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Circular Letter No. 612
(Supersedes Circular Letter No. 458 dated December 8, 1999)
May 30, 2006
TO: Printing and Publishing Officials of the Federal Government
SUBJECT: Disseminating Electronic Government Information Products to the Public through the Federal Depository Library Program
The Government Printing Office (GPO) administers the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) in compliance with the Depository Library Act (44 U.S.C., Chapter 19). Through this program, over 50 regional depository libraries and over 1,200 selective depository libraries throughout the United States and its territories receive Government publications free of charge, where they may be used by the public. Essentially all Government publications of public interest and/or of educational value, except those that are classified or those that are for strictly administrative use, are to be provided to depository libraries for public use.
For orders placed through GPO (Central Office and Regional Offices) and/or on agency direct-deal contracts, GPO decides which publications to distribute through the FDLP and determines the appropriate distribution medium and quantity required. GPO bears the printing and binding costs of the depository copies. For products produced independently of the GPO, agencies are required to make the determination, and bear the printing and binding costs or replication charges for copies for depository library distribution. In all cases, GPO bears the expense of distributing the copies.
The enclosed Guidelines for the Provision of Government Publications for Depository Library Distribution were developed to guide Government agency officials in determining the suitability of various tangible Government publications for depository distribution. To further assist you in making your determinations, "Types of Publications Included in the Federal Depository Library Program" and "Types of Publications Excluded from the Federal Depository Library Program" are also included as Appendices I and II.
Please also refer to Circular Letter No. 613, "Use of GPO Form 3868, Notification of Intent to Publish" and Circular Letter No. 612, "Disseminating Electronic Government Products to the Public Through the Federal Depository Library Program." Circular Letter No. 612 includes examples of how agencies can improve public access to their electronic products by using the award-winning GPO Access online service or one of the many other services currently offered by GPO to those agencies wishing to publish their products electronically. Your efforts are crucial to meet the mandates of statute that require information developed at tax payers' expense to be made available to the public. To that end, we want to ensure that all Government publications are evaluated for inclusion in the FDLP. Should you require additional information on this matter, please contact the individuals referenced in the Guidelines, or your GPO Account Representative.
GUIDELINES FOR THE PROVISION OF GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS FOR DEPOSITORY LIBRARY DISTRIBUTION
1. PURPOSE OF THE GUIDELINES
2. OVERVIEW OF THE DEPOSITORY LIBRARY PROGRAM
The definition of a "Government publication" (44 U.S.C., §1901) means informational matter which is published as an individual document at Government expense, or as required by law.
Over 50 regional depositories receive all publications distributed through the program for permanent retention to ensure that archival resource collections of tangible Government publications remain available throughout the United States. The remaining selective depositories may choose to receive only specific categories of publications to meet local needs. In return for receiving Government publications at no cost, depository libraries must make the publications available to the public, and provide appropriate assistance to users.
The purpose and goals of the Federal Depository Library Program are rooted in these underlying principles:
3. AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES
Agencies are not responsible for the printing and binding costs of depository library copies if the products are acquired through GPO. When these products are not printed or acquired through GPO, the publishing agency must pay for the printing and binding costs associated with printed products and for replication and software costs associated with tangible electronic products for depository libraries. Examples of such products are those produced in printing plants authorized by the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP), or those procured under a JCP printing waiver or under Government contract or grant. In all cases, GPO bears the expense of distributing the publications.
5. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR ASSISTANCE
TYPES OF PUBLICATIONS INCLUDED IN THE FEDERAL DEPOSITORY LIBRARY PROGRAM
PURPOSE: This appendix describes 17 types of publications for inclusion in the Federal Depository Library Program, and provides examples of each type. They are considered to be of "public interest" and/or "educational value" insofar as members of the general public (individuals, governments, private and public institutions, and organizations) have, or could express a need for, or interest in, the information for research, instructional, informational, scholarly, or compliance purposes.
