Government Publications Department
Tennessee Regional Depository
TENNESSEE STATE PLAN FOR FEDERAL DEPOSITORY LIBRARIES
For over one hundred-twenty years, Federal Depository Libraries in the state of Tennessee
have been providing no-fee, public access to United States Government information
in all formats through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Since 1813,
depository libraries in the United States have ensured that the American public has
access to the information produced by its government, ensuring a well-informed democracy.
Depository libraries in Tennessee hold a rich tradition in the provision of government
Ideally, each federal congressional district will have located in it at least one
depository library in order to ease access to government information throughout each
state. In the state of Tennessee, all nine congressional districts do, indeed, have
at least one Federal Depository Library, with some containing more than one. All but
one of these depository libraries are known as "selective depositories" as they select
the portion of all available depository publications that are needed by the constituents
they serve. Generally speaking, each state also has one "regional depository," which
selects and archives all materials available to Federal Depository Libraries.
In Tennessee, there are presently twenty-five Federal Depository Libraries. These
libraries represent a mixture of public, academic, state, federal, and law libraries
of varying sizes. Appendix 1 lists these and outlines basic characteristics of the
libraries. The Regional Depository Library for the state of Tennessee is at the University
of Memphis. Tennessee was the last state to have a Regional depository named, with
the University of Memphis taking that role in 1989. Tennessee also has the unique
arrangement where six selective depositories serve as the "regional" for certain agencies'
publications issued prior to 1989. This shared holdings concept provides depositories
in Tennessee some unique challenges and advantages.
In 1999, the Tennessee Library Association's (TLA) Government Documents Round Table
(GODORT) recognized that in order to provide the best possible services to constituents
and to work effectively with each other, a plan needed to be formed to address key
issues. TLA GODORT formed a committee representing a variety of library types and
sizes to draft a plan for the Federal Depository libraries in Tennessee.
The purpose of this document is to assist the Federal Depository Libraries in Tennessee
as they provide access to all formats of government information in a variety of methods.
While this is not a step-by-step manual, it is intended to offer direction and goals
for the libraries so that the best possible service may be realized. Suggestions and
standards for the provision of service, bibliographic access, collection development,
and the promotion of depository collections are some of the primary topics addressed
in this plan. Found throughout this plan is the overarching principle that to be most
effective, depositories in Tennessee should work together.
III. Collection Development
The goal of all depository libraries in Tennessee is to assure the availability of
government information in all formats to the citizens of Tennessee and to ensure the
comprehensiveness and integrity of Tennessee's depository resources.
The 25 Federal Depository Libraries in Tennessee will maintain a collection responsive
to the needs of the citizens served. The collection will include all formats of materials:
paper, microform, and electronic.
A written collection development policy based on user needs and the Core Collection
specified in the Federal Depository Library Manual shall be maintained by each depository
library. Selective depositories will assess the needs of their particular users in
making appropriate selection and maintenance decisions of its depository collection.
Each depository should maintain a core collection as recommended in the Federal Depository
Library Manual for its particular library type. In addition, a core Tennessee collection
(See Appendix II.) will be maintained by all depositories to insure access to key
regional information. Within neighboring areas, unnecessary duplication may be eliminated
and full coverage a provided through cooperative comparison, discussion, and amendment
of item selections.
Depository libraries should acquire commercially produced publications that supplement
and enhance the depository collection and strengthen access points. This would include
indexes, guidebooks, statistical works, information on regulatory agencies, legal
areas, Congress, Census, and other areas. These could include CD-ROMs, licensed Internet
sites, data-files and, other materials that would supplement the use of primary materials
delivered through the Government Printing Office.
Collection development should attempt to satisfy the broadest base of information
users within your Congressional District and depository community. Effort should be
made to share ideas and resources within your library system and depository community.
Selective housing allows for a depository library to transfer current or retrospective
materials to another library. Depositories may enter in to such agreements in order
to allow for wider usage and greater accessibility of documents, to alleviate space
problems, or other reasons. Depository materials located in selective housing sites
are subject to the full range of depository standards. A formal agreement between
the libraries must be signed. The Federal Depository Library Manual outlines the requirements for selective housing agreements.
