FDLP Quickstart Guide

If you are new to the FDLP, the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) welcomes you. This guide is intended to help you get started with your library’s Federal depository operation.

First Steps

Identify Basic Information about Your Library’s Depository

Federal Depository Library (FDL) Number
Found in the FDL Directory and on the inside flap of depository shipment boxes. The number includes leading zeroes and may contain a letter at the end, for example, 0463B. Each FDL number is unique. Even if you never receive a shipment, it is important that you know your depository library number so GPO can accurately identify the correct library in communication.
Designation Date and Type of Designation
Both designation date and type of designation can be found in the FDL Directory. If the designation date field is blank, GPO does not have the original designation documentation.
Passwords and Accounts
Passwords give you access to a variety of applications and services. Contact GPO if you are unsure of your FDLP passwords and accounts. More information about passwords can be found in the Passwords  and Accounts Used by Depository Libraries article.
Your Regional Depository Library
A list of regional depositories can be found in the FDL Directory. Regional depositories are responsible for developing and managing a comprehensive Federal depository collection and for providing reference and interlibrary loan services to selective depositories within the state or region. They also play a leadership role for all Federal depositories in the state or region and are very good contacts when you have questions about depository collections or depository management issues.

Update Federal Depository Library Directory Information & Subscribe to FDLP News and Events

  • If you are the newly designated coordinator for your library, review your library’s entry in the FDL Directory. As the depository coordinator, you need to keep the directory entry up-to-date.
    • If you are the new depository coordinator and the previous coordinator did not update the FDL Directory with your information, contact GPO through askGPO and request a Directory update. This will trigger an email giving you a login to askGPO. You will then be able to log in and edit the Directory yourself.
  • Sign up for the FDLP News & Events email service, the official FDLP communication source, or follow its RSS feed.
    • New depository coordinators are automatically subscribed to the list after they are added to the FDL Directory as their library’s coordinator

Next Steps

Read Requirements and Guidance

Your library accepts specific obligations with Program participation. Read the Legal Requirements and Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program and the associated Guidance.  A summary document is also available for download: Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the FDLP at a Glance.

Learn about Item Numbers and How to Modify Your Library’s Selections

Learn about Your Library’s Depository Operation

Locate or identify:

  • Collection housing locations, including selective housing sites.
  • Local procedures for collection processing and management.
  • How FDLP content in all formats is identified and made accessible at your library. For example, cataloging, a shelflist (card catalog), or combination of the two.
  • Information related to library staff involved in the depository operation and their roles.
  • How your library promotes and makes depository resources and services visible.
  • Documentation relating to your library’s depository collection. FDLP documentation includes Biennial Survey of Depository Libraries submissions, assessment or inspection reports, and any official selective housing site agreements or other memorandum of understanding.

Plan for FDLP Training

GPO offers training through the FDLP Academy to help you learn about the FDLP and U.S. Government information resources. Opportunities include:

  • FDLP webinars and webcasts
  • FDLP Coordinator Certificate Program
  • Depository Library Council Meeting and Federal Depository Library Conference Proceedings
  • Regional  or individual depository library consultation and other training
  • FDLP Depository Operation Training Series (DOTS) webinar series

Ask Questions

Feel free to reach out to GPO. We’re happy to be of assistance.

Other helpful sources of information include:

  • Your regional depository library
  • Non-GPO listservs, for example, GOVDOC-L or DocTech-L

For Regional Depository Library Personnel

  • Notify GPO of Regional depository coordinator changes.
  • Sign up for Regional-L. 
  • Identify depository publication discard processes within your state or region.
  • Locate your State Plan or State Focused Action Plan (if created).
  • Locate the administrative files at your library about the selectives under your purview.
  • Determine if there is a communication channel for depositories within the state or region.
  • Notify the selectives of a change in depository personnel within the state or region.
  • Identify local training or groups involving depositories within the state or region.
  • Identify any specific housing arrangements or special agreements for housing the regional depository collection.
  • Identify your National Collection Service Area (NCSA).