit account. The Documents Center will use its own deposit account in case of an emergency.

National Technical Information Service

Sells historic and current technical reports on a one-off basis, either as blowbacks or microfiche. NTIS products are indexed by CSA's NTIS Index [] since 1964. Consult the Art, Architecture, and Engineering Library [] for purchase assistance.

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Weeding of publications stamped "Deposited by the United States" is subject to GPO and Michigan Depository Library Council regulations. In essence, all publications must be retained for five years unless they appear on GPO's superseded list or are replaced by another format which itself will be permanently retained.

Divisional library and Documents Center staff are welcome to weed superseded publications. Contact Grace York [] before weeding duplicates or other unwanted publications. The usual procedure would be to decatalog the document and send them to Grace. She would review them and then send them to Tom Hubbard for the disposal queue.

United States Documents Depository Disposal (Microsoft Word)

Disposal procedures for the Reference Assistant as of June 10, 2009. Includes links to disposal guidelines and issues raised by the introduction of MARCIVE.

Instructions to Depository Libraries: Maintenance

GPO's instructions on weeding federal depository titles.

Michigan Plan for Federal Depository Documents

Appendix E provides guidelines for disposing of depository documents, schedule of disposals (certain months for certain SUDOCS numbers), and a sample disposal list. A copy of Appendix E also appears in CTools. Appendix G is a request for exemption from disposal guidelines.

FDLP Guidelines for Substituting Electronic Versions for Tangible Versions of Depository Publications (GPO)

Depository libraries may ask permission from their regional depositories to discard tangible publications newer than five years if the electronic version is complete and permanent, as are the suggested titles on GPO Access.

Superseded List (GPO)


Depository publications which may be discarded when superseded rather than weeding after five years.

Status of Michigan Disposal Lists (LOM/DPL)

Excel spreadsheets for each disposal month since December 1998. Lists depository library number, the pages in the disposal list, and whether or not it has been reviewed by the two regionals.

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Traditional Cataloging through 2002

Cataloged in MIRLYN Partially Cataloged Uncataloged
Printed monographs
Printed serials
All CD-ROMS and DVDs
Monographs in Series
Microfiche serials
Electronic serials
Older Congressional hearings
New Congressional hearings
Microfiche monographs
Electronic monographs

Library Locations/Inscriptions

List of cataloging locations with their MIRLYN, RLIN and OCLC symbols.


Room 3175 Shapiro Science Library.

Location Changes for SUDOCS Pamphlets

Julie Grygotis

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Finding Uncataloged Publications

  1. Is it in MIRLYN?
      If you know it is a monograph in a series and you did not find the monograph in MIRLYN, check the series title.
  2. Is it Congressional?
      If you can verify it on Congressional Universe [], the Documents Center will at least have the microfiche if not the paper or electronic
  3. Does it include statistics and was it published after 1977?
      If you can verify it in Statistical Universe [], the Documents Center will have a copy on ASI microfiche. Statistical Universe may have the full text for federal documents beginning 2007 and international documents beginning 2008
  4. Is it on the Internet?
  5. Is it a technical report?
      Verify the title on the NTIS web site [] or in the NTIS Index on CSA NTIS Index []. Identify the report number and call the AAEL Library Reference Desk (647-5735) to determine whether it is part of the AAEL collection. Some NTIS documents, 1997-2000, are available on the NTIS Web Site [] with password access from the Documents Center. Many older reports are also available through the Defense Technical Information Center [] or DOE Information Bridge [].
  6. Is it an education document issued beginning 1964?
      It could very well be in ERIC []
  7. Is it an executive branch document issued before 1933?
      If listed in the CIS US Executive Branch Bibliographies (Doc.Cen. Z 1223 .Z7 C6411 and C65), the microfiche is also available in the Documents Center
  8. Can you find more information (size, format, series) in a bibliography?
    • Try verifying the title in
    • PAMPHLETS - Refer to Documents Center
    • MICROFICHE - Refer to Documents Center
  9. Can it be borrowed on Inter-Library Loan?

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MARCIVE Cataloging, 2003+

The University Library began purchase MARCIVE cataloging records for federal government documents beginning the week of February 17, 2003. The initial load included records from Shipping List 2003-077-M and Shipping List 2003-0113-P. There are two types of records: shipping list records with very brief cataloging and a SUDOCS number (available the same week as the shipment) and full cataloging records with SUDOCS number(available a month later). The full cataloging records will bump with shipping list records.

Records are being purchased for all monographs, monographs in series, and serials in paper, microfiche, CD, DVD, or internet only formats.

The initial profile of item numbers selected is available on the system drive: GROUP/US DEPOSITORY, The profile lists item number, SUDOCS number, title, and format. There are two location columns. The first is the final destination: Science, Media Union, Public Health, Maps, Documents, and Graduate. The shipping list records mounted in MIRLYN will have these locations as well as the SUDOCS number of the publication. In some cases, the Documents Center is listed as final destination, but Documents will be reviewing the title for redesignation to another library. It will take responsibility for having the destination on the record changed.

