Government Publishing Office (GPO) regulations state that the weeding/de-selection process for tangible federal material distributed through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) is managed in each state by the Regional Federal Depository Library (R-FDL)
26. Tangible depository publications supplied to depository libraries are Federal government property. Depository publications must be retained and kept accessible for at least the minimum retention period. Materials may only be disposed of through appropriate withdrawal mechanisms. These include: 1. ‘Five-year rule’: a minimum retention period of five years from date of receipt, processing, or shipping list date (for selective libraries), 2. Supersession (for all libraries), 3. Tangible substitution for tangible publications (for all libraries), and 4. Official online substitution for tangible publications (for selective libraries). – Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program, p. 6
51. Depository libraries cannot materially or financially benefit from the disposal of depository holdings, as these materials remain the property of the U.S. Government. After following the normal withdrawal procedures, the depository materials entrusted to the depository library may be sold as publications or as waste paper. The proceeds of the sale, together with a letter of explanation, must be sent to the Superintendent of Documents. Depository materials may never be bartered for goods or services. Selective depository libraries must follow the direction of their regional depository library when discarding depository materials (Title 44 U.S.C. §1912). Discarding is a privilege granted by the regional library and not a right of the selective library. The regional library may refuse to grant permission for disposal of any publication that it feels should be kept by one of its depositories for a longer period of time. After the regional library’s permission is granted to withdraw depository material and selective libraries have made reasonable efforts to find a recipient, documents may be disposed of in any appropriate manner.
52. Selective depository libraries not served by a designated regional depository library must permanently retain one copy of all Federal government publications selected and received through depository distribution. The only exceptions are for superseded publications, and those issued later in another format (bound, microfiche, or electronic media).
53. Selective depository libraries may substitute tangible commercially produced products (e.g. microforms, DVDs, etc.) or online content, for any depository holdings held in the library for at least one year. Depository material being substituted with online content must meet official substitution criteria. Permission to substitute must first be obtained from the regional depository library. Substituted material is subject to the same rules and regulations that govern the care, treatment, and public access while the library holds the material or until the regional depository library has authorized for the withdrawal of it. – Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program, p. 8
Process for Disposal of Tangible Federal Depository Material in the state of South Carolina.
First, please remember that the Regional Federal Depository Library (R-FDL) is a partner in this process. However, the R-FDL is also required to:
60. Title 44 U.S.C. §1912 authorizes regional depository libraries to manage the withdrawal of material from selective depository libraries in their state or region. Regional libraries also oversee the process of substitution within the state or region. Regional libraries must create procedures for selective libraries to follow when discarding and substituting depository material. Material may not be disposed of until the regional library has given permission to do so. Discarding depository material is a privilege granted by the regional library and not a right of the selective library. The regional library may refuse to grant permission for disposal of any publication that it feels should be kept by one of its depositories for a longer period of time. – – Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program, p. 9
GPO has provided a Guidance Document on the Weeding Process at: http://www.fdlp.gov/requirements-guidance-2/guidance/30-weeding-a-depository-collection
As a Selective Federal Depository Library (S-FDL) in the state of South Carolina you are to expected to do the following:
- Keep the R-FDL informed of any near or long-term plans to weed materials a from your depository collection.
- Libraries in South Carolina are strongly encouraged to use the ASERL Disposition Database for all discards. Information about the Disposition Database is available at:
- Libraries discarding materials all also strongly encouraged to participate in any GPO created national disposition list that is available.
- The ASERL process takes 45 working days (9 weeks) – so libraries should plan on holding weeded materials for at least 12 weeks before discarding.
- Both ASERL and GPO do not require microfiche to be listed on discard lists. However, the RFD-L should be informed about any discard of microfiche. A selective may also opt to send fiche directly to the regional who then will manage the discard.
- The R-FDL should be notified when a library plans or starts a large project (greater than 100 linear feet or 1,000 items). Libraries needing assistance in posting items to the ASERL Disposition Database should contact the regional ASAP. The R-FDL prefers to do onsite visits regarding larger projects than just approval via email or the phone. This option is also valid for continuous projects or a combination of small projects that might reach that threshold during the year.
- The R-FDL recognizes that each library and therefore each discard project is unique. However, libraries must also realize that they are part of a larger program and a well managed discard process improves the opportunities that materials no longer useful to your library’s users might benefit another library in the state, the region, or across the country.
- Libraries lacking staff can be assisted at any point in the process.
Contact: Bill Sudduth at email@example.com or 803-777-1775 or Deborah Yerkes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-777-5699