FDLP

FDLP eXchange Tips of the Week

Each week, GPO will bring FDLP eXchange users a new tip to help you navigate FDLP eXchange.

Recent Tips

Tip 38: Live Site and Training Site

There are two FDLP eXchange sites: the live site and the training site. The live site is the official site. Once items are submitted, the discard process starts, and items are available for review. Items submitted in the training site, on the other hand, are never part of the discard process. So, it is the perfect tool for practice, testing, or training.

Both sites have the same functionality, and follow the same processes. However:

  • Each site has its own password.
  • Account information, review periods, and other information are set separately in each site.
  • Items submitted in one site will not be included in the other.

To access the live site, go to: https://exchange.fdlp.gov

To access the training site, go to: https://training-exchange.fdlp.gov

If you have questions, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tip 37: Using FDLP eXchange in States with More than One Regional

Many states have more than one library serving as a regional. These regionals manage discards in many different ways, all of which can be done using FDLP eXchange. As with single-regional states, it is up to the regionals to determine the discard process for selectives.

There are two important things for multi-regional states to do when using eXchange:

  1. Have a plan. There are numerous ways that regionals in these states divide discard responsibilities, whether by topic, call number, geography, or something else. It is important that all regionals in the state must agree on how discards are handled in eXchange. Communication and planning are key.
  2. Make sure review periods are consistent. The eXchange system will allow each regional to set different review periods, but it will not work correctly for selectives unless all regionals have the same review periods set. This applies to both regional and selective review periods.

If you have any questions or concerns (or if you want to discuss best practices and options for multi-regional states), feel free to reach out to FDLPOutreach @gpo.gov.

Tip 36: Monthly Scheduled Maintenance

Once a month, the FDLP eXchange training and live sites undergo system maintenance. This is done to ensure that both websites are fully-functional and technically up-to-date for user access. The maintenance takes place between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m (Eastern). If you attempt to use either of the sites during this period, you may not be able to access the usual features of eXchange.

As a way to prepare users for monthly maintenance, brief messages are posted to both the training and live sites. Also, related FDLP email News Alerts are sent to all subscribers. For questions or concerns, contact GPO at FDLPOutreach @gpo.gov.

Tip 35: Creating Accounts

In FDLP eXchange, there two types of accounts: Administrator Accounts and User Accounts. Both user types can enter needs and offers into the system. However, while needs and offers entered by Administrators move immediately into the Regional Review Phase, those entered by Users must first be approved by an Administrator before moving on to the Regional.

It is up to each Depository Coordinator to determine which staff members should be Administrators, and which should be Users. It is recommended that staff who currently submit discards without supervision be made Administrators, and those whose lists need approval be made Users.

Libraries can have several Administrators and Users, but there are different processes for creating these accounts.

Library Administrators

Administrator accounts must be created by GPO. To request an account:

  1. Send request to askGPO with the name and email address of the staff member to be added as an Administrator. (Note that the request must come from the Depository Coordinator.)
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  3. Select Category- Federal Depository Libraries- FDLP eXchange
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  5. We will create the account and notify the Coordinator and the new Administrator.

Library Users

Library users can be added by any Administrator.

  1. Go to Library Account- My Library. Scroll down to User Accounts and Add User. Note that from this page, you can also Deactivate and Delete Users.
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Administration of Your Account

There are two types of accounts in FDLP eXchange: My Library and My User Account. These can be found in Library Accounts at the top of the FDLP eXchange page.

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My Library contains information about your library, such as your library name, number, and address. It is where you will see the review periods that have been set by your regional and where you set your national needs and offers preferences. All of your library’s administrator and user accounts can be viewed here. The information contained in My Library applies to all users at your library.

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My User Account contains information that is specific to you as a user. It is where you update and maintain your email address and password and where you choose your notification options. The information contained in My User Account applies only to you.

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If you receive a notification that your FDLP eXchange account has been inactive for 90 days, there is no need to worry. For more information on this, please see Tip 7.

Additionally, please note the following:

  1. Having an inactive account will NOT lock you out of FDLP eXchange. 
  2. No action is required by you when you receive the email.
  3. We understand that eXchange is not a tool that everyone uses regularly, and we are working to extend the length of time it takes for accounts to go “inactive.”