All depositories shall provide access to electronic resources in accordance with the
most current Recommended Specifications for Public Access Workstations in Federal Depository Libraries. All depositories should also develop an Electronic Services Policy. A depository
is permitted to replace tangible versions with electronic equivalents provided the
electronic version is complete, official, and permanently accessible. FDLP Guidelines on Substituting Electronic for Tangible Versions of Depository Publications.) Depository librarians should use professional judgment and consider user needs and
patterns when determining if electronic access only is best suited for a given title.
A carefully written collection development policy should reflect these considerations.
Depositories will coordinate with area depositories and the Regional to insure print
copies are available for patron use. The selective depositories must receive the Regional's
permission to dispose of the tangible material.
Retrospective Collection Development and Archiving
Retrospective collection development is defined as the acquisition of non-current
documents in order to complete partial runs of series, fill in gaps, replace missing
volumes, and acquire documents never owned. Archiving is the responsibility of the
regional depository and of the shared holdings libraries in specified areas (see Appendix
I). Selective depositories should maintain retrospective collections in areas prescribed
by their collection strengths and in accordance with their collection development
The Regional Depository Library and the shared holdings libraries shall coordinate
efforts concerning documents to be withdrawn in order to ensure availability and to
The Regional shall develop a union list of commercial indexes, microform sets, and
major document-related holdings in depositories. Depository libraries shall identify
special collections such as maps, patents, census, etc. and shall promote awareness
of these collections.
The Regional Depository Library will maintain the Tennessee archival collection from
the date of 1989. Some selective depositories with larger and older collections, in
coordination with the Regional depository, agree to be responsible for certain areas
of the depository collection for archival purposes pre-1989. While a library will
archive publications in their collection areas, they will be able to discard from
other areas as deemed appropriate. The Tennessee Shared Holdings System is described
in Appendix II.
Depository libraries will carry out weeding / withdrawal procedures in accordance
with guidelines set forth by the Government Printing Office and in cooperation with
the Regional Depository Library. (See Appendix IV, Tennessee Withdrawal Policy)
The Regional Depository will co-ordinate disposal of documents by selective depositories
* retrospective documents not widely held will be identified and retained in the State.
* incomplete series and missing volumes are replaced and the Regional's retrospective
documents collection is strengthened whenever possible.
* access to archival material, including electronic information, is provided.
IV. Bibliographic Access and Control
Bibliographic access to all federal government information is essential to the operation
of the depository program. The Government Printing Office provides for basic bibliographic
access through the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. Each depository library
should maintain appropriate access to the Catalog.
Each depository library should provide the same bibliographic access to government
information, regardless of format, as they do to other library material. All government
publications should be included in the library catalog. Each depository library should:
* integrate bibliographic records for all government information in their main catalog
rather than as a separate database.
* maintain bibliographic information indicating library holdings of federal government
information to the piece level.
* provide the same bibliographic access to government information regardless of format.
* include, as searchable in the records, the Superintendent of Documents Classification
Additional Standards for Electronic Catalogs
Each depository library should provide the same bibliographic access to government
information in electronic catalogs:
* include these records either through local cataloging or by purchasing GPO tapes
from GPO or other commercial provider.
* include active electronic links for government information in their catalogs.
* add holdings to the bibliographic utility (e.g., OCLC, RLIN) in which the library
is a member.
Additional Access Tools
Each depository library should acquire and maintain a collection of bibliographies,
commercial indexes, and other reference sources and finding aides to facilitate verification,
acquisitions, and retrieval of government information.
Each depository library should contribute, when appropriate, federal holdings to union
lists. The regional depository library should develop and maintain a union list of
commercial indexes, microform sets, and major government-related holdings in depository
libraries in the State.
This area covers issues directly related to the support of depository services through
allocation of human resources, adequate space, supplemental equipment and resources,
and an underlying commitment from the library administration to maintain services
in a changing technological environment.
Each depository library should have a Coordinator, who is a librarian with a Master's
Degree from an American Library Association accredited program. This person should
be actively involved with overseeing depository operations, including collection development
and maintenance, handling of communications and surveys with the Government Printing
Office and performing or supervising stated actions of service covered in the Federal
Depository Library Manual.
