Section 3. Goals and Objectives of the State Plan for Federal Depository Library Services in the State of California


GOAL: To provide barrier-free permanent public access to information disseminated by the U.S. government.

OBJECTIVES: To accomplish this goal, each depository library accepts the responsibility to:

3.1.1 adhere to the policies and guidelines promulgated for the Federal Depository Library Program by the Government Printing Office.

3.1.2 either solely or in conjunction with neighboring depositories, make demonstrable efforts to identify and meet the Government information needs of the Congressional district or service area.

3.1.3 put the needs of community first when considering cooperative collection development and / or housing arrangements so that documents are where they are most needed and where they can be best utilized for the information needs of the community.

3.1.4 establish procedures for a regular review of collection development policy documents and cooperative agreements in response to changing community needs.

3.1.5 identify special collections of government information or of materials which support research in government information such as maps, patents, census, commercial indexes, microform sets, major documents-related holdings, special collections, etc. and promote community awareness of these collections.

3.1.6 recognize the value of older materials and make every effort to maintain their condition through repair and regular preservation practices and ensure that the last copy of a document within the service area is not discarded but is retained and donated to the appropriate library so that retrospective collections can be built and the responsibility of housing those collections shared among area libraries.

3.1.7 encourage federal agencies to disseminate government information in appropriate formats.

3.1.8 report fugitive documents to the Government Printing Office.

Further, depository libraries are encouraged to:

3.1.9 use bibliographic tools, depository items and commercial indexes to identify government publications for acquisition.
Examples of these tools include: agency listings of publications, the Catalog of Government Publications, Statistical Universe, and/ or other publications and indexes designed to facilitate access to government materials.

3.1.10 add Government document holdings to OCLC, RLIN, and other databases to facilitate interlibrary loan.

Additionally the Regional Depository Library accepts the responsibility to:

3.1.11 support the mandate of the Regional Depository Act of 1962 by maintaining, either in paper, microform, or tangible electronic products, a complete collection of all Federal documents distributed through the Depository Program, filling gaps in the Regional's retrospective documents collection whenever possible.

3.1.12 assist in identifying and locating strong retrospective collections in selective depositories; those depositories to act as a clearinghouse to assist selective depositories in donating weeded documents to strengthen those collections or to help develop new collections within each service area.

3.1.13 ensure that documents not widely held will be identified and retained in state.


GOAL: To provide barrier-free permanent public access to information disseminated by the U.S. government in electronic formats.

OBJECTIVES: To accomplish this goal, each depository library accepts the responsibility to:

3.2.1 meet minimum Federal Depository Library Program requirements for equipment and provision of service for access to electronic information.

3.2.2 collect information in formats appropriate for use by its constituents.

3.2.3 encourage staff to take advantage of continuing education in order to understand and adapt to the demands and responsibilities of handling electronic products, so that the acquisition, organization, and preservation of information is consistent with other formats.

3.2.4 participate in "quality control" efforts for electronic formats in the same way that depositories have traditionally done for paper formats: by sharing information with other libraries when they discover defective products, by reporting problems to Government Printing Office or the appropriate publishing agency, and by attempting to acquire a defect-free version of the product.

3.2.5 report fugitive electronic documents. (If a useful government document is found on the web and the librarian realizes that it is not in the Catalog of Government Publications, then he or she should report that to appropriate personnel at the Government Printing Office.)

Further, depository libraries are encouraged to:

3.2.6 share tools created to facilitate work with electronic documents. (This could be done through the GODORT Handout Exchange, or through appropriate listservs.) These tools would include finding tools, handouts, guides, even websites of particular interest to the documents community at large or to the California documents community.

3.2.7 provide indexing and access to electronic information (either by including records for electronic publications in the library OPAC or by purchasing other specialized indexes).

3.2.8 search for documents of particular or timely interest to California residents and share that information with other California Depository Libraries.

3.2.9 encourage staff to offer support and training to other librarians in the state when they have vital skills (such as knowledge on digitizing information).

3.2.10 enhance the availability of government information by digitizing documents to make them available to a broader constituency.

3.2.11 actively investigate, consider, and support models of information management that will encourage the preservation of digital government information.


GOAL: To ensure that the collective body of Federal government information in all formats received through the Federal Depository Library Program in depository libraries throughout the state is accounted for, and that individual publications can be efficiently and accurately identified and located.

