The authority for regional depository libraries is found in 44 United States Code §1912. It states, in part, that designated regional depositories “will, in addition to fulfilling the requirements for depository libraries, retain at least one copy of all Government publications either in printed or microfacsimile form (except those authorized to be discarded by the Superintendent of Documents) …”
Under this authority, regional depository libraries were only authorized to discard superseded publications, those issued later in bound form, and those for which they held in another tangible format.
In July 2015, the Superintendent of Documents’ policy, Government Publications Authorized for Discard by Regional Depository Libraries was approved, allowing regionals to discard depository materials when certain criteria are met. See the most recent regional discard policy, Superintendent of Documents Public Policy Statement 2020-1, for policy specifics.
Basic Requirements for Regionals to Discard
- Publication eligibility requirements:
- Digital equivalent on govinfo, or from the digital repository of a Digital Preservation Steward or Federal agency partner, in a format that meets the standards of the Superintendent of Documents as verifiably authentic
- Held by the regional for at least 5 years
- A minimum of 4 tangible copies for which there are geographically-dispersed Preservation Stewards
- In compliance with all agreements deposited with the Superintendent of Documents (e.g. Shared Housing Agreements, Shared Regional Agreements)
- Authorization to discard specified titles is received from the Superintendent of Documents