If you receive a notification that your FDLP eXchange account has been inactive for 90 days, there is no need to worry. This is a standard notification that all users get when accounts are not used for 90 days, and it does not affect your account in any way.

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We understand that FDLP eXchange is a system that is only used as needed, which may mean it is not used for months at a time. Because of this, we would like to provide the following tips:

  1. The notification emails can be ignored and deleted with no repercussions. Your account will not be affected in any way.
  2. Log on/log off your account every 1-2 months to prevent notifications. You will not need to do anything in your account- just log on, then log off.

        Tip 7.2                  Tip 7.3    

If you have questions, Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

As with many computer systems, FDLP eXchange has a security feature that will lock your account after a number of unsuccessful login attempts. This helps prevent unauthorized users from hacking into your account, but it can also cause you to be locked out of your account if you forget your password. To avoid this, GPO recommends that you use the “Request new password” tab to reset your password after four unsuccessful attempts to login when you have forgotten your password.

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On the sixth failed attempt, you will get the error message below.

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Should you get this message, your account will be blocked for six hours. GPO does not recommend using the “request a new password” link at this point. Instead, GPO recommends waiting six hours before resetting your password. At that point you can reset your password and resume normal.

Should you need immediate access to your account, you can use the “request a new password” link in the error message. However, you should be aware that doing so will allow you to reset your password and access your account, but you will need to remain logged into your account for six hours to avoid being locked out of your account. If you change your password and log out sooner than six hours later, you will be locked out of your account and will not be able to reset your password at that time.

In the event that you do get locked out, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further assistance.

Separate accounts are set up for each user in FDLP eXchange. Accounts are always set up with the user’s email address as username. Passwords are created by each user during the first login.

Follow these instructions to login for the first time and create your password:
Go to https://exchange.fdlp.gov / training-exchange.fdlp.gov and select “Request new password.” Enter your e-mail address in the Username bar. You will receive an e-mail shortly with instructions on setting your password.

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Here are some important things to remember about usernames and passwords in FDLP eXchange.

  1. You have to set a password for both the production site (https://exchange.fdlp.gov) and the training site (training-exchange.fdlp.gov). You can create the same password for both accounts if you want, but you will need to go through the set up process for each site.
  2. Each individual user has a unique account and password.
  3. Depository numbers and internal passwords are not used in FDLP eXchange.
  4. Sometimes password e-mails get stuck in SPAM filters or junk mail folders. If you do not get your password e-mail, check there first.
  5. If you do not receive your password e-mail and it is not in your SPAM or junk mail folder, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will send you a temporary password.
  6. When setting up User Accounts for your staff, make sure to use their e-mail address as username. This will make it easier to update accounts if necessary.

There are two types of accounts in FDLP eXchange: library administrators and library users.

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Library users can enter items into the eXchange, but those items must be reviewed and approved by a library administrator before they can be sent for regional review.

Library administrators can review these items by selecting “Approve Items for Submission” under the Library Account tab.

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The library administrator will see all items that have been entered by library users and can submit them to the regional for review, edit them, or delete them.

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It important to remember that items entered by library users are not sent for regional review until they have been submitted by a library administrator. Library administrators should check their queue regularly to be sure that they do not have items pending review.

Library administrators can set up library user accounts for staff who will be entering items into the eXchange but who do not have the authority to submit to the regional. Examples of users could be student workers, volunteers, or any staff member who needs occasional access but does not bear primary responsibility for disposition processes in your library.

During implementation, library administrator accounts were established for all coordinators as listed in the Federal Depository Library Directory on April 2, 2018. A coordinator can request that other staff members be added as administrators by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please note that the request must come from the Depository Coordinator.


Needs & Offers

Requirements are different for needs and offers, since offers are always made for items that are in-hand, and needs are often more flexible.

  1. Document Title
  2. This is required for both needs and offers. The title should be as complete as possible, but partial titles are accepted.

  3. Classification Type and Document Number
  4. This is required for both needs and offers. You can include full classification numbers or stems.
    Note that matches are made on the complete document number as entered. When only the stem is used, it will only match another record where only the stem is used. This could cause matches with different items, so using the full document number will yield the best results.

