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Circular Letter No. 612

(Supersedes Circular Letter No. 458 dated December 8, 1999)

May 30, 2006

TO: Printing and Publishing Officials of the Federal Government

SUBJECT: Disseminating Electronic Government Information Products to the Public through the Federal Depository Library Program

The Government Printing Office (GPO) administers the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) in compliance with the Depository Library Act (44 U.S.C., Chapter 19). Through this program, over 50 regional depository libraries and over 1,200 selective depository libraries throughout the United States and its territories receive Government publications free of charge, where they may be used by the public. Essentially all Government publications of public interest and/or of educational value, except those that are classified or those that are for strictly administrative use, are to be provided to depository libraries for public use.

For orders placed through GPO (Central Office and Regional Offices) and/or on agency direct-deal contracts, GPO decides which publications to distribute through the FDLP and determines the appropriate distribution medium and quantity required. GPO bears the printing and binding costs of the depository copies. For products produced independently of the GPO, agencies are required to make the determination, and bear the printing and binding costs or replication charges for copies for depository library distribution. In all cases, GPO bears the expense of distributing the copies.

The enclosed Guidelines for the Provision of Government Publications for Depository Library Distribution were developed to guide Government agency officials in determining the suitability of various tangible Government publications for depository distribution. To further assist you in making your determinations, "Types of Publications Included in the Federal Depository Library Program" and "Types of Publications Excluded from the Federal Depository Library Program" are also included as Appendices I and II.

Please also refer to Circular Letter No. 613, "Use of GPO Form 3868, Notification of Intent to Publish" and Circular Letter No. 612, "Disseminating Electronic Government Products to the Public Through the Federal Depository Library Program." Circular Letter No. 612 includes examples of how agencies can improve public access to their electronic products by using the award-winning GPO Access online service or one of the many other services currently offered by GPO to those agencies wishing to publish their products electronically. Your efforts are crucial to meet the mandates of statute that require information developed at tax payers' expense to be made available to the public. To that end, we want to ensure that all Government publications are evaluated for inclusion in the FDLP. Should you require additional information on this matter, please contact the individuals referenced in the Guidelines, or your GPO Account Representative.

Sincerely,

JIM BRADLEY
Director, Customer Services

Enclosure


Enclosure

GUIDELINES FOR THE PROVISION OF GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS FOR DEPOSITORY LIBRARY DISTRIBUTION

1. PURPOSE OF THE GUIDELINES
The purpose of these guidelines is to assist agencies in complying with the Depository Library Act (44 U.S.C., Chapter 19) for ensuring that Government publications are made available to depository libraries. These guidelines will assist agencies by describing the Government Printing Office (GPO) requirements and procedures, and providing examples of the type of materials to be included in the program.

2. OVERVIEW OF THE DEPOSITORY LIBRARY PROGRAM
The goal of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) is to assure current and permanent public access to information published by the United States Government. The GPO administers the FDLP, by which Government publications are provided free of charge to over 1,200 libraries in the United States and its territories for the use of the public.

The definition of a "Government publication" (44 U.S.C., 1901) means informational matter which is published as an individual document at Government expense, or as required by law.

Over 50 regional depositories receive all publications distributed through the program for permanent retention to ensure that archival resource collections of tangible Government publications remain available throughout the United States. The remaining selective depositories may choose to receive only specific categories of publications to meet local needs. In return for receiving Government publications at no cost, depository libraries must make the publications available to the public, and provide appropriate assistance to users.

The purpose and goals of the Federal Depository Library Program are rooted in these underlying principles:

  • A well-informed citizenry, cognizant of the policies and activities of its representative Government, is essential for the proper functioning of democracy; information provided by Government publications is a primary means for citizens to keep informed;
  • The public has a right to information contained in Government publications, which have been published at public expense; the Government has an obligation to ensure availability of, and access to, these publications at no cost. These publications are a permanent source of Federal information; and
  • The Federal Government benefits by realizing efficiencies afforded by a centralized distribution system, such as the Federal Depository Library Program, which ensures wide availability of Government publications; individual agencies are able to satisfy
  • much of the public demand for their publications without incurring the costs associated with responding to individual requests for free copies.

3. AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES
Agencies are required by 44 U.S.C., 1901 - 1903 to make all of their publications ("informational matter which is published as an individual document at Government expense, or as required by law"), regardless of the printing source or publishing format, available to the Superintendent of Documents for distribution to depository libraries, except those which are:

  • Determined by their issuing components to be required for official use only or for strictly administrative or operational purposes which have no public interest or educational value. (See Appendix II for examples);
  • Classified for reasons of national security;
  • So-called cooperative publications, which must necessarily be sold in order to be self-sustaining.

Agencies are not responsible for the printing and binding costs of depository library copies if the products are acquired through GPO. When these products are not printed or acquired through GPO, the publishing agency must pay for the printing and binding costs associated with printed products and for replication and software costs associated with tangible electronic products for depository libraries. Examples of such products are those produced in printing plants authorized by the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP), or those procured under a JCP printing waiver or under Government contract or grant. In all cases, GPO bears the expense of distributing the publications.

4. PROCEDURES
Depository copies are ordered for all agency publications not falling within the "exception" categories described in Section 3, including products published in electronic formats (CD-ROMs, DVDs, video tape, slides, or floppy diskettes) and for which electronic dissemination is not suitable. Ordering procedures vary according to the printing source of the publication, and are described in Circular Letter No. 613 dated May 24, 2006, "Use of GPO Form 3868, Notification of Intent to Publish."

5. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR ASSISTANCE
For additional information, clarifications, or assistance about providing publications to the Federal Depository Library Program, please contact your GPO Account Representative, the staff in GPO's Regional Printing and Procurement Offices, or the following staff of the Library Services and Content Management:

Content Acquisitions
Library Services & Content Management
Mail Stop: IDAD
U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, DC 20401
Telephone: 202-512-1071; Fax: 202-512-1636
E-mail: fdlppubs@gpo.gov

APPENDIX I

TYPES OF PUBLICATIONS INCLUDED IN THE FEDERAL DEPOSITORY LIBRARY PROGRAM

PURPOSE: This appendix describes 17 types of publications for inclusion in the Federal Depository Library Program, and provides examples of each type. They are considered to be of "public interest" and/or "educational value" insofar as members of the general public (individuals, governments, private and public institutions, and organizations) have, or could express a need for, or interest in, the information for research, instructional, informational, scholarly, or compliance purposes.

Special care must also be taken to include the following types of products in the Federal Depository Library Program:

  • CONSOLIDATED REPRINTS;
  • APPENDICES, SUPPLEMENTS, and INSERTS such as maps, charts, photographs, microforms;
  • ALL THE ISSUES of publications issued on a continuing basis, such as periodicals, multi-volume sets, and titles in numbered series;
  • ALL PIECES OF MULTI-PART publications, such as the binder and tabs in one package and the contents in another;
  • Publications printed in an UNBOUND FORM intended to be inserted in a binder by the recipient;
  • MULTIPLE LANGUAGE VERSIONS of the same publication including Braille;
  • Publications that are produced in MEDIA other than ink-on-paper, such as CD-ROM, floppy disks, microfiche, video tape multimedia kits, and wall charts; and
  • SUPPLEMENTS, ADDITIONS, AND ERRATA SHEETS.

QUESTIONS: If you have questions about whether your publications fall within the scope of the Federal Depository Library Program, please contact:

Content Acquisitions
Library Services & Content Management
Mail Stop: IDAD
U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, DC 20401
Telephone: 202-512-1071
Fax: 202-512-1636
E-mail: fdlppubs@gpo.gov


1. PUBLIC NOTICES, INFORMATION MEMOS, NEWS (press) RELEASES, BULLETINS, and NEWSLETTERS published on a recurring basis.

Examples:

  • Park Science, Resource Management Bulletin. National Park Service
  • News. Employer Costs for Employee Compensation. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Program Solicitation, Small Business Innovation Research Program. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service

2. HANDBOOKS, MANUALS, GUIDES, including TECHNICAL, PROCEDURAL, ADMINISTRATIVE, and TRAINING publications.

Examples:
  • Work and Family Issues, Training Guide. Office of Personnel Management,
  • Weather Service Observing Handbooks. Dept. of Commerce. National Weather Service

3. CIRCULARS that are advisory in nature, warning the public or segments of the public about dangers, proper conditions for safety, etc.

