Cataloging Record Distribution Program

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) was requested by the Depository Library Council and FDLP libraries to distribute GPO-produced cataloging (bibliographic) records to libraries in the FDLP.

As part of funding received from H. R. 1105, the Omnibus Appropriations Act of FY 2009 (P. L. 111-8), a portion was allocated to support GPO’s Cataloging and Indexing (C & I) program and distribute cataloging records to depository libraries.

GPO established a two-phased project to determine the most efficient way to distribute cataloging records. Distribution of the records is provided to depository libraries free of charge. Depository libraries can use these records to populate their online catalogs, which will create greater access to tangible documents in depository collections and electronic documents available from U.S. Government Web sites.

Project Phases

Phase 1: Pilot Phase

Initially, GPO contracted with MARCIVE, Inc. to distribute MARC21 cataloging records to participating libraries from GPO’s Integrated Library System (ILS). Then, in late 2009, 48 depository libraries were selected to test the new record distribution process. The pilot was designed to run for one year (October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010) and would help GPO determine if the distributed records were compatible with depository systems and workflows.

During the course of the pilot, GPO surveyed the pilot libraries and modified processes based on lessons learned. The goal of the pilot was to determine if the processes in place would support record distribution to all depository libraries. A summary report of the initial pilot was released in fall 2010.

Phase 2: 1st and 2nd Year Implementation

Based on the success of the pilot, GPO implemented an expansion of the record distribution process, which is currently underway. In October 2010, the first year of implementation began, with 75 libraries participating in the program. Record distribution continues to be a success, and a second implementation year will continue from October 1, 2011, slated to end September 30, 2012. Participation will remain at 75 libraries.

Record loads cannot be tailored for libraries in a consortial catalog; however, individual depository libraries may request services in this project.

GPO’s Cataloging Data

GPO cataloging data consists of MARC records for U.S. Government documents published by all three branches of the Federal Government, such as:

  • Books
  • Serials
  • Maps
  • Audiovisual materials
  • Computer files
  • Streaming videos

These materials are cataloged by GPO staff. The cataloging records are viewable in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP).

The majority of records are for English-language materials, but GPO catalogs any documents in any language used by the publishing agency. GPO is a member of Program for Cooperative Cataloging (PCC), including participation in CONSER, BIBCO and NACO and catalogs records according to required standards for participating libraries. The majority of records will either be encoded as full-level or abridged level. Other encoding levels may be used depending on the availability of cataloging copy, the use of surrogates, etc.

All records have a corresponding OCLC record number EXCEPT records from the GPO Historic Shelf List. GPO currently uses the separate record approach to cataloging, which means that there will be an individual cataloging record created for each format of a publication, with a 776 MARC field link to all other formats.

Record Distribution

On average, GPO catalogs approximately 2,200 titles per month. Records are provided to libraries based on each library’s selection profile by MARCIVE using File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Retrospective records (records prior to October 2011) are not available.

Records are distributed in batches once a month from MARCIVE. The initial batch of records, which will be distributed in November 2011, will include October 2011 data. Records will be distributed for one year (November 2011 through October 2012). Libraries may select one of the following options for their record distribution:

  • All new records in the set according to their program profile.
  • All new records, plus changed or updated bibliographic records.
  • All electronic or (EL) only records according to their CRDP program profile.
  • All GPO Historic Shelflist records, as they are created by GPO. Select one option:
    1. All records cataloged.
    2. All records by agency (e.g., All A’s = All records from the Department of Agriculture or all Y’s = All Congressional Documents). No further breakdown will be offered by SuDoc stem. You can profile for multiple agencies.

In order to utilize the records, library staff that are familiar with MARC records and have the ability to batch load records into your library’s ILS/OPAC are required.

MARCIVE will announce record availability, quantity of records, and location where they may be retrieved. More information can be found on the FDLP Community site. Once announced, libraries have two weeks to retrieve records via FTP.

The Cataloging Record Distribution Program (CRDP) Profile

Libraries are entitled to make up to two cataloging specification updates to their project profile between October 1, 2011 and October 1, 2012 through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The project profile is separate from any existing MARCIVE profiles your library may have, and also separate from GPO Item Lister, so normal depository distribution shipments will not be affected. Keep in mind that MARCIVE monitors libraries’ item selections (drops and adds) by regularly reviewing the GPO Item Lister data. Therefore, requests for changes to distributed records through the Cataloging Record Distribution Project are only required if significant distribution or customization changes are required to your library’s project profile.