  5. Does this item contain multiple pieces?
  6. This is required for offers only. If you select yes, a Multiple Pieces Note field will open up so you can describe the items in more detail.

  7. Publication Date
  8. This is required for both needs and offers. If an offer is less than five years old, remember to add a note in the Note field to let your regional know why the item is being offered.
    You can enter a full date (month, day, year), month and year, or just the year.
    An option for “I don’t have a Date” is also available if you are unsure of the publication date.
    Only the publication start date is required. Publication end dates should be used when inputting a range of items.

  9. Format
  10. This is required for both needs and offers. However, if you are entering a Need, you can select multiple formats.

  11. Condition
  12. This is required for offers only. You can click on See Definitions for explanation of condition parameters to help you determine conditions. While not required for needs, more than one condition can be selected for them.

  13. Shipping Date
  14. This is only required when uploading needs or offers via spreadsheets. See Tip 5 for more information on this.

Remember to consult the Data Dictionary if you are uploading a spreadsheet. This will help ensure that you are using language that the system will accept.

There are two types of accounts in FDLP eXchange- User Accounts and Administrator Accounts (see Tip 19). Only items entered by an Administrator go directly into Regional Review. Anything entered by a User must first be approved by an administrator.

To do this, administrators must be signed in to their own accounts. Under Library Account, there will be an option to Approve Items for Submission.

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You can also do this from the Dashboard by selecting Submit Items for Review.

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You will get a list of all items that have been submitted by your library’s users. From here, you can choose to submit the items, edit them, or delete them. This can be done item-by-item, and submitting or deleting can also be done in bulk.

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There are a two important things to remember about Approving Items for Submission.

First, items do not enter the process until they have been submitted by an administrator. Nothing can be requested, passed on or disallowed by the regional until it has been submitted. This can increase weeding time, so it is important for administrators to regularly check and submit items input by users.

Second, it is not required that libraries have User Accounts, and multiple Administrator Accounts are avaiable. Limiting User Accounts to those staff members who need more supervision can save you a lot of time.

To add admisitrators to your account, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Needs and Offers Repository in FDLP eXchange allows you to see needs and offers posted by depositories throughout the FDLP, even if they do not match with items you have entered into the system. It is a good tool for discovering not only what is available, but also for seeing what other libraries need.

If you have an item available that another library needs, it is easy to copy that item so that your offer will be an exact match to the need. From the Needs and Offers repository, simply go into the item view of the need you want to copy by clicking on the title in the list view.

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From the item view, select Copy Item, Copy item and create a new Offer, and Submit. (Note that you can also do this to create a new need if you see an item in the Needs Repository that you would also like to have.)

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This will bring up the manual input form, with most of the information from the need prepopulated. You will need to add format and condition information based on the item you are offering. Once you submit the offer, it will be an exact match to the original need and will match with the needing library when it becomes available to them.

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It is important to remember that your offer is not guaranteed to reach the needing library since it still must go through the Regional and Selective review periods set by your regional. If the needing library is your Regional, it will match immediately. If the needing library is in your region, it will match when it reaches Phase 2- Selective Review. If the needing library is outside your region, it will match when it reaches Phase 3- National Needs & Offers. (For assistance setting up a National review period, see Tip 1.)

Tip 18 described how to offer serials and multi-volume sets as ranges. As noted in that tip, serials and multi-volume sets can also be offered as individual items.

The main benefit of offering serials and multi-volume sets individually is that it allows for better matching because the complete SuDoc number is entered for each item. Since the matching works on the full number entered in the offer, you will get more precise matches by using the complete SuDoc number.

Offering serials or multi-volume sets as individual items can also save time when offers are requested, as each item is removed from the system once transferred. Since offers cannot be edited after they have been submitted to the system, ranges entered as one offer may become inaccurate if part of the range is claimed while the rest remains available. This may require additional communication with libraries wishing to claim parts of the range that have already been claimed and are no longer available.

To simplify the process for those libraries that prefer to offer individually, FDLP eXchange has a “Duplicate Offer” feature.

For example, if you are offering State for 1989, input the January issue first.

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Once this has been submitted, you will be given the option to “Duplicate Offer.”

