Selective Housing Agreements (SHA)

What is a Selective Housing Agreement (SHA)?

A depository library may selectively house a portion of its depository publications or materials at other libraries or institutions, including other depository libraries and storage facilities.

Institutions must submit a written Selective Housing Agreement to GPO when depository materials are placed in institution(s) outside the depository director's authority. Since the depository material is Federal property and subject to FDLP regulations, the depository library must work with the housing partner or storage facility to create a SHA to ensure continued public access to the materials.

Typical arrangements include:

  • Depository library houses material at a non-depository library
  • Depository library houses maps at another institution with a map collection
  • Depository library sends legal material to a law library
  • Depository library houses materials in offsite storage managed by someone other than library director
  • Depository library sends health related materials to a hospital library
  • Regional depository library housing “regional” copies in selective depository[ies]

A SHA outlines the partner’s responsibilities to provide for free public access and also to maintain the records for and materials in the depository collection.

The selective housing site must make depository publications available for public use in a timely manner and must display the FDLP eagle emblem on or near their entrance to demonstrate that the general public may access the FDLP collection housed at that site. For storage facilities that are not publicly accessible, all involved parties must educate/inform the public about the availability of these depository materials and how to access them.

It is the responsibility of the depository library to ensure that selective housing sites follow the rules and regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program. Selective housing sites must be made aware of and provided with appropriate FDLP information. All depository materials remain the property of the U.S. Government and all libraries must adhere to FDLP public access, maintenance, and public service requirements. For more information on access to FDLP materials, see Access to Collections.

Creating your SHA

For an example of the information typically included in a Selective Housing Agreement, see the SHA Template. SHAs must be sent to Library Services and Content Management (LSCM) at GPO and the regional depository library. All final documents should be submitted to GPO for review and approval and kept on file by all parties. Please contact LSCM at GPO for consultation about complex SHAs or those including library consortia.

Your agreement may have to go through your campus/library legal department and may result in an official Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Maintenance/Dissolution of the SHA

Libraries are encouraged to routinely review selective housing agreements to assess continuing need, ensure that procedures are followed, and maintain documentation and awareness.

If a selective housing agreement is terminated, provide written notification to LSCM at GPO, the regional depository library, and consult with the regional depository library to ensure proper review and disposal of depository materials. For an example of a dissolution notification, review the Selective Housing Dissolution Template.

LSCM GPO Contact Information

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