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Maryland-Delaware-District of Columbia State Plan

This guide helps federal depository libraries coordinate the actions of the individual libraries that make up the Federal Depository Library System of Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia in order to provide better service to our public.

Goal and Purpose

Goal: To ensure that patrons can discover, locate, and obtain FDLP materials in depository libraries’ collections as easily and expeditiously as possible.

Purpose: The functions of bibliographic control are to account for FDLP materials in depository libraries’ collections and to describe those materials at the piece level so that patrons can find and utilize them. Each depository library should conduct processes to manage the receipt of FDLP items, to physically process tangible items, and to create and maintain metadata that provide access to its depository holdings.

FDLP Legal Requirements and Guidance

  • All depository libraries will adhere to the provisions and stipulations concerning bibliographic control in Legal Requirements and Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program (June 2011), Section III, Bibliographic Control, page 5, and the Bibliographic Control Guidance Document.

  • Level of Treatment

    • FDLP materials and non-FDLP materials acquired to fill gaps in depository collections should be treated with the same level of attention and care as all materials obtained by depository libraries.

  • Accounting for FDLP Materials

    • All tangible materials must be accounted for at the piece level by full cataloging, creating a shelf list in paper or electronic format, or a combination of both.

    • Serials holdings and missing issues must be identified, and this information must be made available to the public.
    • Maps must be accounted for either by catalog records for each individual map or series records with holdings data in the online catalog, shelflist, or index map.
    • All shipping lists should be checked as soon as possible to ensure that all selected titles have been received.
    • Claims for missing materials should be submitted promptly by asking GPO. 
  • Physical Processing of Tangible Materials

    • All FDLP tangible materials should be identified as such by stamping “depository” on all items.

    • This step should be taken for resources housed on-site and in remote storage.

  • Maintenance of FDLP Management Information

    • Selection profiles should be updated and kept current.

    • Shipping list logs should be retained for a sufficient period of time to cover possible outstanding issues.

    • FDLP channels of communication, including WEBTech Notes and the FDLP News & Events email service, should be monitored on a frequent basis to remain current with changes to the program.

  • Cataloging/Metadata

    • Required Actions

      • As of January 2012, piece level records must be created for tangible materials. This requirement can be fulfilled by cataloging materials, but shelflists are another way libraries can meet this requirement.

      • Libraries may fulfill this requirement with MARC records in an online catalog, spreadsheets, or databases.

    • Recommended Actions

      • Information Maintenance

        • Depository libraries are urged to update and correct cataloging/metadata for their FDLP collections in order to provide the best possible access to those materials, including:

          • Monitoring WEBTech Notes and editing cataloging/metadata records appropriately.

          • Removing holdings and/or deleting information about withdrawn items as expeditiously as possible.

      • Provide and maintain access to the Catalog of Government Publications for patrons.

      • Add records for FDLP titles to their online catalogs.

      • Catalog or create metadata records for electronic/online only resources.

      • Obtain bibliographic MARC records from the Cataloging Record Distribution Program or a vendor. Depository libraries in the USMAI consortium receive MARC records from MARCIVE. The records are paid for, and loaded, centrally. Changes in a library’s selection profile must be reported to Virginia Williams at Frostburg State University ( in conjunction with the Annual Update Cycle. Virginia contacts Jim Noel at MARCIVE with changes to be made. Non-USMAI depository libraries in the region may employ other methods of record handling.

      • Report holdings to their bibliographic utility to facilitate resource sharing and optimize usage of the FDLP collection.

      • Include PURLs and URLs in all cataloging/metadata records, run validation procedures on a regular basis, and update them as needed.

      • Contribute serial holdings to union lists.

      • Retrospectively catalog uncataloged materials or update the MARC cataloging/metadata records to enhance access and increase usage.

  • Staffing

    • Sufficient staffing should be assigned to the inventorying, processing, and cataloging of FDLP materials.

    • New staff should receive the training necessary to perform their duties and responsibilities as successfully as possible.

    • All staff involved with FDLP bibliographic control operations should enhance and refresh their skills and knowledge by:

      • Reviewing FDLP documentation and communications, such as GPO’s Cataloging Guidelines and Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) Classification Scheme.

      • Monitoring regularly standard tools for staying current with developments and innovations in the technical processing of government documents field, such as DocTech-L and GOVDOC-L.

      • Participating in the activities of organizations whose purpose relates to government information resources and technical services operations.

      • Exploring other sources of information about bibliographic control, such as the American Library Association Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT) Cataloging Committee’s Cataloging Toolbox for U.S. Federal Government Information.