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Selecting this option will take you back to the manual input page already filled in with the information you previously provided. Simply make the necessary changes for the next item. Continue this process until each item has been entered.

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You can also do this for items already in your offers list by using the “Copy Item” button available in the item record in “My Offers” under “My eXchange”.

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Items that are serials or part of multi-volume sets can be offered via FDLP eXchange in two ways. They can be entered as individual items or as ranges.

When using the Manual Input feature in FDLP eXchange, you select “Yes” when asked if the item contains multiple pieces. When you do that, a Multiple Pieces Notes box comes up, and you can add any pertinent information there.

In the example below, a range of the publication State is being offered. The range includes years from 1981-1995, with some missing volumes. The missing volumes are listed in the notes box.

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Ranges can also be used when uploading an offers or needs spreadsheet. Simply add the range information to the Multiple Pieces Notes field.

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Please note that the Publication Start field should be used to indicate the date of the first piece in the range and the Publication End field should be used to indicate the date of the last piece in the range. Missing issues or gaps in the range should be included in the Multiple Pieces Notes field. Unlike cataloging records which include all dates a title was published, offers of ranges should only include the date range of what is being offered.

If you find that it is difficult to locate your current offers in My Offers because there are a number of expired offers appearing in the list, try filtering by status to only show your current offers. The screenshot below shows an unfiltered list in My Offers.

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When you use Filter by Status, you can select as many statuses as you wish. Checking the boxes next to the current statuses will ensure that you only see what is currently in process.

Tip 9 filter by status

The screenshot below shows the same list in My Offers after it has been filtered to only show offers in current statuses.

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The original list also shows offers in the Allowed to Discard status, so filtering by status would provide a list of items ready for discard to use to complete the process for those items.

The same process works for filtering My Needs.

If you want to look at your own library’s needs or offers in FDLP eXchange, there are two places to do so. The first place is My eXchange, where you can search for your own needs, offers, and requests you have made.

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You can also search for your own needs and offers on the Advanced Search page.

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Here, you can conduct a search by subject, SuDoc, keyword, date, etc. and limit results to your library’s needs or offers by selecting “Only show results from my library” in the Posting Library Field. (Bonus tip- you can also view limit your search of needs or offers in your region the same way.)

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Please note that your own needs and offers do not appear in the Needs and Offers Repository, which provides access to other libraries’ needs and offers via browsing and basic searching. To review your own needs and offers, you will need to use My eXchange or to Advanced Search.

FDLP eXchange is a tool designed to make discarding depository materials easier for libraries. However, it is important to remember that requirements and processes for discarding have not changed with the release of eXchange.

  • Regionals still establish discard policies and procedures for their regions. They determine whether a region will use eXchange, what can be discarded, and how long review periods are to be.
  • Offers must still follow the established review process of: regional first, selectives within the state second, then national offers.
  • Limits on discards in states without a regional continue to apply.

With this in mind, FDLP eXchange was designed to pass offers through three distinct phases before becoming eligible for discard.

  1. Phase 1- Regional Review is the period in which a regional library reviews all offers and determines whether or not to pass, disallow, or request all items being offered in the region. The time period allowed for this phase is determined and set by the regional library. Selective libraries will not be able to change the review period.
  2. Phase 2- Selective Review is the period in which selectives review all offers from within their own region that have been passed on by their regional. The time period allowed for this phase is also determined and set by the regional library. Selective libraries will not be able to change the review period.
  3. Phase 3- National Offers is the period in which all depository libraries will review offers that have passed through Phases 1&2. Whether or not materials are offered nationally, and for how long, is determined by each individual library. This is done under “Library Account—My Library.”

To offer nationally, the checkbox “Offer Nationally?” must be checked and a time period must be selected. Review periods range from 0-90 days.

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There are a few important things to note about National Offers.

  • Libraries are not required to offer nationally. However, it is strongly encouraged as the practice helps other depositories build their collections.
  • All depository libraries are eligible to post offers nationally, whether or not their region uses FDLP eXchange for regional and selective review. If you are in a region that is not currently using eXchange, contact us and we will set up your account accordingly.
  • The default in eXchange is to not offer nationally, so if your library does want offers to go through this phase, you must go into “Library Account—My Library” and check the box indicating this preference.