Serials Records will check monographic series to see if they can be recorded and then assign an LC call number to the record. Monographs over 25 pages and new serials will be sent for full cataloging. The LC call number will be inscribed on the record. CD-ROM monographs will be assigned an accession number. Records for electronic monographs will be automatically entered into MIRLYN.

We expect that most microfiche, pamphlets, and Congressional committee publications will be shelved in their final destination by SUDOCS number.

Many of the previously uncataloged microfiche monographs and serials are located in the Documents Center. Eventuall the staff would like to transfer older issues of microfiche currently received by a divisional library to the divisional location. Whether this material will be cataloged has not been determined. However, the divisional would be notified well ahead of the transfer. The list of microfiche in question appears at: system drive/GROUP/US DEPOSITORY/branchitem0702.xls.

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Finding In-Process MARCIVE Publications

    Item Selection Spreadsheet Instructions

    In-Process Tracking Spreadsheet
    I drive: GROUP/USDEPOS/sutrak.xls

FORMAT MIRLYN SUDOCS Location Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6
Microfiche DOCS or PUB Check divisional collection by SUDOCS number (and any DC filing backlog) Check MIRLYN - cataloged series location Check Serial Records (received? claimed? being held?) Inter-Library Loan
Microfiche AAEL Check divisional location by report number Check MIRLYN - cataloged series location Check Serial Records (received? claimed? being held?) Inter-Library Loan
Microfiche SCI, GRAD or OTHER Check MIRLYN - cataloged series location Check Documents Center by SUDOCS Number (and any filing backlog Check Serial Records (received? claimed? being held?) Inter-Library Loan
Paper DOCS Check divisional collection by SUDOCS number (Congressional, pamphlets, sutrak.xls, any offering backlog) Check MIRLYN - cataloged series location In-Process Locator (monographs and monographic series) Check Serial Records (claimed? green box, being held?) Inter-Library Loan
Paper PUB or MAPS Check divisional collection by SUDOCS number Check MIRLYN - cataloged series location Check Documents Center (pamphlets, sutrak.xls, any offering backlog) In-Process Locator (monographs and monographic series) Check Serials Records (claimed? green box, being held?) Inter-Library Loan
Paper AAEL, SCI or OTHER Check MIRLYN - cataloged series location Check Documents Center (pamphlets, sutrak.xls, any offering backlog) In-Process Locator (monographs and monographic series) Check Serials Records (claimed? green box, being held) Inter-Library Loan
CD-ROM or DVD ALL LOCATIONS Check Documents Center (any offering backlog and sutrak.xls In-Process Locator Check Serials Records (claims, green box, being held) Inter-Library Loan

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GPO / UMICH Communications

Biennial Survey

Biennial Survey: 2001 and 2005

Survey of University of Michigan collections and services sent to GPO online in November 2001 and November 2005. Note: this is a draft that was scanned into pdf.

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Inspection Report 2002

Evaluation of the University of Michigan's depository operations: collection development, bibliographic control, collection maintenance, public service, staffing, and cooperation. Recommendations for future action. Written by Kathryn Brazee based on GPO inspection, November 13, 2002.

Inspection Response 2003

Response to recommendations made in the inspection report. Includes inauguration of MARCIVE records, "later edition available" stamp, emblems in divisionals, and new Documents Center AskUs form. Sample MIRLYN record, stamp, and AskUs form not in this packet but faxed to GPO with the letter on March 27, 2003.

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Self-Study 2002

Fifty-nine page document outlining the University of Michigan's clientele, collection policy, bibliographic control, public access, and service policies. Submitted to GPO in February 2002.

Federal Documents Collection Development Policy

Describes the University of Michigan's clientele, both academic and statewide. Outlines the collection policy by subject and format, acquisition process, procedures for weeding and disposal, binding and preservation, public access and reference service. Revised in February 2002 in conjunction with the GPO self-study.

GPO's Evaluation of Self Study

Evaluation of the University of Michigan's self-study by Kathy Brazee, GPO Inspector. This report will be superseded by the final inspection report.

UMich Response of GPO's Evaluation

UMich response to GPO's self-study evaluation.

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Depository Library Program

Depository Library Program Description

United States Code, Title 44 - Public Printing and Documents. Chapter 19 - Depository Library Program

Legal basis for the federal depository library program. Publications included in the program, requirements for government agencies, GPO's responsibility for bibliographic control, designation and removal of depository libraries, and the role of regional depositories.

Keeping America Informed

Legal basis of the depository library program and brief chronology beginning with 1813. Number and types of depository libraries.

Depository Library Guidelines and Regulations

FDLP Desktop

Collection of GPO guidelines, processing tools, and locators for use by depository librarians.

Federal Depository Library Manual (GPO)

Chapter 1:Library Programs Service

Description of organizational structure and services.

