Selective Housing Agreements (SHA)

  • Last Updated: December 19, 2022
  • Published: October 15, 2012

Institutions must submit a written Selective Housing Agreement to GPO when: 

  1. Depository materials are placed in an institution outside the depository director's authority, or 
  2. When a region is identifying unique or ‘regional copies’ of FDLP material. Regional copies are FDLP publications a regional library is obligated to house or to identify a housing institution to hold and provide access to. 

Since depository material is Federal property and subject to FDLP regulations, the depository library must work with the housing institution or storage facility to create a SHA to ensure continued public access to the materials.

A SHA outlines the partner’s responsibilities to provide for free public access and also to maintain the records for and materials in the depository collection.

The selective housing site must make depository publications available for public use in a timely manner and must display the FDLP eagle emblem on or near their entrance to demonstrate that the general public may access the FDLP collection housed at that site. For storage facilities that are not publicly accessible, all involved parties must educate/inform the public about the availability of these depository materials and how to access them.

It is the responsibility of the depository library to ensure that selective housing sites follow the rules and regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program. Selective housing sites must be made aware of and provided with appropriate FDLP information. All depository materials remain the property of the U.S. Government and all libraries must adhere to FDLP public access, maintenance, and public service requirements. For more information on access to FDLP materials, see Access to Collections.

  1. Selective or shared housing arrangements are usually between:
    • Two selectives
    • Depository housing material at a non-depository library 
    • Depository housing maps at another institution with a map collection 
    • Depository housing legal material at a law library 
    • Depository library housing materials in offsite storage managed by someone other than library director
    • Depository and another unit or branch in the parent institution, for example, a Geography Department at a university housing depository maps
  2. Agreements to identify regional copies are usually between:
    • Two regionals (in one state)
    • Regionals (across state lines) (to be used in conjunction with the Shared Regional Depository Library Implementation Plan)
    • A regional and a selective within the geographic area covered by the regional depository
    •  A regional depository and a non-depository or institution
    • A regional depository and an offsite storage facility managed by someone other than library director

Creating your SHA

For examples of the information typically included in a Selective Housing Agreement, see the SHA Templates:

  1. SHA template to share housing of FDLP material
  2. SHA template to identify or share housing of regional copies

The templates include guides for the agreements as well as a framework for documenting the publications involved. Collection specifics are highly recommended for general selective housing arrangements but are required for agreements involving regional copies.

SHAs must be sent to Library Services and Content Management (LSCM) at GPO and the regional depository library. All final documents should be submitted to GPO for review and approval and kept on file by all parties. Please contact LSCM at GPO for consultation about complex SHAs or those including library consortia.

Your agreement may have to go through your campus/library legal department and may result in an official Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Maintenance/Dissolution of the SHA

Libraries are encouraged to routinely review selective housing agreements to assess continuing need, ensure that procedures are followed, and maintain documentation and awareness.  

LSCM may regularly contact libraries with SHAs identifying regional copies to verify the agreements remain active for the region.

If a selective housing agreement is terminated, provide written notification to LSCM at GPO and the regional depository library. Consult with the regional depository library to ensure proper return or disposal of depository materials. For an example of a dissolution notification, review the Selective Housing Dissolution Template.

Federal Depository Support Services (LSCM) Contact Information

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