Special care must also be taken to include the following types of products in the Federal Depository Library Program:
QUESTIONS: If you have questions about whether your publications fall within the scope of the Federal Depository Library Program, please contact:
1. PUBLIC NOTICES, INFORMATION MEMOS, NEWS (press) RELEASES, BULLETINS, and NEWSLETTERS published on a recurring basis.
2. HANDBOOKS, MANUALS, GUIDES, including TECHNICAL, PROCEDURAL, ADMINISTRATIVE, and TRAINING publications.Examples:
3. CIRCULARS that are advisory in nature, warning the public or segments of the public about dangers, proper conditions for safety, etc.
4. DIRECTORIES that list staff, office and agency locations, services, etc.
5. PROCEEDINGS of symposia, public meetings, workshops, conferences, hearings, etc.
6. FORMS including surveys, applications for services, grants, admission to programs, jobs, etc.
7. MAPS, ATLASES, CHARTS (geographical, topographical, climatological, nautical, economic, etc.)
8. POSTERS (lithographs, photographs, pictures, etc.)
9. CATALOGS (bibliographies, abstracts, and indexes, which identify and describe publications, educational courses, activities, events, etc.)
10. REPORTS, including one-time and recurring reports, which generally describe the status of organizations and/or results of research, investigations, studies, surveys, etc. All versions of a report (draft, preliminary, interim, final) unless they are preliminary versions which are intended for internal agency review and/or are not to be circulated outside of the Federal Government.
11. JOURNALS, PERIODICALS, NEWSPAPERS (published on a periodic basis, more substantial than newsletters and bulletins).
12. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS AND ASSESSMENTS (draft and final). Draft statements are very important since they are issued to obtain public comment.
13. LEGAL MATERIALS, including LAWS and DECISIONS issued by regulatory agencies, Courts, Inspectors General, etc., LEGAL OPINIONS, REGULATIONS, and RULES, LEGISLATIVE HISTORIES, and TREATIES and INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS.
14. FLYERS, BROCHURES, BOOKLETS, and PAMPHLETS designed to explain Government services and activities to the public.
15. STATISTICS (Publications of any nature that report statistics.)
16. MARKETING, PROMOTIONAL FLYERS, and PAMPHLETS
17. MONOGRAPHS (substantial publications complete in one part or a finite number of parts.)
TYPES OF PUBLICATIONS EXCLUDED FROM THE FEDERAL DEPOSITORY LIBRARY PROGRAM
PURPOSE: This appendix describes types of publications and provides examples for publications excluded from the Federal Depository Library Program, because they are for official use only or for strictly administrative or operational purposes and they are deemed to have no public interest or educational value.
1. JOB VACANCY NOTICES or ANNOUNCEMENTS
2. RULES, NOTICES, and HANDBOOKS CONCERNING RECREATIONAL and WELFARE ACTIVITIES and SERVICES for FEDERAL EMPLOYEES. Includes such areas as bowling league materials, notices of picnics, parties, blood drives, health clinics, social club minutes, charity contributions, etc.
3. MEMOS, DIRECTIVES, NOTICES, and MANUALS of FEDERAL AGENCIES used to implement PERSONNEL POLICIES, training activities of specific agencies and other internal administrative operations. (This does not include Government-wide personnel and training activities such as those conducted by Office of Personnel Management.)
4. DATA INPUT FORMS used to record information to be put into manual or computer record systems.
5. FORMS THAT FACILITATE CORRESPONDENCE or control scheduling and collection of data, or route information in such areas as property or equipment management, personnel, operational statistics, or guidelines for internal procedures. Examples include memorandum and letterhead stock, transmittal slips, and guidelines for correspondence performance.
6. PERSONNEL EVALUATION FORMS
7. SOLICITATIONS for the awarding of procurements including specifications and related documentation. These are usually advertised in the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) and the Federal Register and can be acquired from the agency.
8. ACCESS PASSES (IDs) for automobiles, people, or buildings.
9. SIGNS and BUMPER STICKERS THAT INSTRUCT, such as "quiet" or "wet paint," or give information, such as parking lot number or medical and access warnings.
10. WORKING DRAFT (Preliminary version that is intended for strictly internal review and revision and does not go to any segment of the public for review or comment.)
11. FORM LETTERS designed to go to multiple recipients.
12. USER MANUALS for computer programs in the area of information covered by the
13. AGENCY CONTROL FORMS, HANDBOOKS, and MANUALS used in the management of property such as typewriters, paper, etc.
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