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Depository Management

The Federal Depository Library Handbook contains the requirements that all depository libraries must follow. This section of the FDLP Desktop provides resources that will assist you in administering your depository operation to be compliant with the Handbook. These include guidance for establishing policies, resources and tools to help you build your collection and services, and a location from which to conduct business with GPO.

Access Issues | Collection Development | Conducting Business with GPO
Electronic Guidelines | Practical Guides | Promotion of Depository
Self-Studies & Inspections | Working with Your Regional
Policies That Should Be In Place | Publications With Which You Should Be Familiar

Access Issues

Free access to the resources of the depository collection by the general public is a fundamental obligation that all Federal depository libraries share (except the highest State Appellate Court libraries). Access policies, posting of signs, and public service hours for depository patrons must conform to this requirement.

Collection Development

One of the most important responsibilities of the documents coordinator is to build the depository collection. A majority of libraries that are designated depositories have, as their primary mission, a commitment to serve a particular patron group (student, judges, etc.). While these libraries focus collection development most closely on the needs of their primary patrons, the Government information needs of the general public must not be ignored.

Conducting Business with GPO

Every depository library should have one person who is designated as the coordinator who serves as a point of contact for GPO. This person should communicate with and respond to requests from GPO as necessary and ensure that the library's entry in the database is correct.

Electronic Guidelines

While the transition to a more electronic Federal Depository Library Program has expanded the information resources available to depositories, it has also provided challenges to those who administer depository collections and provide service. To provide guidance and to ensure access to all Government information, it is sometimes necessary to issue new policies and guidelines.

Guides to Best Practices

These resources provide suggestions for workable solutions to the day-to-day challenges of administering a depository operation and providing service in an ever-changing environment. The contents are not meant to prescribe methods of operation but rather offer options to be adapted the needs of your library.

Promotion of Depository

Public service begins with public awareness. Depository promotion needs to extend to all potential user groups. This includes library staff, primary clientele, and citizens of the U.S. Congressional district or relevant region. Depository outreach into the surrounding communities should be ongoing. Any activity that increases the visibility of the depository, its resources and its services is encouraged.

Self-Studies and Inspections

The basis for the inspection program lies in 44 U.S.C. § 1909, which requires the Superintendent of Documents to conduct investigations of depository libraries "where need is indicated". The self-study process was implemented to aid in this process while providing librarians an opportunity to critically review their depository operations.

Working With Your Regional

GPO encourages cooperation among depositories, but it is especially important that there be a good working relationship between selectives and their regional depository librarian. Among the areas in which Regionals play an active role are the designation and termination of depository status, inspections, electronic substitution of publications and disposal of materials.

Policies That Should Be In Place In Your Library

Sample policies may be found at the GODORT Handout Exchange. The Handout Exchange web site is sponsored by the Education Committee of the Government Documents Round Table, American Library Association and maintained by Grace York, Documents Coordinator, University of Michigan.