If you have any questions about review periods, or need assistance with setting up your account for national offers, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Dates in eXchange

Every record in FDLP eXchange contains a “Posted” date as seen here.

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When viewing a match, it is important to remember that there are two records involved: one library’s need and another library’s offer. If your library posted the need, the “Posted” date you will see is the date your need was posted. For the same match, the library that posted the offer will see the date the offer was posted. Assuming that the need and the offer were posted on different dates, each library will see different “Posted” dates.

The “Posted” dates will never affect matching or progression through the different phases in the system. They are simply there to help you keep track of when items were entered into the system.

Because five-year retention of materials is a core rule of the FDLP, we originally made shipping date a required field in FDLP eXchange.

However, we soon learned that this requirement might place too much of a burden on our users. In many cases, especially on very old documents, shipping dates are not always readily available. The requirement has also caused problems with regional-approved electronic substitution, supersession, and offering duplicate copies.

We have been able to remove the requirement in some input procedures but not others. Removing the requirement from the remaining input procedures is on our list for potential future development.

In the meantime, we have come a few solutions to mediate any issues you might have.

    1. When MANUALLY inputting offers, “Shipping List Date” is no longer required (as indicated by the lack of an asterisk.) If you prefer to do so, you can click “Item doesn’t have a date” here.

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  1. When uploading a Spreadsheet, use “01/01/0000” as the Shipping Date for any items you do not have a shipping date for.
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If you have any questions about shipping dates, or continue to have problems after using these work-arounds, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further assistance.

Miscellaneous 

Tip 34: Setting Your Notification Preferences

FDLP eXchange allows each user to determine what they want to be notified about and how they want to be notified. You can opt to be notified when you are allowed to discard an item, when you have received a new message, when a match is accepted or completed, and more.

You can also choose how you want to be notified: by email or in the system. If you choose email, then you will receive notifications in your email. If you choose system, you will see the notification icon at the top of your screen activate.

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To set your notifications, go to “My User Account” under “Library Account.”

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From here, you will be able to select which notifications you want to receive, and how you want to receive them.

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Tip 33: New FDLP eXchange Web Pagess

FDLP eXchange web pages have been updated to make them easier to use. Instead of one page, there are now five pages broken out by function.

FDLP eXchange (landing page accessible from any page on FDLP.gov under the Collection Tools menu at the top)

This page is an easy place to access all the eXchange pages. It also provides direct links to both the live and training eXchange sites.

FDLP eXchange Instructions

This page provides a description of eXchange sites and access to instructional resources including: the Data Dictionary, templates, guides, videos, webinars, and guidance.

FDLP eXchange Application Development

This page includes information on the future development of and enhancements to FDLP eXchange. Here you can see planned enhancements, potential future enhancements, and known issues. Access to recordings of virtual discussions of future development can also be found on this page.

Tips of the Week

This page provides access to all Tips of the Week. The most current tips are featured, and past tips can be browsed by topic.

FDLP eXchange Archived Project Page

This page includes background information on FDLP eXchange.

Did you know that you can specify which of your needs are for disaster recovery or digitization? From the manual input page, just select “Yes” for either option (or for both.)

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When you do this, your Needs will be designated with a symbol for either Disaster Recovery (a red cross) or Digitization (a blue computer.)

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These designations can also be used as filters in both the Advanced Search and the Needs and Offers Repository. The disaster recovery filter allows you to see what libraries who have suffered a disaster need to replace. If you have an extra, you can copy an offer to potentially match. Similarly, you can use the digitization filter to see what others need for digitization projects. (See Tip 22- Copying Needs as Offers for more information.)

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There are a few bulk actions that were included in FDLP eXchange to decrease users’ workloads. Based on user requests, GPO is investigating enhancements that will provide additional bulk functionality.

There are currently two types of bulk actions available to use in FDLP eXchange.

  1. Inputting Needs and Offers: Needs and Offers can be uploaded into the system in bulk using a spreadsheet. See Tips 23, 29, and 30 for more information.
  2. Regional Review: Regional libraries can either accept or pass items submitted by selectives in bulk. This can be done from the Review Offers page. Note that disallowing items cannot be done in bulk, because it is assumed that Regionals will provide selectives with reasons for disallowing, and each will need to be done individually.

