ASERL Proposal for Regional Management of Federal Depository Library Collections
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 Material Information
Title: ASERL Proposal for Regional Management of Federal Depository Library Collections
Series Title: DttP: Documents to the People, Volume 38, Number 4 (Winter 2010), pages 38-40
Physical Description: Journal Article
Creator: Russell, Judith
Publisher: American Library Association
Place of Publication: Chicago, Illinois
Publication Date: Winter 2010
 Notes
Abstract: This continues to be a time of significant change for libraries that participate in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Changing environments often create opportunities to act collaboratively to address common concerns. In this spirit, ASERL members representing both regional and selective federal depository libraries met in November 2009 and agreed to plan collectively for management of their federal document collections.They affirmed that the federal documents collections in the southeast region are valuable assets for the holding library and the state where each collection is located. They also acknowledged that these collections are an asset to the region and agreed that regional collaboration could lead to more effective management and utilization of federal documents.
Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Judith Russell.
General Note: The complete ASERL discussion draft is available at: tinyurl.com/ASERL-FDLP-Discussion-Draft and the executive summary is available at: tinyurl.com/ASERL-FDLP-Exec-Summary. The results of the related survey are available at: tinyurl.com/ASERL-FDLP-Survey-Results.
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Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID: IR00000348:00001

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FEATURE
ASERL Proposal for Regional
Management of Federal
Depository Library Collections
Judith C.Russell
This continues to be a time of significant change for libraries
that participate in the Federal Depository Library Program
(FDLP). Changing environments often create opportunities to
act collaboratively to address common concerns. In this spirit,
Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) mem-
bers representing both regional and selective federal depository
libraries met in November 2009 and agreed to plan collectively
for management of their federal document collections.'
They affirmed that the federal documents collections
in the southeast region are valuable assets for the holding
library and the state where each collection is located. They
also acknowledged that these collections are an asset to the
region and agreed that regional collaboration could lead to
more effective management and utilization of federal docu-
ments. To be effective, regional planning requires collabora-
tion with all federal depository libraries in the ten state region
represented by ASERL, as well as the Virgin Islands and
Puerto Rico. Approximately 20 percent of all federal deposi-
tory libraries are in this region. This includes twelve regional
depository libraries and 248 selective depository libraries.
The ASERL Deans' FDLP Task Force was established to
prepare a discussion draft as a means of starting a dialogue
between library deans and directors, documents librar-
ians, and others about how to effectively manage the extant
FDLP collections as a regional asset. ^ The Task Force was
instructed to make sure its proposals were in compliance
with AA U.S. C. because changes in the legislation govern-
ing the FDLP are unlikely to occur in the near future.
A document proposing options for standardizing and sim-
plifying the FDLP collection management processes within the
region was approved unanimously at the April 2010 ASERL
meeting and posted on the ASERL website. A survey was
developed, seeking comments on the proposal section by sec-
tion. Presentations about the discussion draft were made at
the American Library Association and American Association
of Law Libraries annual meetings. Deans and documents
coordinators at each of the twelve regional depository librar-
ies were encouraged to notify the directors and documents
coordinators in each of their selective depository libraries to
inform them about the proposal and seek their comments.
Notifications were posted to Regional-L and GOVDOC-L
to advise the community of the proposal and seek their com-
ments. In early August, ASERL hosted a one-day FDLP
summit, followed by a working session to discuss specific
aspects of the proposal and identify ways to improve it.
Highlights of the discussion draft include:

• A brief overview of the law governing various aspects of
the FDLP program, specifically focusing on requirements
for manning FDLP collections;
• A recommendation to expand ASERLs "center of excel-
lence" model to build two comprehensive-as-possible,
cataloged FDLP print collections held collaboratively
across libraries in the southeast/ and
• Proposals for new, standardized processes for managing
the disposition of FDLP documents within the region
to reduce workload, balanced against a more robust acqui-
sitions process that emphasizes established local collection
development needs.

