FDLP Distribution and COVID-19: Updates and Information

The staff at the FDLP Distribution Facility in Laurel, MD, continues to work shortened hours and with limited staffing as they follow appropriate social distancing and COVID-19 prevention measures. Here are some updates to note:

  • If your library needs to make a change to its operating status, please completethe Notification Form. This form triggers GPO staff to begin or halt shipments. If your operating status changes, please resubmit the form as often as needed.
  • Upon resumption of shipments, libraries can expect a slow trickle of boxes, not a flood. It takes time to locate older shipments held in the warehouse. Shipments are mailed from oldest to newest.
  • Traditionally, all boxes would be mailed out on Fridays, no matter how full. At present, boxes are only mailed when the library has indicated that they can receive shipments and the box is full. As a result, libraries receiving fewer publications can expect an extended interval of time between receipt of boxes and shipping lists.
  • Since March 12, 2020, shipments have been held until a library notifies GPO that they are able to receive shipments again. Shipping lists are not mailed in exact shipping list order, but a rule of thumb is to identify that shipping lists 2020-0166-P to present were affected by the hold-shipments order.
  • Libraries needing shipping lists should consult Shipping Lists to see if the shipping list has been uploaded. FDLP Distribution staff are releasing shipping lists as soon as possible, however, new workflows are in place that alter how microfiche and separates are mailed. The new workflows, coupled with the fact that only 60% of libraries are accepting shipments at present, make it tricky to identify when to release shipping lists.
  • As you can see from published shipping lists, less material has been produced by Congress and Federal agencies since the start of the pandemic.
  • Claims for missing content are impacting Distribution staff who are working shorter hours. A number of libraries have filed claims for missing material, however, the shipment boxes are still backlogged in GPO’s warehouse. Please only file a claim for missing or damaged material found on shipping lists in boxes that your library has received. This will prevent unnecessary claims and receipt of duplicate shipments. Claim periods have been extended, and claims will be honored even after the traditional 60-day claim period window.
  • When GPO has completed the backlog, the FDLP community will be alerted, and normal claims and shipment procedures will resume.

Thank you for your patience as we work to safely address FDLP shipments.