FDLP

Implementing the Regional Discard Policy Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I, as a regional coordinator, need to notify the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) that I am discarding the titles on the Eligible for Discard List?
  2. Can anyone from a regional depository library submit a request to discard depository materials?
  3. Can any tangible format (paper, microfiche, CD, etc.) of a title be discarded in accordance with the Regional Discard policy implementation?
  4. How many Preservation Stewards have to be identified for a title before the title is eligible to be discarded?
  5. How will GPO and other libraries know where the four maintained copies will be located?
  6. When can a title be physically discarded by a regional depository library?
  7. I just saw an announcement that the Public Papers of the President is eligible for discard by regional depository libraries. Do I have to discard these from by depository collection?
  8. Is there a binding agreement for Preservation Stewards?
  9. What happens if there are four geographically dispersed preservation copies of a title and a library no longer wishes to remain a Preservation Steward? Will regionals still be able to discard the title?
  10. Might GPO consider approving a discard request if there are not four Preservation Stewards?
  11. Does material on the superseded list need approval from the Superintendent of Documents before a regional library can discard?
  12. Does the Regional Discard Policy have any effect on the discard procedures of selectives?
  13. Is there a requirement that regionals tell their selectives they intend to discard materials? Or can the decision be a unilateral one?
  14. How should, and how long must, a regional offer the title to their selectives and other libraries before they can discard?
  15. If a regional depository library discards a tangible item, are they required to update their catalog with the digital record?
  16. Where can I find out more information about the regional discard policy, the process, and ask questions?

  1. Do I, as a regional coordinator, need to notify the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) that I am discarding the titles on the Eligible for Discard List?
    Yes, regional depository libraries must submit a request to discard a title to the Superintendent of Documents. Please follow the instructions for submitting a request to discard, which are on the submission form. Materials cannot be discarded until you receive authorization from the Superintendent of Documents.

  2. Can anyone from a regional depository library submit a request to discard depository materials?
    No, the request to discard must be submitted by the regional depository coordinator, the same person who is identified in the Federal Depository Library Directory. If the person in the directory is no longer the depository coordinator, please login to the directory and update your library’s entry with the current coordinator, or acting coordinator. If you are having trouble logging into the FDLD to make these updates, contact GPO at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

  3. Can any tangible format (paper, microfiche, CD, etc.) of a title be discarded in accordance with the Regional Discard policy implementation?
    Yes, a request to discard may be submitted for any tangible format of an eligible title. Regional depository libraries may not discard the title until approval from the Superintendent of Documents is received.


  4. How many Preservation Stewards have to be identified for a title before the title is eligible to be discarded?
    To be in accordance with the Joint Committee on Printing’s (JCP) direction, there must be a minimum of four geographically dispersed Preservation Stewards before a title becomes eligible for regional discard. As the JCP suggested, GPO is using the U.S. Census Regions map to determine the geographic dispersion of the Preservation Stewards. This map has four defined regions: Northeast, Midwest, South, and West. GPO will ensure that at least four Preservation Stewards are in place (with a signed Memorandum of Agreement – MOA) before a title becomes eligible for discard.


  5. USCensusRegions

  6. How will GPO and other libraries know where the four maintained copies will be located?
    Preservation Steward holdings will be accessible in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP). An example can be seen in the CGP record for the Public Papers of the Presidents. Click “All Items” to see the summary holdings for the Preservation Stewards as well as item records for each volume being preserved.

  7. When can a title be physically discarded by a regional depository library?
    Regional depository libraries may physically discard a title only when the library has received an approval notice from the Superintendent of Documents that states it may discard the title. Also, the regional depository library must first offer the title to the selectives in the region they serve and then to other depository libraries nationwide. As part of the approval process, GPO may ask the regional depository library to send their discarded copy to a preservation steward if it is in better condition than the one currently being maintained.

  8. NOTE: Regional depository materials must remain accessible to the public until the library receives authorization to discard from the Superintendent of Documents.


  9. I just saw an announcement that the Public Papers of the President is eligible for discard by regional depository libraries. Do I have to discard these from by depository collection?
    No, there is nothing in the Superintendent of Documents policy that requires regional depository libraries to discard depository materials. The choice to retain or discard materials is the library’s to make. All depository libraries should strive to retain materials and formats that best meet the needs of their users.

  10. Is there a binding agreement for Preservation Stewards?
    Yes. GPO developed a template for a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that the library will enter into with GPO that, among other things, delineates obligations of Preservation Stewards.

  11. What happens if there are four geographically dispersed preservation copies of a title and a library no longer wishes to remain a Preservation Steward? Will regionals still be able to discard the title?
    If a Preservation Steward determines that it can no longer serve in that capacity, GPO will try to locate another Preservation Steward for that material in the same geographic region. If the number of Preservation Stewards drops below four for a particular title, the title will cease to be eligible for discard until there are again four geographically dispersed Preservation Stewards for the title.

  12. Might GPO consider approving a discard request if there are not four Preservation Stewards?
    If there are not four geographically dispersed Preservation Stewards for a title, no, GPO will not approve any regional discard request for it. Giving such approval would be contrary to the stipulation that the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP) added to the Superintendent of Documents policy that authorizes regional depositories to discard.

  13. Does material on the superseded list need approval from the Superintendent of Documents before a regional library can discard?
    No, the materials listed on the superseded list have already been approved for discard and do not require notification to the Superintendent of Documents. The Regionals and other depository libraries may continue to use the Superseded List as guidance for determining whether titles meet supersession criteria. Regional depository libraries are reminded that they may be part of past agreements among regional depository library staff to retain superseded material (marked with an ‘R’ in the Superseded List). GPO does not require such participation; it may be a factor in your decision to withdraw depository materials from your collection, however.


  14. Does the Regional Discard Policy have any effect on the discard procedures of selectives?
    Regionals stipulate the discard process for the selectives they serve. Unless you have heard otherwise from your regional, you can assume the process and procedures for selectives discarding materials have not changed in your region. The regional will inform you if there are any changes.


  15. Is there a requirement that regionals tell their selectives they intend to discard materials? Or can the decision be a unilateral one?
    There is a requirement that regionals offer the materials they wish to discard to the selective depository libraries they serve and then to other depository libraries nationwide. GPO has always encouraged regionals to communicate and work with their selectives. Because this has implications for selectives’ collection management decisions, GPO strongly urges regionals to communicate and discuss their discard intentions and decisions with selectives. Open communication and collaboration is certainly a best practice and regional depository libraries are encouraged to follow this guidance.


  16. How should, and how long must, a regional offer the title to their selectives and other libraries before they can discard?
    Regional depository libraries set the discard procedures for the area they serve, and they can determine the length of time materials are offered, and through what mechanism. However, in accordance with the discard policy, regionals must also offer their discards to other depository libraries nationwide. GPO is requiring regionals to use FDLP eXchange for their nationwide offers.


  17. If a regional depository library discards a tangible item, are they required to update their catalog with the digital record?
    If a regional library discards a tangible item, therefore removing the tangible record from their catalog, they must replace the record in their catalog with the digital record. Regionals must continue to provide access to their regional FDLP collection. GPO is exploring ways to provide regional depository libraries with bibliographic records for digital titles.

  18. Where can I find out more information about the regional discard policy, the process, and ask questions?
    There is a Regional Discard Policy page on FDLP.gov where you can find a link to the policy, requirements for discarding, the discard process, and the Regional Discard Request Form (which includes instructions).