Chapter 2: Collection Development

Writing a collection development policy that reflects user needs, format, accessibility, evaluation, cooperation with other libraries, and selective housing of depository publications in a non-depository library.

Chapter 3: Federal Depository Status

Types of depository libraries; how to become a depository and how to relinquish status.

Chapter 4: Public Services

Describes access, reference, and the concept of comparable treatment.

Chapter 5: Depository Collections

Collection policy statements; collection procedures.

Chapter 6: Technical Services

Receiving, claiming, cataloging.

Chapter 7: Public Access Assessments

Standards for providing public access to government information.

Chapter 8: Preservation

Establishing preservation priorities.

Chapter 9: Housing

Physical facilities and selective housing agreements.

Chapter 10: Staffing

Numbers, type and training needed.

Chapter 11: Collaborative Efforts

Partnership requirements between libraries.

Chapter 12: Regional Services

Regional depository libraries

Chapter 13: Transitioning Depository Libraries.

Change from paper-based to electronic depository library program.

Chapter 14: Disaster Preparedness and Recovery

Disaster preparedness plans and restoring a collection.

Chapter 15: Federal Libraries

Role of federal depository libraries in relation to others.


Appendix A: Suggested Core Collections

Suggested item numbers for small to medium public libraries, academic libraries, and law libraries. Arranged by item number with SUDOCS stem, title, and type of library for which it is appropriate.

Appendix B: Important for Library Administrators

Compilation of other sections of the handbook with information about library administrators.

Appendix C: Important for Map Librarians

Description of maps produced, selection considerations, processing requirements, catalogs, and claiming.

Appendix D: Sample Selective Housing Agreement

Appendix E: Acronyms, Abbreviations and Glossary

Instructions to Depository Libraries (GPO)

Practical information on designation and removal as a depository library, collection development, bibliographic control, collection maintenance, human resources, physical facilities, public service, cooperative efforts, and regional depository service.

Locate Federal Depository Libraries by State or Area Code(GPO)

Searchable by state or telephone area. Provides name of library, depository library number, address, phone number, fax number, and link to the depository's web page.

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Depository Library Public Service Guidelines for Government Information in Electronic Formats (GPO/Depository Library Council)

Guides include printing and downloading capabilities for the general public, reference service, and training. CD-ROM software that has not been loaded should be made available in a timely manner or the CD-ROM circulated. Depository libraries are encouraged to web pages. Background to this document is provided by discussions and meetings sponsored by the Depository Library Council <>


E-Competencies for Federal Depository Libraries and Librarians (GODORT Government Information Technology Committee)

List of computer competencies for all documents librarians, at least one documents librarian, and someone in the institution. Ranges from sending e-mail to spreadsheets, DOS commands, SAS, and GIS. Links to related GODORT projects.

FDLP Internet Use Policy Guidelines (GPO/Depository Library Council)

Guidelines provide for free public access to federal depository internet information in all depository libraries. Only one workstation is required. The user cannot be required to present identification, and filtering software must be turned off.

Workstation Specifications

LPS issues technical requirements, which all Federal depository libraries must meet in order to fulfill their obligation to provide access to electronic government information products. LPS also issues annually, recommended specifications to provide guidance to depsitory coordinators in planning new computer purchases.

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Professional Support


CD-ROM Documentation Project (University of Iowa)

Indexes federal and international CD-ROMS by SUDOCS number, item number, agency, title, and description. Information includes bibliographic history, description, relationship to other projects (including the internet), and any existing guides.

GODORT Handout Exchange, 1994+

Guides written by documents librarians throughout the country on using CD-ROMS, Internet publications, documents department administration, and social science subjects. Originally the handouts were submitted in text format. Numerous libraries are now placing their guides on the Internet so the Exchange links to their respective web sites.



Listserv for the technical processing of federal, state, or United Nations documents.

DOCWORLD-L, 1999-2004

Unmoderated listserv for discussing government documents librarianship in countries around the world.


Listserv for U.S. federal depository libraries. Over 1200 subscribers and approximately 10-20 messages per day. Often used for answering reference questions, sharing information about new publications, and offering significant publications free of charge for the price of postage.


Listserv for librarians interested in publications of international Inter-Governmental Organizations, such as the United Nations and European Union.

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Professional Organizations

Depository Library Council to the Public Printer

A 15-member panel which advises the Public Printer on matters affecting the federal depository library program. Recommendations cover indexing, classification, cataloging, distribution, format, storage, utilization and administration of depository material. The web sites provides recommendations and responses made since 1979, meeting minutes and reports.

Government Documents Round Table/American Library Association

News, reports, officers, and conference schedules. Links to individual task forces and committees which maintain their own web sites. The latter includes the Federal, International and State/Local Task Forces, Education, Government Information Technology, Legislation and Cataloging. Professional Resources links to journals and related professional associations.

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Grace York, Coordinator, Documents Center
University of Michigan Library
January 9, 2003
rev. June 11, 2009