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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 depository documents are removed from their collections in accordance with federal law and GPO policies.

Purpose: The selective depository libraries, other than federal agencies, wishing to dispose of depository documents will follow the guidelines set forth at Weeding a Depository Collection.  Selective depository libraries will also follow procedures established by the Regional Library. The Regional Library, in consultation with the selective depository libraries and its home institution, will weed depository documents from its collection according to the Superintendent of Documents public policy statement 2016-3: Government Publications Authorized for Discard by Regional Depository Libraries.

Selective Libraries Discard

Selective Libraries May Discard Documents

  • When they meet the criteria described in the FDLP guidelines,

  • With permission from their Regional Depository (when required), and

  • After offering the documents (when required), through the FDLP eXchange.

FDLP Guidelines for Discards

  • Documents that have been superseded, have an available substitute, or are more than five years old are eligible for discard.

  • Selective libraries may discard superseded items at any time, and do not require permission from the regional library.

Criteria for Supersession

  • Dated material - Material for events or activities that have expired can be discarded at the end of the time period covered by that material.

  • Revised items - If material has been revised in either a tangible or online format, the earlier edition may be discarded.

  • The criteria for supersession also applies to loose-leaf pages which have been replaced.

  • Reprints - If a reprint is available, libraries may discard the original edition.

  • Cumulative replacement - When a cumulative edition is available, the library may discard the non-cumulative materials that are included in the new edition.

  • Corrected copies - When corrections are available, the libraries may discard the original copies.

The 2002 Superseded list is also available to use as a guideline for determining whether an item has been superseded. However, this list was last updated in 2009.


Selective depositories may discard an item if it is available in an alternative format, either tangible or online, after they have received permission from the Regional Depository. If substituting any material with an online equivalent, the tangible item must be more than one year old. The online version must be official, complete, and free-of-charge to the user. 

The regional library may substitute electronic versions for tangible materials when the materials have been in the library possession for at least 7 years, there is a complete and authenticated version available through the Federal Digital System (FDSys), and upon receipt of permission from GPO. Once the regional is authorized to discard items by GPO, the materials will be offered via FDLP eXchange. Additional information can be found in Government Publications Authorized for Discard by Regional Depository Libraries.

Permission to Discard from the Regional Library

Selective Depositories are required to obtain permission to discard any items that are discarded under the substitution or five year rule guidelines. Permission to discard is not required if the document being discarded meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • It has been superseded.

  • Its format is microfiche.

If permission is granted, then the items should be posted as offers on the FDLP eXchange.

Depositories in the Federal Depository Library System of Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia should use FDLP eXchange to offer discarded items as well as monitor for items needed by their own library.

FDLP eXchange is an automated tool for libraries and replaces the National Needs and Offers List. Items that are entered as offers are made available to the regional, other selectives in the service region, and then the nation. The periods of review will be set by the regional. Selective libraries will be consulted prior to setting the review periods for the region in FDLP eXchange.