Example:

  • Advisory Circular, Certification of Normal Category Rotorcraft. Federal Aviation Administration

4. DIRECTORIES that list staff, office and agency locations, services, etc.

Examples:

  • U.S. Department of State Telephone Directory. Department of State.
  • United States House of Representatives Telephone Directory. U.S. House of Representatives

5. PROCEEDINGS of symposia, public meetings, workshops, conferences, hearings, etc.

Examples:

  • Health Without Boundaries, Proceedings of the U.S.-Mexico Border Conference on Women's Health, Salud Sin Fronteras. National Cancer Institute
  • Proceedings of the Ocean Drilling Program, Initial Reports. National Science Foundation

6. FORMS including surveys, applications for services, grants, admission to programs, jobs, etc.

Examples:

  • FormFlow (CD-ROM). Defense Logistics Agency
  • Capital Gains & Losses, Schedule D (Form 1120). Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service
  • Summer Stipends Guidelines and Application Forms. National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities, National Endowment for the Humanities

7. MAPS, ATLASES, CHARTS (geographical, topographical, climatological, nautical, economic, etc.)

Examples:

  • Soil survey of Maries County, Missouri. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Sectional aeronautical chart, Chicago. Department of Commerce, National Ocean Survey
  • ESI Atlases, Maps and Data in Portable Document Format, Upper Texas Coast (CD-ROM). Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

8. POSTERS (lithographs, photographs, pictures, etc.)

Examples:

  • Eat 5 Fruits & Vegetables a Day, For Health and Energy! National Cancer Institute
  • Everyone should have a plan. Department of Homeland Security.
  • Ecoregions of Colorado. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey

9. CATALOGS (bibliographies, abstracts, and indexes, which identify and describe publications, educational courses, activities, events, etc.)

Examples:

  • Catalog of Courses and Training Materials. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration
  • Catalog of Captioned Educational Films/Videos. Department of Education, Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Office

10. REPORTS, including one-time and recurring reports, which generally describe the status of organizations and/or results of research, investigations, studies, surveys, etc. All versions of a report (draft, preliminary, interim, final) unless they are preliminary versions which are intended for internal agency review and/or are not to be circulated outside of the Federal Government.

Examples:

  • American Indians and Alaska Natives in Postsecondary Education. Department of Education, National Center for Education
  • NLRB Election Report. National Labor Relations Board
  • Current Population Reports. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census
  • GAO Reports. Comptroller General

11. JOURNALS, PERIODICALS, NEWSPAPERS (published on a periodic basis, more substantial than newsletters and bulletins).

Examples:

  • Social Security Bulletin. Social Security Administration
  • FDA Consumer. Department of Health and Human Services, Food and Drug Administration
  • Monthly Labor Review. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

12. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS AND ASSESSMENTS (draft and final). Draft statements are very important since they are issued to obtain public comment.

Examples:

  • Final environmental impact statement: Falls Creek hydroelectric project and land exchange, FERC project no. 11659-002, Alaska. U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Final environmental impact statement North Fork Burnt River mining. Department of Agriculture, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest

13. LEGAL MATERIALS, including LAWS and DECISIONS issued by regulatory agencies, Courts, Inspectors General, etc., LEGAL OPINIONS, REGULATIONS, and RULES, LEGISLATIVE HISTORIES, and TREATIES and INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS.

