The Cataloging Record Distribution Program (CRDP) provides GPO produced catalog records to participating Federal depository libraries at no cost to the libraries.
The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) contracts with MARCIVE, Inc. for bibliographic record services for CRDP participants. MARCIVE personnel work with each participating library to develop a customized profile (CRDP Profile) and then provide monthly sets of GPO produced bibliographic records for each library based on that profile.
Libraries add the records to their own library catalogs, enhancing public access and awareness of U.S. Government publications. Libraries do not pay to participate; however, they must follow minimum participation requirements in order to remain in the program.
GPO started the CRDP on October 1, 2009 and has expanded the program each year. Currently, it serves up to 260 Federal depository libraries.
More than 1 in 5 Federal depository libraries, of all sizes and types, are currently in the CRDP.
CRDP participants use over 30 different library systems, including Alma, Polaris, Sierra, SirsiDynix, and OCLC WMS. Over half use an automated batch catalog retrieval method to acquire their records.
Participating libraries choose from several CRDP services and options to meet their library system and workflow needs.
Libraries create CRDP Profiles when they join the CRDP. The following illustrates a review of participant Profiles.
Selection of Monthly Records Lists, FDLP Basic Collection records, and records without item numbers or inactive item numbers were options added to the CRDP in October, 2019. Any participating library may request these services.
Benefits of the CRDP
There are many advantages to participation, including:
- The service is available at no cost to participating Federal depository libraries.
- Quality bibliographic records are provided monthly.
- Participating libraries profiled to get current bibliographic records can make changes anytime to their FDLP item number selection profiles and will automatically get bibliographic records the next month based on the updated item number selection profiles.
- Libraries may acquire catalog records which do not have item numbers or have inactive item numbers by identifying Superintendent of Documents classification stems.
- Libraries may receive a monthly list of titles and SuDocs, item, and OCLC numbers.
- Libraries may configure the bibliographic record files received and may make up to two cataloging specification changes during each Federal fiscal year (October-September).
- Easy monthly process for acquiring records sets.
- Receiving bibliographic records reduces library staff cataloging time.
- CRDP Buddies are available to assist, providing CRDP-related training or guidance to those interested in consulting with an experienced practitioner.
How to Join the CRDP
The CRDP currently has vacancies.
Participation in the CRDP is “first come, first served". Contact GPO’s Federal Depository Support Services if you are interested. Ask for Kathy Bayer or Lara Flint.
- Phone: 202-512-1119 (shared phone line)
- Submit an inquiry using askGPO > Federal Depository Library Program > Category: Cataloging Record Distribution Program
If your depository library is interested in joining, you are encouraged to:
- Ask questions of MARCIVE and GPO staff.
- Ask GPO to be placed on the wait list, if there is one.
- Review the CRDP minimum participation requirements to make sure your library will be able to participate.
- Review general information about CRDP Profiles and the CRDP Profile Guide, which provides instructions for notifying MARCIVE how libraries would like their records sets customized. You may also wish to review the Completing the CRDP Profile webcast.
- Review and update the depository’s FDLP item number selection profile, as appropriate.
When your library is ready to join:
- Contact GPO and express that your library is ready to join the CRDP.
- GPO will invite your library to join, after confirming that your library plans to fulfill the participation requirements.
- After you receive the invitation, submit your CRDP Profile. Access the web form through the link in the first paragraph of the CRDP Profile Guide.
- Complete the initial CRDP Profile and testing within three weeks.
- Review Joining the CRDP, a short outline of steps to take when joining the CRDP and what you can expect once your library is an active participant.
- Please note that this document mentions files are available for retrieval for only 14 days. This was the record retrieval timeframe pre-pandemic. Currently, MARCIVE is making all records sets available for 45 days. The two week timeframe may be reinstated in the future.
Please note: GPO reviews and approves library requests for the FDLP Basic Collection records set, Monthly Records Lists, and setting of OCLC holdings before they are implemented.
If your library is added to a wait list because there are no current vacancies, you are typically invited to join after the beginning of the next Federal fiscal year (October 1st). If a program vacancy arises during a fiscal year, the next library on the waiting list is able to join at that time.
Current CRDP participants
If your library is experiencing any challenges with CRDP participation as a result of the pandemic or other major issue, please contact staff at GPO. We will consult with you to see how we may be of assistance.