OBJECTIVES: To accomplish this goal, each depository library accepts the responsibility to:

3.3.1 maintain a current, accurate record of its holdings.

3.3.2 provide the same level of bibliographic access to Federal Depository Library Program receipts as to other library materials, regardless of format, such as by author, title, classification system, etc.

3.3.3 maintain appropriate access to the printed Monthly Catalog (for retrospective holdings) and the online Catalog of Government Publications (for current holdings).

3.3.4 claim items missing from shipments from Government Printing Office, or request duplicated copies from neighboring depositories or the Regional, in order to maintain as complete a collection of federal depository materials as possible, according to its profile

Further, depository libraries are encouraged to:

3.3.5 provide appropriate commercially-produced indexes and finding aids to the depository collection.

3.3.6 integrate bibliographic records for depository titles in their online catalogs.

3.3.7 contribute periodicals holdings information to union lists, as appropriate.

3.3.8 include active URLs and PURLs in the bibliographic records of your library's Online Public Access Catalog.

3.3.9 add depository holdings to the national bibliographic utility of which they are a member.

(Note: several librarians have commented that including a SuDoc number in 086 has been useful even when their collections are not in SuDoc order. It provides a unique identifier that is universally recognized. This supports any task that uses Government Publications resources as well as tasks such as overlaying records purchased from vendors. This is just offered as information, every library needs to make a decision on whether or not to include SuDocs in their records.)


GOAL: To provide service to anyone who needs Federal government information, both current and retrospective, regardless of format.

OBJECTIVES: To accomplish this goal, each depository library accepts the responsibility to:

3.4.1 make depository collections open and accessible to the public without charge.

3.4.2 post a sign or the depository emblem in a prominent location (preferably visible from the exterior of the library) indicating that the library is a Federal depository.

3.4.3 make depository collections available to all users during the same hours that other collections are available.

3.4.4 provide the same hours of reference service for documents as are provided for other collections. When reference service is provided by a non-documents librarian, have a referral system for complex questions.

3.4.5 train staff to use electronic access tools including web pages, databases, etc. to access the large portion of government document information that is now available only electronically.

3.4.6 provide adequate training to ensure that all Documents staff are competent to instruct the public in using all material formats, including software on CD-ROMs, DVD-ROMs, or computer discs if selected.

3.4.7 provide adequate training to ensure that all Documents staff are proficient in using GPO Access on the Internet.

3.4.8 provide opportunities for continuing education for librarians and support staff.

3.4.9 provide adequate training so that other professional staff have basic familiarity with government documents and various access points to depository information, not only to their own library but also to other depository collections and Internet sites. (See also the draft list of "e-competencies", as put together by GODORT at

3.4.10 provide referral to another depository in the area and/or the Regional Depository at the California State Library if a depository does not have the needed document.

Additionally the Regional Depository Library accepts the responsibility to:

3.4.11 offer training for depository library staff and non-depository staff in use of and access to government documents in all appropriate formats. When the logistics make in-person training impossible the Regional library will develop a series of distance learning training modules on selected subjects (e.g. understanding the SuDocs classification scheme), as requested.

3.4.12 assist in introducing staff to the electronic portions of the Federal Depository program, especially GPO Access.


GOAL: To support depository services though the allocation of human resources, space, equipment and resources based on a stable and adequate level of institutional support.

OBJECTIVES: To accomplish this goal, each depository library accepts the responsibility to:

3.5.1 designate one librarian as the primary contact for the depository collection. This contact will act as liaison between the depository library and the Federal Depository Library Program, and with the Regional Librarian. The depository librarian is expected to take advantage of training opportunities, seek institutional approval and funding to attend the Fall Depository Conference, and attend meetings of regional documents organizations.

3.5.2 provide trained personnel to acquire, catalog, and service federal documents. Adequate funding should be provided for participation of library staff in government documents related groups that improve communication, discuss issues, and provide continuing education pertaining to government information.

3.5.3 provide adequate space for processing and housing federal documents. Physical facilities and environmental controls (temperature, humidity control, ventilation, shelf space) for depository materials should be of the same quality as for other library materials.

3.5.4 provide security for federal documents at the same level as for other library materials.

