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About the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP)

FDLP LogoFor more than 140 years, The Government Printing Office (GPO) has kept America informed by producing and distributing Federal government information products. GPO combines conventional technology with state-of-the-art methods whether providing public access to Government information online, or producing or procuring printed publications that serve the information needs of the U.S. Congress, Federal agencies and the American public.

Through the Superintendent of Documents programs, GPO disseminates the largest volume of U.S. government publications and information in the world.

The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) is by far the largest and best known of the Superintendent of Documents programs. Established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government’s information, this program involves the acquisition, format conversion, and distribution of depository materials and the coordination of Federal depository libraries in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

The mission of the FDLP is to disseminate information products from all three branches of the Government to nearly 1,300 libraries nationwide. Libraries that have been designated as Federal depositories maintain these information products as part of their existing collections and are responsible for assuring that the public has free access to the material provided by the FDLP.

Authorized by Title 44, U.S.C., the FDLP and the Cataloging and Indexing Program, which produces the Monthly Catalog of the United States, are administered by the Library Programs Service (LPS). Out of a total GPO work force of more than 3,200, LPS has slightly more than 100 employees. While most of the GPO work force is engaged in processes for printing documents, procurement of printing or CD-ROM replication, developing World Wide Web applications, or tasks relating to or in support of these functions, LPS has unique responsibilities within GPO and is comprised of two divisions:

  • The Library Division performs library-related functions (acquisition, classification, format conversion, cataloging, inspections, etc.).
  • The Depository Distribution Division is responsible for the receipt, shipment preparation, physical distribution of publications, and the screening and fulfillment of any claims for LPS-shipped paper and electronic publications.

LPS also manages the distribution component of the International Exchange Service (IES) Program for the Library of Congress.

The Depository Library Council to the Public Printer consists of 15 members from the library and information community and assists GPO in identifying and evaluating alternatives for improving public access to government information through the FDLP and for optimizing resources available for operating the Program. Established in 1972, it is structured to provide the Public Printer with a diverse range of opinions and expertise.