U.S. Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP)

About the FDLP

The UNT Libraries were designated a Federal Depository Library on January 20, 1948. Today, the Government Documents Department is one of nearly 1300 federal depository libraries that exist throughout the United States and its territories.

Congress established the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) based on three principles:

  • With certain exceptions, all U.S. government publications shall be made available to federal depository libraries.

  • Federal depository libraries shall be located in each state and U.S. congressional district in order to make government publications widely available.

  • These government publications shall be available for the free use of the general public.

From a modest beginning in the early 1800s, the FDLP has grown into a system of nearly 1300 federal depository libraries. With few exceptions, each congressional district and territory of the United States has at least one federal depository library.

These depositories are housed in congressionally designated academic, law, and public libraries. Each depository library provides its surrounding community with free access to government information.

The UNT Depository Library houses or provides access to almost 70% of the publications issued each year by the U.S. Government Printing Office. These publications range from scholarly scientific studies to consumer information. Government publications address a wide variety of topics, but are particularly helpful if you are seeking information about public policy and legal issues, the environment, education, health care, and statistics.

FDLP Agencies and Libraries

Government Printing Office

The GPO, headed by the Public Printer, prints, binds, and distributes the publications of the Congress as well as the executive departments and establishments of the Federal Government. Distribution is being accomplished on an increasing basis via various electronic media in accordance with Public Law 103-40, “The Government Printing Office Electronic Information Access Enhancement Act of 1993.”

Superintendent of Documents

Subordinate to the Public Printer, the Superintendent of Documents oversees depository libraries, sale of documents, and compilation of the Monthly Catalog and other bibliographic aids.

Depository Library Council to the Public Printer

This agency advises the Public Printer, the Superintendent of Documents, and appropriate members of GPO staff on practical options for the efficient management and operation of the Depository Library Program.

Federal Depository Library Directory

Find a depository library near you—search by state, area code, congressional district, or view a list of all libraries.

Internet Resources for FDLP Librarians and Patrons

FDLP Desktop
News, information, and communication for and about the Federal Depository Library Program. Includes contacts, calendar, publications, locator tools, processing tools and information on FDLP partnerships.
Documents Dataminer 2 (Wichita State University)
Designed to support management of federal depository library collections, DOCUMENTS DATA MINER© is a search engine combining files from the latest version of the List of Classes of United States Government Publications available for Selection by Depository Libraries, the Item Lister’s Current Item Number Selection Profiles for Depository Libraries, and the Federal Depository Library Directory. Available information on inactive and discontinued items has been added to the database.
Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (GPO Access)
Bibliographic records published in the Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications (MOCAT) since January 1994. These records describe government information products available through the Federal Depository Library Program. Once an information product is identified, a link is available to locate depository libraries that receive that product.
Government Information Clearinghouse and Handout Exchange (ALA/GODORT)
The goal of the Clearinghouse is “to gather in one place the many management tools available to government information librarians to assist in the successful management of electronic government information and in building advocacy skills to promote access to this information.”
How to Obtain U.S. Government Publications (UNT)
Catalogs and other resources for locating and obtaining information products published by the U.S. Government.
Twenty-One Things to Do When Assuming Responsibility for a Federal Depository Library (UNT)
This is a beginner’s guide of what to do during the first weeks and/or months as a new manager of a Federal Depository Library.