If you have a change in point of contact for the CRDP at your library, please provide the changes to MARCIVE and/or GPO. It is recommended that at least two individuals at a library serve as CRDP contacts so a backup may retrieve records when needed and be available to communicate with MARCIVE or GPO about the program.
If you would like to make item number changes, but are interested in assistance with the process, contact staff at GPO.
If your library is migrating to a new library system, contact MARCIVE to review CRDP Profile changes.
Each continuing CRDP library is entitled to make up to two cataloging specification updates to the record sets output during each Federal fiscal year. GPO’s fiscal year runs from October 1st through September 30th.
If you wish to update your CRDP Profile, contact MARCIVE.
- The CRDP Profile Guide and Completing the CRDP Profile Guide webcast are helpful resources to review what is currently available in the CRDP.
- Please do not submit change requests through the CRDP Profile Guide web form though. That’s currently set up for use by libraries joining the program.
Note that GPO catalogs publications as part of projects, which may result in high volumes of records for similar publications in short periods of time. IF you’re receiving publications you do not want or you wish to acquire collections of records from a new project, contact MARCIVE or GPO. In some cases, a CRDP Profile change may be needed. In others, a change in item number selection may be required.
New services and options were made available in October 2019. Any CRDP participating library who joined prior to October 2019 may request these services and options be added to their CRDP Profiles by contacting MARCIVE:
- Your library may choose to receive catalog records which do not have item numbers or have inactive item numbers. To select these records, you identify desired SuDocs stems.
- Your library may opt to receive FDLP Basic Collection catalog records, in a single batch in the following month’s records set.
- Your library may receive a Monthly Records List.
Since GPO pays for participating libraries to receive bibliographic records through the CRDP, the libraries are required to:
- Maintain CRDP point(s) of contact with both GPO and MARCIVE, Inc. A library must always have at least one current point of CRDP contact to retrieve monthly records sets and also communicate with GPO and MARCIVE about the CRDP. Notify both GPO and/or MARCIVE of any changes in the points of contact.
- Retrieve catalog records each month. Records are typically made available at the end of the second week of the month. The timeframe when records are available is included in the monthly email notification.
- Failure to see the email notification from MARCIVE about availability of records or to be contacted by GPO with a “friendly reminder” about record pick-up does not excuse a library from picking up records. If you haven’t seen a notification by the middle of the month and haven’t seen communication about a delay in records availability, you should get in touch with MARCIVE to inquire about the records.
- If you don’t have the capabilities to upload the records to your library system because your library is in a system migration or other activity is impacting system work, please access and capture the records while they’re available and save them to a local computer or drive as .mrc files. You may then process them when systems work resumes.
- If your library is significantly impacted by a disaster, library closure, or other event and you are unable to access the monthly records, contact GPO or MARCIVE staff, who may hold records for a period of time.
- If you miss picking up records, you may contact MARCIVE to request reposting within eight weeks from the date when the records were made available. This may typically be done only once during a Federal fiscal year, which runs from October 1st through September 30th.
- Load records into the ILS/OPAC on a timely basis, which is preferably within two weeks but at least before the next set of records is available the following month, and test the results.
- When you receive an unusually large number of monthly records, it is understandable if additional time is needed to review the records before they are loaded. The additional records may, for example, include a collection of records from a new cataloging project.
- Libraries with OCLC WMS and selected batch catalog record retrieval processes may set up their CRDP Profiles so they do not need to pick up or load records.
- Profile to receive records monthly, at least ten records each month, on average.
- Complete an annual GPO survey about the CRDP.
- Have an integrated library system which supports Resource Description and Access (RDA) bibliographic records.
- For new participants, after receiving an invitation to join, complete the initial CRDP Profile and testing within three weeks.
PLEASE NOTE: GPO monitors non-compliance with these requirements and reserves the right to remove libraries from the CRDP when they do not fulfill the requirements.
Participating libraries who have contacted GPO about relinquishing Federal depository status will be consulted about their plans for CRDP participation. A library may voluntarily discontinue participation in the CRDP at any time, but a library planning to leave the FDLP will be removed from the CRDP after GPO receives the letter of intent to relinquish depository status from the library director or when there is a Collection Disposition Plan. Libraries discontinuing in the CRDP may retain the bibliographic records received through the program.
If your library is uncertain about meeting the participation requirements, please contact GPO or MARCIVE to consult. Also note that GPO catalog records are also available through other sources. To get a sense of the number of new bibliographic records your library may get each month based on your current FDLP item number selection profile, search the Documents Data Miner 3 Catalog, filtered by your depository library number.