Planned enhancements include the ability to change status on items to include:

  1. Mark as Discarded
  2. Mark as Kept
  3. Mark as Mailed
  4. Mark as Received
  5. Mark as Removed

Additionally, GPO is working to provide the ability to mark other libraries’ offers in a search results list and request those items in bulk.

When uploading large spreadsheets (typically 250 or more items), errors are not indicated in the same way they are for smaller spreadsheets. For these uploads, you are not taken to a screen that shows and allows you to fix errors. Instead, all error-free items are sent automatically into the system and a separate spreadsheet is generated for items with errors.

If this happens, you will get a screen like this telling you that items failed to import:

To access the new spreadsheet, click on “Download list of items that failed to import.” You will then be able to fix the errors, save, and upload into eXchange. Note that this will look different depending on which browser you use.

Here are examples of what this looks like in the most common browsers:

Chrome

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Firefox

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Internet Explorer

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Please note: if you navigate away from this page without downloading the error file, you will not get another chance to download it.

Do you have questions about how eXchange works, what some features are all about, or how to perform a particular activity? We plan to continue Tip of the Week, but want to make sure we are addressing the topics you want to know about.

Also, if you need training for your staff or a consultation on a particular problem, let us know that too. We can set aside some time for a virtual session to guide you through the process with a focus on your library.

Finally, if you would like to receive eXchange training for your region or another large group, we can help. Virtual training sessions make it easy to reach libraries all over the country. Participants don’t even need to all be in the same location.

If you have suggestions for Tip of the Week or if you would like a consultation, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you would like to set up training, fill out a Request for GPO Participation form.

If you have questions about how to perform specific tasks in FDLP eXchange, be sure to check out the series of task-based videos. These short videos provide instruction on how to use various function in FDLP eXchange, including getting started, messaging, and uploading spreadsheets.

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Please note that there have been some interface changes since these videos were created, so some things may look slightly different compared to what you see on the site. The videos are currently being updated to reflect those changes. These updates will be announced as they occur.

If you have a lot of offers, needs, or requests in My eXchange, it can be cumbersome to scroll through the entire list. Tip 24 described how to simplify this task by filtering and sorting your offers, needs, or requests. Tip 25 continues by describing how to search My eXchange by keyword or classification number.

From the My eXchange page, select Offers, Needs, or Requests. You will see options for searching by keyword or classification number.

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Here, you can limit your search to only those items that contain a certain keyword, classification number, or SuDoc stem. This can be helpful if you are working with a specific part of your collection and only want to see pertinent items.

There are a few things to keep in mind when searching.

  • Classification searches are not limited to Superintendent of Documents classification.
  • Searches are string-searches and not left-anchored. So, if you search for “A,” you will get results for all items that have “A” rather than only those that begin with “A.”
  • Truncation and wildcards are not used in either keyword or classification number searches.

The search feature can be used in conjunction with the sort and filter features discussed in Tip 24 to make using My eXchange even more manageable.

If you have a lot of offers, needs, or requests in My eXchange, it can be cumbersome to scroll through the entire list. This is especially true if you only want to see items from a current date, SuDoc stem, status, etc. Filtering and sorting your offers, needs, or requests can make this task simpler.

From the My eXchange page, select Offers, Needs, or Requests. You will see options for filtering by Status and for sorting by Title, Classification #, Posted date, Status, or Phase.

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To filter your list, select one or more statuses to include. You will then only see those items with the status(es) you chose. This is a good option to use if you only want to see items with a few different statuses.

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If you want to see all items in a list, but want them grouped together by status, the Sort feature is the best option. To use this, you simply click on the word, and the list will sort accordingly.

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You can also sort by Title, Class #, Posted date, and Phase. Only one sort works at a time, so you cannot sort by Status, then Date.

You can, however, use a combination of Filter and Sort. First, you would filter by Status, then Sort by Date (or whatever you wish to sort by). This will allow you to see items with specific status(es) listed by date, class #, etc.

For many users, uploading spreadsheets is the simplest and most efficient way to enter needs and offers into FDLP eXchange. However, there are things to keep in mind to simplify the process and prevent errors.