The depository staff should be given adequate time to perform all the depository responsibilities.
The library administration should be aware of the time required to weed, maintain,
promote and train other staff on significant depository issues and resources. In-service
training is essential to maximize use of a depository library, especially given the
extensive availability of remote access and online resources. The depository library
administrations should support participation in regional training sessions, meetings
of TLA GODORT, and other programs beneficial to the continuing education and development
of personnel involved with depository operations.
The personnel assigned to handle depository functions will depend on the size of the
collection, its relationship to the other library departments and overall integration
within the library's mission. It is very important to maintain awareness and proficiency
among the entire library staff. Efforts should be made to keep staff aware of government
information in its many formats. Support staff, particularly in the computer services
area, should be informed of the technical requirements necessary to provide comprehensive
service through a depository program. Administrations are encouraged to support the
necessary expansion in technology by budgeting appropriately.
Equipment and Space
Physical facilities and environmental controls for a depository collection should
be of the same quality as other library areas. Proper temperature, humidity control,
ventilation, shelf space, seating, and lighting should be provided in the documents
area. Processing, reference, and reading areas should be functional and expandable.
Equipment should be provided and upgraded as needed to better meet the needs of depository
users. This would include adequate storage cabinets for microfiche, maps, and CD-ROMs,
as well as photocopy, fax machines, computer workstations with printers, and other
equipment to meet the emerging technologies. The Recommended Minimum Technical Guidelines
should be followed for purchasing decisions. Policies related to computer and Internet
use should attempt to make government information freely accessible and should include
access to downloading and printing documents.
Crucial to the success of a depository library is the administration's commitment
to providing stable and adequate funding for all of the depository's functions. The
aforementioned areas of human resources, adequate facilities and supplementary equipment
and reference materials must be planned for and budgeted in a consistent and realistic
manner. The evolution of technologies in the government information services area
is evident and reflects a need for planning and flexibility in the budgeting area.
Funding for staff participation in the TLA GODORT activities, regional meetings, and
Federal conferences should be provided. When possible, enrollment in workshops, training
classes, and symposia should be supported with time and funding.
The Regional Depository Library will provide space, shelving, equipment, bibliographic
control, and staff to meet the responsibilities of permanent retention of Federal
Government information and its retrieval and dissemination within the state of Tennessee.
VI. Public Service
The fundamental goal of all depository libraries is to provide exceptional service
and no-fee public access to Federal Government information, regardless of format.
Title 44 of the United States Code (USC), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),
the FDLP, and an individual library's own set of supporting policies will provide
direction in attaining this goal. Libraries should ensure that service and access
is provided to all patrons regardless of sex, race, religion, or disability.
The depository maintenance functions should be carried out by trained staff comparable
to that which is provided for other collections. Among the skills the staff should
posses, it is critical that staff be familiar with how to access and use electronic
government information as well as how to demonstrate or apply this knowledge directly
to the patrons. The staff should be up-to-date on and aware of new issues in the realm
of government information. To ensure this, staff should identify and participate in
training and continuing education opportunities. Documents staff should encourage
and participate in the training of non-documents staff in government information identification,
access and retrieval. This could be achieved in a training and orientation process
for new library personnel.
Federal documents should be available during regular library hours. If depository
material can be used outside the library, the library should have a circulation policy
that addresses outside use. The depository collection should also be promoted in the
surrounding community. The Regional Depository will provide reference service to in-state
Promotion of the depository collection should be carried out on various levels. Without
fail, it seems the depository collection is the portion of the library that the majority
of patrons understand the least. Promotion of the collection will help ease this problem.
Below are several ways to promote the collection, starting from the very local and
working up to broader audiences.
The best place to start is at home. That is, within the library. As the entire library
staff becomes familiar with the depository collection and its potential, the more
comfortable they will be in using the collection and making the proper referrals.
Simply providing periodic "reports" to library staff on new and useful titles or demonstrating
CD-ROM or Internet resources to reference/public services staff will help educate
them as to the types of materials available and how to use them. Increasing your colleagues'
knowledge of the collection and the comfort level of using it will allow you to potentially
realize many more voices promoting the use of the collection to those outside of the
The provision of thorough and user-friendly bibliographic access is also an exceptional
promotional tool. Cataloging and classification of your depository collection in your
library's online catalog, for example, will dramatically increase the interest in
and usage of the collection.