3.5.5 provide adequate equipment and supplies for supporting public access to government information.
Note: Government publications are received in a wide array of formats, various types of equipment are needed to support public access to this information. This currently includes map cases, microform reader/printers and computer workstations with printers, scanners and appropriate software for accessing and using information. Because of the changing formats in which government publications are received, it is important that depository libraries strive to meet the "Recommended Specifications for Public Access Workstations in Federal Depository Libraries" issued and updated annually by the Government Printing Office. These standards can be found at:

3.5.6 ensure that access to the documents collection is in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

3.5.7 provide commercially published supplementary indexes, finding aids, and reference materials to facilitate use of government information products; some examples include the CIS Indexes and Abstracts, commercially produced treaty indexes, Andriot's Guide to U.S. Government Publications, etc.

3.5.8 develop contingency planning for service interruptions (network failures, natural disasters, etc.).
The depository manager should be aware of his/her library s emergency response plan for fire, flood, and natural disaster that would include steps to be taken immediately after an emergency occurs. The library should have recovery plans in place for the restoration of damaged material. The depository manager should also be aware of his/her library's possible membership in a regional preservation network or other mutual assistance agreements.

3.5.9 provide consistent funding.
Libraries who participate in the Federal Depository Library Program are expected to provide consistent budgetary funds to support the depository collection as outlined in this document, according to the percentage selected and the financial abilities of the library's institution.

Additionally the Regional Depository Library accepts the responsibility to:

3.5.10 provide space, shelving, equipment, bibliographic control, librarians and library staff to meet the responsibilities of permanent retention of federal government information, public access to that information, and its retrieval and dissemination within the state of California.

3.5.11 act as the first contact for selective depositories that require consultation or assistance in order to meet the infrastructure goal.


GOAL: To enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the Federal Depository Library Program through communication between depository libraries, coordination of collections and services, and collaboration on new initiatives to improve access to government information.

OBJECTIVES: To accomplish this goal, each depository library accepts the responsibility to:

3.6.1 cooperate with the Government Printing Office and other depository libraries in California.

Further, depository libraries are encouraged to:

3.6.2 allow, encourage, and financially sponsor document librarian participation in government documents related groups (including but not limited to California and nationwide electronic discussion groups, librarian professional organizations, and government information-related programs and conferences) that improve communication, discuss issues, resolve problems, support the work of government documents librarians, and/or provide continuing education pertaining to government information.

3.6.3 develop proposals when possible and to carefully consider proposals developed by others for voluntary resource augmentation including consortial agreements, grant seeking, cooperative preservation (including digitization) efforts, and other projects designed to improve current and future access to government information.

3.6.4 identify potential new depositories.

Additionally the Regional Depository Library accepts the responsibility to:

3.6.5 prepare, keep current, and disseminate a list of Congressional Districts in California with fewer than two depository libraries to assist all who seek to identify potential new depositories and match them with opportunities to be designated as depositories.


GOAL: To increase public awareness of the availability and usefulness of federal government information.

OBJECTIVES: To accomplish this goal, each depository library accepts the responsibility to:

3.7.1 include as much as possible of the depository collection in the library's online catalog.

3.7.2 include information about the depository on the library website. Information provided should include service hours, scope of the collection, key government Internet sites, and other facts pertinent to your depository. Information about the depository collection and its services should be prominently displayed and easily accessible via the library's web pages.

3.7.3 familiarize library staff members with all formats of the depository collection through in-house training, off-site workshops, and attendance at local meetings of documents librarians.

3.7.4 provide periodic newsletters or email announcements announcing new and useful depository titles to library staff.

Further, depository libraries are encouraged to:

3.7.5 hold training programs in utilizing government information sources for the public.

3.7.6 work with local government officials, agencies, and departments to establish a mutual goal of providing government information to citizens.

3.7.6 establish a working relationship with local newspapers in order to promote resources available through the depository collection.

3.7.7 establish a personal relationship with the congresspersons from your district in order to educate them about your collection and the Federal Depository Library Program as well as to seek their assistance in promoting the collection to the public.

3.7.8 prepare and distribute general interest flyers, brochures, and other publicity promoting the use of and resources in the depository collection.

3.7.9 Have a prominent link on the library's home page to the webpage that includes information on the Government Depository. (This could be done by putting the depository logo with the mouseover information on the Depository Program somewhere on the library's homepage.) If such a logo or direct link cannot be on the library's home page it should be on a logical page where it can be found with relatively few "clicks" - i.e. relatively high in the website hierarchy.