Summary of Responses to a Survey of Regional Depositories About Publication Discards

GPO queried regional depository coordinators to learn the status of current publication weeding review processes in their states or regions, in order to help provide the best support at this time.

The request for response was voluntary. The survey was open between September 17 and October 28, 2020.

The summary and spreadsheet results (14 KB) are informational and represent a snapshot in time. If you are at a selective depository library and are starting or resuming a weeding project, you are encouraged to contact your regional depository for the latest direction and process.


  • 31 out of 46 regional depository libraries responded.
    • 28 reported they were performing routine depository publication discards processing.
    • 3 reported they have not yet resumed routine processing. GPO is aware that some regional depositories are in a position where they need more time to ensure support for the process, which may include sufficient staffing levels or implementation of new publication handling practices, before recommitting to this regular activity.
  • 18 of the respondents use the FDLP eXchange in their process. In order to better help GPO gauge when to revert FDLP eXchange to normal review periods, we asked about current usage of the eXchange.
  • 23 respondents provided comments.
    • Some libraries are operating with reduced staff or reduced staff time in the library to compare selective requests with the regional collection holdings, which has slowed the process.
    • Because of the slower process or potential for it, several regionals have maintained extended review periods in the FDLP eXchange. One respondent specifically requested that the extended review periods be kept as an option at this time.
    • Responses about current weeding activity levels varied. Some regionals reported that:
      • They are currently seeing fewer selective depository requests for regional review.
      • They have resumed review of requests submitted before the pandemic started.
      • They have returned to normal processing workflows. One respondent in a large state indicated that they returned their FDLP eXchange review periods to a shorter review time to help accommodate the amount of weeding requests.
    • 4 respondents specifically mentioned that they support national offers of publications in the FDLP eXchange, meaning that there may be national offers available in the tool at any time.