The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) was established by Congress to ensure that the American public has access to its Government's information. Since 1813, depository libraries have safeguarded the public's right to know by collecting, organizing, maintaining, preserving, and assisting users with information from the Federal Government. The FDLP provides Government information at no cost to designated depository libraries throughout the country and territories. These depository libraries, in turn, provide local, no-fee access to Government information in an impartial environment with professional assistance.
As institutions committed to equity of access and dedicated to free and unrestricted public use, the nation's nearly 1,250 depository libraries serve as one of the vital links between "We the people" and our Government. Anyone can visit Federal depository libraries and use the Federal depository collections which are filled with information on careers, business opportunities, consumer information, health and nutrition, legal and regulatory information, demographics, and numerous other subjects.
The Depository Library Council (DLC) to the Public Printer was established in 1972 to provide advice on policy matters relating to the FDLP. The primary focus of the DLC's work is to advise the Public Printer, the Superintendent of Documents, and appropriate members of GPO staff on practical options for the efficient management and operation of the FDLP.
The authority for the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and the legal obligations of designated Federal depository libraries are found in 44 United States Code §§1901‐1916.