The proposal also affirms that the best means of provid-
ing broad public access to these federal documents collec-
tions is through online access to digital and digitized copies.
Therefore, the management of the tangible collections should
DttP: Documents to the People Winter 2010


ASERL Proposal for Regional Management of Federal Depository Library Collections
include efforts to support or participate in initiatives to cre-
ate a comprehensive digital collection in the public domain.
Furthermore, it states that the superintendent of docu-
ments should support management of depository collections
by identifying or creating cataloging records for the retrospec-
tive (pre-1976) publications that are included in the FDLP
Combined with the records already available in the Catalog of
Government Publications, this would provide an official defini-
tion of the contents of a comprehensive FDLP collection, both
for management of tangible collections and for digitization.
It must be emphasized that this proposal does not imply
that there will be only two regional depository libraries in
the southeast region. Rather, it means that among the twelve
regional depository libraries in the southeast, with the volun-
tary assistance of some selective depository libraries, there will
be collaboration to take responsibility for cataloging a portion
of the collection and for retrospectively acquiring the items
necessary to make that portion as complete as possible within
the limitations of available content and resources. Regional
depository libraries will continue to comply with the legal
requirements to retain their print and microform collections.

Next steps
As a result of the survey, the FDLP summit, and the FDLP
working session, changes in the discussion draft will take place.
Some changes have already been identified and seem to reflect
substantial consensus. Several issues remain open and are being
addressed through dialogue with the regional documents coor-
dinators and others. A revised proposal will be issued and cir-
culated for additional review and comment before the proposal
is approved.
Meanwhile, implementation plans are being formulated:

• state plans are being reviewed and common language is
being prepared so that existing plans can be modified
to support the regional planning effort and states, like
Florida, that do not currently have plans will have recom-
mended language to use as they develop a state plan;
• the University of Florida is developing a web-based tool to
support the common regional disposition processes; and
• regional depository libraries and some selective depository
libraries in the southeast region are assessing their collection
strengths in preparation for identifying the areas in which
they will establish new centers of excellence to support the
development of two comprehensive-as-possible, cataloged
FDLP print collections.
While there is still work to do to complete the proposal
and have it accepted, and then much more work to implement
it, this proposal is an affirmative effort to work collaboratively
to improve the management and utilization of federal docu-
ments collections in the southeast region, while remaining in
compliance with AA U.S. C. The ASERL members hope it will
also stimulate discussion, and action, in other regions as well.
Suggestions for ways to improve the proposal are welcome.
Judith C. Russell (jcrussell@ufl.edu). Dean of University
Libraries, University of Florida.
References
1. The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries
(www.aserl.org), also known as ASERL, is the larg-
est regional research library consortium in the United
States. Its members are academic research libraries
from ten states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina,
Tennessee, and Virginia. Its mission is to foster a high
standard of library excellence through inter-institutional
resource sharing and other collaborative efforts.
2. For purposes of this initiative, the southeast region is
defined as the ten states represented in ASERL, as well as
Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands because of their affili-
ation with the University of Florida, which serves as their
regional federal depository library.
3. The members of the ASERL Dean's FDLP Task Force
are: Judy Russell, University of Florida (Chair); Larry
Boyer, East Carolina University; Bonnie MacEwan,
Auburn University; Sarah Michalak, University of North
Carolina, Chapel Hill; William Potter, University of
Georgia; Lance Query, Tulane University; and Julia
Rholes, University of Mississippi.
4. After it was approved by ASERL, the discussion draft
was provided to the Government Printing Office
(GPO) and reviewed by the GPO Office of the General
Counsel, which determined that proposal was compliant
with 44 use.
5. The complete discussion draft is available at tinyurl
.com/ASERL-FDLP-Discussion-Draft and the
executive summary is available at: tinyurl.com/
ASERL-FDLP-Exec-Summary.
6. The survey results are available at tinyurl.com/
ASERL-FDLP-Survey-Results.
7. Three regional depository libraries in the southeast
have already agreed to become centers of excellence for
specific federal agencies. As such, they are cataloging
DttP: Documents to the People Winter 2010


Russell
and inventorying their holdings for those agencies and
conducting research to identify other publications from
those agencies that are missing from their collections.
The centers have committed to obtaining the missing
items, if possible, in order to establish a comprehen-
sive collection of publications from these agencies as a
resource for their own university, the state, and for the
southeast region. In addition, the University of Florida
has committed to the digitization and provision of
online public access to the documents in its center of
excellence collection. Additional information about the
centers of excellence is available in the discussion draft
on pages 5 and 6.
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