State Library's role as Regional Depository
the structure of the Federal
Depository Library Program (FDLP), Regional
U.S. depositories have special functions defined
by U.S. Code Title 44, Chapter 19, Section 1912.
Regional depositories select and permanently
retain every tangible publication distributed
through the FDLP, except for certain superseded
titles. Consequently, Regional depositories
serve as the U.S. document collection of last
resort within their states, providing interlibrary
loan and interlibrary reference for U.S.
Government information to all libraries within
their states, whether or not those libraries are
FDLP depositories. They also coordinate and
support Selective depository activities throughout
the region, helping to ensure that all residents
of their regions have equal access to official
U.S. government information.
logo of the Federal Depository Library Program
state is entitled to have up to two Regional
depositories, but California has always had only one.
The California State Library (CSL) has had the honor of
serving as California’s only Regional depository ever
since the Regional/Selective structure was established
in 1962. With more Selective depositories than any
other state—and boasting almost twice the national
ratio of public library depositories to other depository
types—California is well-positioned to take a
leadership role in decisions being made by the U.S.
Government Printing Office (GPO) on how Web-disseminated
government information will be discovered, captured,
described, authenticated, and preserved in all
documentary versions. The CSL and many other
California depositories have provided valuable input on
GPO’s proposals to ensure permanent public access to
Web-published U.S. government information.
CSL also consults with California’s ninety selective
depositories through targeted onsite visits, attendance
at depository meetings across the state, through
telephone and e-mail contacts, and by hosting periodic
training sessions for new depository librarians.
We take our role of consultation very seriously, since
maintaining a strong network of depository libraries
throughout the state is vital to the ability of
California residents to obtain timely and accurate
information from their government.
fact, it is the power of networking that is one of the
primary advantages of being an FDLP depository.
The depository system leverages the subject expertise of
depository librarians across the nation and makes each
depository more powerful than it would be by itself.
Even though, increasingly, Federal Government
information is available to any citizen and to any
library (whether depository or not) via the Web,
depository librarians have access to specialized
training opportunities and can draw upon the collective
wisdom of their colleagues through the FDLP network.
This specialized knowledge and networking enables
official depositories to find information that might not
easily be found by untrained users. As the
depository model changes from a collection-focused
enterprise to a service-focused one, the State Library
will continue to encourage California’s depository
librarians to take advantage of networking and training
CSL encourages all libraries and library users in the
state to take advantage of the CSL’s rich U.S.
document collection and its reference services.
While we may sometimes refer residents outside the
Sacramento area to their local depositories, we gladly
answer inquiries from any resident and any library in
the state. Just contact the Government
Publications Section or send an e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
or telephone: (916) 654-0069, Monday through Friday from
9:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Depository library operational
questions should be directed to the FDLP Regional
librarian, David Cismowski, via e-mail at email@example.com
or by telephone at (916) 651-6814.