Making sure that spreadsheets are properly formatted prior to uploading is the first and most important step. When you try to upload a spreadsheet that is not formatted correctly, the system will not accept it. If your spreadsheet contains 250 items or less, this will be indicated with an error message. When you get to this screen, you can check the box that says “Only show entries with errors.” Then you can fix the errors and submit into eXchange.

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However, if your spreadsheet contains more than 250 items, this step is skipped. Instead, items without errors are automatically entered into eXchange, and those with errors are put into a new spreadsheet, where you will be able to correct them and resubmit.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when creating spreadsheets to help ensure a successful upload:

  1. Use the templates for uploading needs or offers lists. Required fields in the templates are indicated in bold. Make sure that these fields are filled in for each item in a spreadsheet.
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  3. The eXchange system requires that that information be entered in a specific way. For example, classification type should be input as “SuDoc” rather than as “Su Doc,” “SuDocs,” or “Superintendent of Documents.” The Data Dictionary spells all of this out and is a good resource to keep on hand when creating or reviewing spreadsheets.
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  5. Do not add any formatting to the template. This includes:
    • Adding cover sheets
    • Using more than one tab per upload
    • Hiding, merging, or deleting columns or rows. If you are not using a non-required field, leave it blank, but do not remove the column.
  6. If you are using a spreadsheet created from a report run from your ILS, make sure that all date fields contain a single date or year. Remove all brackets, ranges, etc.
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  8. Make sure classification numbers are in the correct format and without extra characters or symbols.
  9. If you make all these changes and your spreadsheet still does not upload, copy and paste into a clean template. Sometimes there are formatting changes that are not apparent.

Entering offers (or needs) as a range can reduce the amount of data entry required to post to FDLP eXchange. However, there are some nuances in the matching to keep in mind. In general, you will be less able to rely on the automated matching when entering ranges. When entering a range, you should enter as much of the SuDoc classification as possible to apply to the range offered or needed. In most cases, that will be the stem. For example, you could offer the 1981-1985 issues of the title State as shown below.

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If a library was seeking issue 272 from 1984 and had entered a need as a single issue, they would have entered the SuDoc number as “S 1.118:272.” Even though this falls within the range of issues you are offering, the system would not match the other library’s offer to your need. This is because the match looks for an exact match of the full SuDoc number as entered, and “S 1.118:” does not exactly match “S 1.118:272.” In this case, relying on the matching function to catch the match would mean that neither library would be aware that material needed by one library was being offered by another. Either the library needing the issue would need to find the offer in the Repository, or the offering library would have to find the need in the Repository in order to make the connection to transfer the material.

Conversely, if another library also posted a need for State, but needed 1995-2000, they would also use only the stem in the Classification field in their need. Although your offer is for a different date range, you would get a match in that case, because both the offer of the 1981-1984 issues and the need of the 1995-2000 issues would have exactly the same SuDoc number (S 1.118:) in the Classification field.

If your library collects heavily in certain subjects, FDLP eXchange Advanced Search can be used to search for available items by topic or keyword. Moreover, the Saved Search feature can simplify collection development by allowing you to load and run these searches on a regular basis so that you make sure you review everything available in your subject areas.

For example, if your library has a strong Aviation collection, you could search for all offers of aviation materials that are currently available to you by searching for offers with the keyword “Aviation.” You can limit by format, date, condition, class stem, or anything else that meets your needs.

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You will then be able to see items about aviation that are currently available to you. You can then save your search by naming and saving the search.

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Once saved, you can load and run the search regularly, making it easy to search for items on the topics that interest you. To do this, simply hit “Load this Search,” then “See Results.”

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You can set up your FDLP eXchange account to notify you about any number of activities. However, if you have too many notifications, it can cause the system to time out when logging on or otherwise diminish system performance.

If your account times out because there are too many notifications, you will see a message like this:

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Here are some tips for setting and maintaining your notifications.

1. Set your account to only receive those notifications you really want. Go to My Account

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Set your preferences.

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2. Clear your notifications once you have read them. Go to Notifications.

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Mark all notifications as “read.”