Examples:

  • United States Code. U.S. Congress
  • Statutes at Large. National Archives and Records Administration, Office of the Federal Register
  • Decisions and Orders of the NLRB. National Labor Relations Board
  • Treaties In Force. Department of State

14. FLYERS, BROCHURES, BOOKLETS, and PAMPHLETS designed to explain Government services and activities to the public.

Examples:

  • Consejos Para Su Salud, Los Mamogramas y El Cancer de Los Senos. Department of Health and Human Services, National Cancer Institute
  • If You are Blind-How We Can Help. Social Security Administration
  • Your Embassy at Work, A Guide for U.S. Business Travelers Overseas. Department of State

15. STATISTICS (Publications of any nature that report statistics.)

Examples:

  • County and City Data Book (Paper and CD-ROM). Department of Commerce, Census Bureau
  • Agriculture Statistics. Department of Agriculture
  • Occupational Employment and Wages. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

16. MARKETING, PROMOTIONAL FLYERS, and PAMPHLETS

Examples:

  • Southwest Area Wildland Fire Operations (Book Marker). Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
  • Guide to Department of Education Programs. Department of Education
  • U.S. Government Subscriptions. U.S. Government Printing Office

17. MONOGRAPHS (substantial publications complete in one part or a finite number of parts.)

Examples:

  • Charting our Future...A Nation's Natural Resource Legacy. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service
  • Oceans, Into the Next Millennium of Oceanographic Research. Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Mathematics and Science Achievement in New Mexico. Department of Education
  • From Pain to Power: Crime Victims Take Action. Department of Justice, Office of Victims of Crime

APPENDIX II

TYPES OF PUBLICATIONS EXCLUDED FROM THE FEDERAL DEPOSITORY LIBRARY PROGRAM

PURPOSE: This appendix describes types of publications and provides examples for publications excluded from the Federal Depository Library Program, because they are for official use only or for strictly administrative or operational purposes and they are deemed to have no public interest or educational value.

1. JOB VACANCY NOTICES or ANNOUNCEMENTS

2. RULES, NOTICES, and HANDBOOKS CONCERNING RECREATIONAL and WELFARE ACTIVITIES and SERVICES for FEDERAL EMPLOYEES. Includes such areas as bowling league materials, notices of picnics, parties, blood drives, health clinics, social club minutes, charity contributions, etc.

Examples:

  • General Manual - Merit Protection Plan
  • USDA Club of Franklin County Meeting Notice
  • Reclamation Mixed Bowling League - Handbook

3. MEMOS, DIRECTIVES, NOTICES, and MANUALS of FEDERAL AGENCIES used to implement PERSONNEL POLICIES, training activities of specific agencies and other internal administrative operations. (This does not include Government-wide personnel and training activities such as those conducted by Office of Personnel Management.)

Example:

  • Information for Employees Transferring at Government Expense. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation.

4. DATA INPUT FORMS used to record information to be put into manual or computer record systems.

Example:

  • ADP Nonexpendable Movable Property Responsibility and/or Project Serial & Retrieval Input Form for Describing Biological Families & Genus

5. FORMS THAT FACILITATE CORRESPONDENCE or control scheduling and collection of data, or route information in such areas as property or equipment management, personnel, operational statistics, or guidelines for internal procedures. Examples include memorandum and letterhead stock, transmittal slips, and guidelines for correspondence performance.

6. PERSONNEL EVALUATION FORMS

7. SOLICITATIONS for the awarding of procurements including specifications and related documentation. These are usually advertised in the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) and the Federal Register and can be acquired from the agency.

Example:

  • Invitation for Bid Requests for Proposed Purchase Requests

8. ACCESS PASSES (IDs) for automobiles, people, or buildings.

9. SIGNS and BUMPER STICKERS THAT INSTRUCT, such as "quiet" or "wet paint," or give information, such as parking lot number or medical and access warnings.

10. WORKING DRAFT (Preliminary version that is intended for strictly internal review and revision and does not go to any segment of the public for review or comment.)

11. FORM LETTERS designed to go to multiple recipients.

12. USER MANUALS for computer programs in the area of information covered by the

PRIVACY ACT.

Example:

  • Pay/Pers System Time and Attendance Instructions

13. AGENCY CONTROL FORMS, HANDBOOKS, and MANUALS used in the management of property such as typewriters, paper, etc.

Example:

  • Warehouse Catalog

 
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