Participating libraries create CRDP Profiles to describe the types of records they wish to receive and how they will be organized in order to meet the specifications of their local library systems.
Each library participant may select one of the following options, matched with your library’s item selection profile at the beginning of each month:
- All newly created cataloging records
- All newly created records, plus changed or updated bibliographic records.
Each library participant may also select from the following options:
- Catalog records without item numbers or records which include inactive item numbers, identified through selection of desired SuDocs stems. Records without item numbers typically describe older publications, including digital reproductions. Examples of records without item numbers are described at GPO’s Cataloging Data in the Cataloging Record Distribution Program.
- FDLP Basic Collection catalog records, in a single batch in the following month’s records set. This is a one-time output that is of most interest to newer Federal depository libraries which haven’t already cataloged these titles. Your library does not need to be selecting the corresponding item numbers to receive this group of records.
Record sets may be customized in the CRDP. Libraries may choose from among the following CRDP custom options:
- Organization of records sets. They may be in one file or they can be separated by format, such as serials or online only (EL).
- Output limited by format, such as online only (EL)
- Creation of item record holding fields
- Creation of up to four holding codes
- Placement of OCLC numbers, SuDocs class numbers, and designated MARC fields according to local practice
- Record sets in MARC-8 or UTF-8
- Sending records to OCLC for the purpose of setting holdings
MARCIVE adds the following note to each record in a 500 field: “GPO Cataloging Record Distribution Program (CRDP)”.
Records are distributed in batches once a month from MARCIVE, typically at the end of the second week of the month. The records sets are for publications cataloged by GPO during the previous month.
CRDP points of contact at libraries are notified by MARCIVE each month, by email, when their records are available to pick up via FTP or HTTPS. The emails include the quantity of records, the location where the records may be retrieved, and the timeframe when the records are available.
Once notified, libraries currently have 45 days to retrieve records. The email notification includes the expiration date after which the records will not be available.
Please note that the record retrieval timeframe prior to the pandemic was two weeks. GPO reserves the right to return to this timeframe.
Monthly Records List
Receiving Monthly Records Lists is an option for all participating libraries. The lists are commonly known as monthly titles lists, but they include more than titles.
A Monthly Records List is a monthly electronic report in .CSV format that includes the SuDocs number, item number, OCLC number, and brief title. It is made available at the same time as each monthly set of catalog records. For libraries receiving multiple files of records, there will be a list for each file.
This monthly list may be useful during records processing or may be helpful to share with other library colleagues for current awareness of new depository receipts. It can assist processing at libraries with systems that do not have the capability to produce such a report. For libraries receiving multiple files of records, there will be a list for each file.
The following services are not available through the CRDP:
- GPO acquisition records (brief bibs)
- MARCIVE Shipping List Service (SLS) records
- Barcodes/smart barcodes
- Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) number labels
- Access to MARCIVEWeb Docs (database offered by MARCIVE)
- Authority control services
- Custom reporting
- Record loads tailored for a consortial catalog
- Retrospective cataloging
Guidance, Questions, and Technical Assistance
Looking for guidance about CRDP workflows or best practices from a practitioner? Request a referral to an experienced librarian who has offered to consult about the CRDP. A referral is typically made to a library using the same integrated library system.
To request a CRDP Buddy, contact GPO’s Federal Depository Support Services (see below).
GPO thanks all the librarians who have volunteered to share their expertise and consult with their colleagues about the CRDP.
Contact GPO if you:
- Have general questions or comments about the CRDP
- Would like to join or discontinue participation in the CRDP
- Want to update your library’s CRDP point(s) of contact
- Wish to request a CRDP Buddy
Contact Kathy Bayer or Lara Flint in GPO’s Federal Depository Support Services by:
Contact MARCIVE, Inc. if you:
- Have technical support questions about CRDP profiling, ongoing profile maintenance or updates, records formatting, or receipt of files
- Have other technical questions about the CRDP
- Would like to join or discontinue participation in the CRDP
- Want to update your library’s CRDP point(s) of contact
Contact MARCIVE, Inc. representatives by:
Download this list of the participating Libraries.
- Completing the CRDP Profile (webcast), August 21, 2020
- Better Faster: Using MarcEdit to Process and Enhance CRDP Records (webinar), March 16, 2021
- Cataloging Record Distribution Program Workflows webinar, September 7, 2017