Depository librarians have also found that holding general government information
instruction sessions that are open to the public have been quite successful and well-received.
Allowing for plenty of time for interaction with attendees, these can serve as wonderful
opportunities to receive feedback from the public at large in terms of the services
we provide and the materials that we do or do not select. Other instruction sessions
can be arranged with particular organizations and less formally organized groups,
too. Rotary clubs and other civic groups are great target audiences, as are groups
of educators. Many professional organizations are, also.
Depositories in academic libraries have long found that working closely with faculty
and providing bibliographic instruction sessions where government information is stressed
is an excellent method of promoting the depository collection. While some fields such
as political science and economics are obvious targets, other, less obvious fields
should also be examined. For example, documents librarians have illustrated the effective
use of government information in the areas of art, religion, philosophy, biology,
anthropology, chemistry, and many, many more.
Local newspapers may be willing to publish information about depository library collections.
Librarians might write a brief column periodically in order to keep the collection
in the mind of the public as well as to illustrate its usefulness when discussing
timely topics such as elections, current policy issues, etc.
Another means of promoting your collection is through your congressperson. Depositories
are encouraged to maintain communication with the representative in whose district
their library resides. This dialogue can serve several purposes. Getting to know your
representative's staffers will not only educate them about your collection, but also
about the FDLP in general. An established line of communication can be an invaluable
resource when it comes time to contact that representative regarding proposed legislation
or other matters. Depository staff should encourage their congressperson to display
a link on their Internet home page to your library's home page. Many constituents
do not contact their representatives and can thus learn of the depository in their
district just by visiting the web site.
Aside from US congressional contacts, state and local public officials should also
be made aware of the depository collection. Not only will they find the material useful,
but they may also refer the public to your collection when they seek government information.
One very effective means of promoting the collection to millions, potentially, is
the Internet. Your library's home page on the World Wide Web should include information
about your depository collection. This can range from a basic outline of the collection
and service hours to several pages of content with links to key government Internet
sites and indexes. Handouts that you produce for locating information on particular
topics or databases are excellent additions to depository Web sites in electronic
Cooperation among the depository libraries in Tennessee and beyond is crucial. Some
suggested methods of fostering cooperation are listed here:
* be familiar with and abide by the policies and procedures found in the Federal Depository
Library Manual and Instructions to Depository Libraries * be familiar with and abide
by the policies and procedures recommended by the Regional Library. * be familiar
with American Library Association Government Documents Round Table, (GODORT), its
activities and purpose. * utilize local groups to disseminate and or collect Depository
1. WeTalc: West Tennessee Academic Library Consortium
2. Middle Tennessee Depository Council
3. TRC: Tennessee Resource Center
4. Boone Tree Library Association
5. East Tennessee Library Association
6. TLA GODORT
* subscribe to and monitor the official state and national federal government information
electronic list serves. Examples include:
The national list serve, where members post messages, queries, and notices to government
documents libraries across the country.
* provide mentoring. Due to the geographic nature of the state, experienced staff
in nearby depositories in each of the 3 regions, East, Middle, West shall act as mentors
to the small selective libraries in their region.
The state list serve, where members post messages, queries, and notices to government
documents libraries across the state of Tennessee.
* provide efficient interlibrary loan services in all formats, except titles that
are necessary for reference use of the library's clientele. Libraries requesting documents
through interlibrary loan should include all available bibliographic information.
This plan will be thoroughly and critically reviewed every five years. The chair of
the Tennessee Library Association's (TLA) Government Documents Round Table (GODORT)
and the Regional Depository Librarian will form a review committee comprised of representatives
from all types of Federal Depository Libraries in Tennessee. The appendices may be
reviewed and updated at any time.
I. List of Tennessee Depository Libraries
II. Shared Holdings Libraries Explanation and History
III. Shared Holdings Libraries' Collection Areas
IV. Procedures for Withdrawal
V. Tennessee Core Collection, (not developed)
VI. Union List of Collection Strengths