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If you continue to have problems after clearing your notifications, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Matches in FDLP eXchange are made solely on SuDoc number. For this reason, it is recommended that complete SuDoc numbers be used in order to accurately match needs and offers.

However, this only applies to common SuDoc patterns. There are some items with unusual patterns that are not accepted by the system when the full SuDoc is entered. This includes Senate and House Journals (XJH:[Congress]-[Session]/PT. [Part #]; XJS:[Congress]-[Session]).

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Because the patterns for these classification numbers are so different, the eXchange system will not accept them as valid numbers if they are complete. This will be fixed in future development. In the meantime, this can be worked around by including only the stem for these items.

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You can then add a note in the Additional Notes field to indicate which items you are offering or you need.

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If you have questions about submitting House and Senate Journals or any other items with unusual SuDoc patterns, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Some users have expressed confusion about how to use the “Postage” field in FDLP eXchange. While we are looking at ways to clarify the wording used in the system, there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. The question “Postage Reimbursement Available?” is asked when entering needs or offers manually. A column named “Postage Reimbursement” is on both the needs and offers templates for bulk upload.

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This is not a required field in any of these instances and can simply be ignored.

2. If you want or need to include postage information in your need or offer, remember that the question applies to whoever is posting the need or offer. In other words, the question is asking whether or not YOU can pay postage, rather than whether you need SOMEONE ELSE to pay postage.

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Clicking “yes” means that whoever posted the need or the offer is able to pay postage on an item.

3. Sometimes there are limits on the ability of the posting library to pay postage. In these cases, it is recommended that you either leave the field blank, or select “yes” and then add a note in the “Additional Notes” field. This option is available for manual input and uploading either needs or offers.

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Check the “Offer Nationally” box to offer materials outside your region after following regional procedures to offer within the region.

The default when FDLP eXchange was launched was to leave the box unchecked, so libraries that want to offer nationally will need to change that setting to enable offering outside their region in FDLP eXchange.

To verify that the box is checked, login to FDLP eXchange, then choose “My Library” from the Library Account menu. If the box has been checked, you will see “Offer nationally?: Y” on the Library Account page.

If you see “Offer Nationally?: N” and want to offer your materials outside your region, click the Edit tab and scroll down until you see “Offer Nationally?” with a check box to the right. Click the box so that a check mark appears in the box. Then use the drop-down menu below “Time to Offer Nationally” to select the number of days that you want to offer the material outside your region. The default is 45 days.

If you have materials in the system that have not expired from Phase 2 (review by selectives in your region), changing this setting will ensure that they are offered nationally after they have been offered through your region. Anything that has already expired from Phase 2 will not revert to Offer Nationally. To offer those titles outside your region, you will need to re-enter them after checking the box.


Libraries in eXchange 

Some users have noted that the “Library Name” field in their library record in FDLP eXchange contains both their library name and institution name, while the “Parent Institution” field only contains the institution name.

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Information in this field was pulled from the Federal Depository Library Directory (FDLD), but in most cases, the Library Name field in FDLP eXchange has been edited to include both the library name and the parent institution. This was done because the Library Name field is used in the drop-down menus for the “Filter by library” library function. The “Filter by region” function also uses the Library Name field, utilizing the regional depository’s Library Name to identify the region.

When the original training site was launched in October 2017, GPO discovered that using the library name alone made it difficult to identify libraries in the drop-down filters in many cases. For libraries with common library names, such as “Library,” “Main Library,” “Law Library,” etc., it was difficult to identify which of multiple listings was the one to use when filtering. This was also problematic for libraries named after individuals, which might not be easily identified by other libraries without the associated parent institution information.

For this reason, when FDLP eXchange was launched for full production use, GPO included both the library and parent institution in the Library Name field. The only exception would be for matters of redundancy. For example if the “Cincinnati Public Library” had “City of Cincinnati” as the Parent Institution in the FDLD, then the Library Name in FDLP eXchange was left as “Cincinnati Public Library.” The institution name was left as it was in the FDLD in all cases.

Users are able to edit this information in their library records. GPO recommends that any editing of this field be done with the ease of identification in the drop-down menus in mind. Changes to library names in FDLP eXchange do not impact the listings in the FDLD, and the FDLD remains the system of record for this information.

 

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