Returning libraries that participated in the pilot are entitled to one additional change at the start of the new project term (October 2011). Contact MARCIVE for these changes at the beginning of the project.

Record Customization

Bibliographic records are provided based on a library’s selection profile with a limited scope customization service. Libraries can choose the following custom options:

  • Changed or updated full GPO cataloging records;
  • Historic Shelf List cataloging records (brief records);
  • Libraries may choose how the record sets are organized. For example, they can be separated by format (e.g. serials only, microfiche only, EL only, etc.), or they may be one file;
  • Creation of item record holding fields (if desired);
  • Creation of holding codes based on format (if desired);
  • Placement of OCLC and SuDoc numbers and designated MARC fields according to local practice; and
  • Record sets in MARC 8 or UTF-8.

Excluded Services

The following services will NOT be provided:

  • GPO acquisition records (Brief Bibs);
  • MARCIVE Shipping List Service (SLS) Records;
  • Barcodes/smart barcodes;
  • SuDoc Number Labels;
  • MARCIVEWeb Docs access (database offered by MARCIVE);
  • Setting of library holdings in OCLC;
  • Bibliographic records created by GPO prior to October 2011;
  • Authority control services;
  • Custom reports; and
  • MARC records profiled by other criteria not in the Project.

Participation Requirements

Participating libraries are required to:

  • Complete the program profile.
  • Identify points of contact for the program, i.e. catalogers or systems personnel and the library’s Depository Coordinator, and notify GPO of any changes.
  • Retrieve cataloging records via FTP.
  • Review and analyze the cataloging records within two weeks of availability.
  • Load the records based on local protocols to your ILS/OPAC and test the results.

Libraries participating in the program will be expected to have a continuous and open dialogue with GPO about the record distribution service, including the success and effects of the project; workflow issues; et cetera. Throughout the course of the program, GPO will be gathering feedback from the participating libraries.

How to Discontinue Receiving Records

Libraries that choose to stop receiving records and end their participation in the program should contact GPO as well as This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Records received during participation in the program may be retained by the library.

Questions and Technical Assistance

Questions or comments about the program should be submitted to GPO using askGPO. Please select the category “Federal Depository Libraries” and the subcategory, “Cataloging Record Distribution Project.”

Technical support is provided by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Use the FDLP Community site to talk with GPO, MARCIVE, and participating libraries about the program.

Participating Libraries for FY2013

  • Arizona Western College / NAU - Yuma Academic Library
  • Arlington Public Library System
  • Calvin College, Hekman Library
  • Cleveland State University School of Law
  • Colorado Mesa University - Tomlinson Library
  • CSU, Northridge
  • Dalton State College
  • Davenport Public Library
  • Davidson County
  • District of Columbia Public Library
  • Downey City Library
  • East Central University
  • El Paso Public Library
  • Elizabeth Public Library
  • FBI Library
  • Florence Williams Public Library
  • Gardner-Webb University
  • Grand Rapids Public Library
  • Harford Community College
  • Harvard College - Lamon Library
  • Henderson District Public Libraries
  • Inglewood Public Library
  • Jackson State University
  • Lake-Sumter Community College Library
  • Lamar University - Mary & John Gray Library
  • Langston University
  • Lied Scottsbluff Public Library
  • Loras College
  • Marquette Law
  • Marshall University
  • Monroe County Library System
  • Nashville Public Library
  • Nebraska Library Commission
  • New Jersey State Library
  • Oakland University
  • Oklahoma Department of Libraries
  • Olivet Nazarene University
  • Orange County Public Law Library
  • Oregon State Library
  • Rider University
  • Rogers State University Library
  • Rutgers University, Newark Law Library
  • San Francisco State University
  • Sarah Lawrence College - Esther Raushenbush Library
  • Schoolcraft College Bradner Library
  • Shawnee State University
  • Shepherd University
  • Southeastern Oklahoma State University
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • St. Mary's University Law Library
  • Stetson University College of Law
  • Stony Brook University
  • Tennessee State Library and Archives
  • Troy University
  • Tulsa City County Library
  • University of Central Oklahoma
  • University of Dayton
  • University of Georgia School of Law
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Davis Library
  • University of Northern Iowa - Rod Library
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Virginia's College at Wise
  • UTN Knoxville Law
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • Valley City State University
  • Washoe County Law Library
  • West Chester University of Pennsylvania - Francis Harvey Green Library
  • West Texas A&M
  • West Virginia State U
  • Western Kentucky University
  • Western State College of Colorado - Leslie J. Savage Library
  • Youngstown State University