Skip to Main Content
FDLP Resource Guides
Beginning summer 2023, we are updating our guides. You may notice changes to the look and feel of our existing guides. If you have any questions or experience any issues, please contact askGPO.

FDLP Content

FDLP Content Regulation

FDLP eagle emblem

Depository libraries must provide access to FDLP content. Although you select and collect the content for your library’s collection that best meets your patrons’ needs, you should be familiar with U.S. Government content in the FDLP in order to provide the best assistance with access to U.S. Government information.

From Legal Requirements and Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program, page 4:                                               

  • 8. The foundation of a depository library collection includes both tangible (e.g. print, microfiche, CD-ROM/DVD) and online content. Depository libraries must provide access to FDLP content, including:
    • Publications selected, distributed, and received through the Federal Depository Library Program.

    • The FDLP Basic Collection,

    • Publications available through official FDLP partnerships,

    • Online publications cataloged in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP), including publications found in the Federal Digital System (FDsys) [GovInfo]; demonstrated through a combination of cataloging, creation of Web pages, or integration of online material into traditional library finding aids such as subject guides.           

See Legal Requirements and Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program, page 4 for additional regulations related to depository collection development.      

At your Depository Library

Official FDLP graphic showing the FDLP eagle logo and "FDLP Federal Depository Library Program"

Provide access to all FDLP content  and  catalog or point to the content that is most useful to your library's patrons.

Tangible Resources

The only resources that a Federal depository library must select by item number and catalog are the tangible publications.

Depository resources that you have selected in paper, microfiche, CD or DVD-ROM, or other tangible format, housed in your library or at selective housing sites. 

  • To acquire new depository tangible resources, your library selects these by item number. 
  • If you wish to acquire additional copies of new tangible resources, you may wish to contact the issuing Federal agency or GPO’s U.S. Government Bookstore.
  • To acquire older tangible resources, you may identify and acquire resources from other libraries through your state’s or region’s depository publication review process, the FDLP eXchange, or other method, such as posting on a listserv.
  • Tangible depository resources are typically identified as depository with a date and property stamp.
  • One copy of each tangible depository resource is Federal property so must be managed and, if you choose to do so, deaccessioned properly through your regional depository library.

If your library doesn’t have a tangible depository publication, you may request it via interlibrary loan from your regional depository or other libraries or acquire it through the FDLP eXchange.

Your Library's "Online Collection"

Each depository library “develops” an “online collection," a group of online Federal information products that the library determines best meets the Federal Government information needs of the community served.

  • Item selection of these resources may be useful, dependent upon library workflow, but it is not required.
  • The collection is made visible and promoted to the user community through activities such as cataloging or inclusion on library web pages or guides.
  • Reference and other public services are provided for the online resources.
  • Public services and activities to promote visibility are naturally focused on the areas that take advantage of the subject expertise of the library and that best meet the information needs of the community. 

Depository libraries must provide for the public access of online only FDLP depository resources. Your library staff will assist any patron in locating needed online U.S. Government publications in the FDLP. These resources are available through the CGP, GovInfo, and partnership resources.

  • You may select many online depository publications by item number, but you do not need to do so to provide access.
  • Some resources, such as those in official content partnerships, the FDLP Web Archive, or in CGP MetaLib, are not available for selection by item number.

A depository library today may develop a 100% digital collection.  More about online only publications is described in “All or Mostly Online Federal Depository Libraries”.