Cataloging Record Distribution Pilot Project Summary Report

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) regularly evaluates the needs of libraries in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and develops solutions to improve services. As part of funding received in March 2009 from H.R. 1105, the Omnibus Appropriations Act of FY 2009 (P. L. 111-8), a portion was allocated to support GPO’s Cataloging and Indexing (C&I) program and an initiative to distribute cataloging records to depository libraries.

In October 2009, GPO announced the launch of a one-year pilot project to address the need for the distribution of cataloging records produced by GPO to libraries in the FDLP. The pilot project would test the MARC21 record distribution process and determine compatibility between catalog records and FDLP workflows. GPO contracted with MARCIVE, Inc. using MARCIVE’s existing MARC record distribution infrastructure to deliver cataloging records from GPO’s Integrated Library System (ILS) to 48 participating depository libraries.


  • Implement a documented and well-supported solution that interfaces with GPO's systems (legacy and new) to ensure the automatic dissemination of cataloging records to FDLP libraries.
  • Deliver cataloging records that satisfy FDLP customer needs.
  • Gain feedback from the FDLP community on the success of the project.
  • Provide an automated communication mechanism to alert users of distributions.
  • Continue to develop an automated delivery solution that is viable and realistic.
  • Establish and fully document a process to sustain the workflow in conjunction with GPO's operations.


  • The pilot phase of the project ran for one year, from October 1, 2009 through September 30, 2010.
  • GPO cataloging data provided in the delivered catalog records consisted of MARC records for books, serials, maps, audiovisual materials, computer files, streaming videos, etc. cataloged by GPO in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP).
  • Individual pilot profiles allowed participating libraries to tailor the delivery of their distributed records across new records, updated records, and brief records (e.g. from GPO’s Historic Shelf List project) in addition to other custom options.
  • During the course of the pilot, GPO evaluated the delivery mechanism, surveyed the participating libraries, and modified processes based on lessons learned during the trial phase.
  • GPO staff were able to compile, retrieve, and deliver specific monthly catalog record sets from the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) to MARCIVE for dissemination to library participants without significant addition to their workload.
  • A survey of the 48 participating libraries was conducted in June 2010 indicating an overwhelming satisfaction with the cataloging record distribution process. Libraries agreed that the range of services offered met library needs. Suggestions for improvements included a capability for specifying which records not to receive and tweaking of delivery-related technical issues. MARCIVE and GPO efforts to communicate and provide assistance were commended.
  • Overall, participating libraries found the service beneficial and were able to use cataloging records delivered during the pilot to populate their online catalogs and create greater access to government documents.
  • Based on library participant feedback from surveys, emails, and online forums, in addition to on-going evaluations by the GPO project team, it was determined that the MARCIVE record distribution project was a success.

Lessons Learned

  • Timely delivery of records, cost efficiency, clear instructions, and communication of available resources remain a significant priority for participating libraries.
  • This type of service improves access for patrons to government information and improves the internal workflows within depository libraries.
  • Technical challenges can occur during the process but are easily addressed through communication between MARCIVE, GPO, and the participating libraries.
  • GPO may explore other innovative options for cataloging records as the program evolves and participation increases.

Next Steps

A third year implementation will run from October 2012-September 2013. Participation in the program is being expanded to a total of 80 libraries.

Special Thanks to Participating Libraries!

San Francisco State University, J. Paul Leonard LibraryBuffalo and Erie County Public Library

City of Inglewood, Inglewood Public LibraryDepartment of Cultural Resources, State Library of North Carolina

Stetson University College of Law LibraryUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Walter Davis Library

Lake-Sumter Community College LibraryState Library of Ohio, Government Information Services

Nova Southeastern University, Law Library and Technology CenterUniversity of Dayton, Roesch Library

University of Georgia, School of Law LibraryOberlin College Library

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Government Documents LibraryYoungstown State University, William F. Maag Library

Olivet Nazarene University, Benner Library and Resource CenterLangston University, G. Lamar Harrison Library

Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, Lovejoy Memorial LibraryTulsa City-County Library

Indiana State LibraryLawton Public Library

Indiana Supreme Court, Law LibraryScranton Public Library, Albright Memorial Building

Davenport Public LibraryWinthrop University, Dacus Library

Loras College LibraryTennessee State Library and Archives

Baker University, Collins LibraryTennessee Technological University,
Angelo and Jennette Volpe Library and Media Ctr.

University of Kentucky, William T. Young LibraryLambuth University,
Luther L. Gobbel Library

Troy University LibraryPublic Library of Nashville and Davidson County, Nashville Public Library

Michigan Department of Education, Library of MichiganMemphis Public Library and Information Center

Delta College LibraryTexarkana College, Palmer Memorial Library

Schoolcraft College, Eric J. Bradner LibraryLamar University, Mary and John Gray Library

Oakland University, Kresge LibrarySaint Mary's University, Sarita Kenedy East Law Library

Fort Peck Community College, Fort Peck Tribal LibraryEl Paso Public Library, Main Library

University of Virginia's College at Wise, John Cook Wyllie Library