Study of FDLP Selection Mechanisms

Previously titled "FDLP Selection Mechanisms: Item Numbers and Alternatives".

In 2006, as part of its ongoing planning efforts, GPO undertook a review of the item number system used by libraries in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) to select tangible and electronic titles. As the number of electronic publications disseminated continues to grow, GPO raised questions about the continued utility of item numbers in its initial planning statement on the National Bibliography. In response to a request from the Depository Library Council, GPO conducted a review of the current item number system and examined possible alternatives.

Briefing Papers

As a result of this review, GPO released three briefing papers and solicited comments from the depository library community.

GPO received over 90 comments on the briefing papers. GPO thanks all those who took the time to review the briefing papers. Comments have been summarized into two separate documents.

All questions, comments, and suggestions were considered as GPO revised the briefing papers. There were no changes to the History and Current Practice Document, but it has been re-released to indicate that it is a revised document. Changes have been incorporated into the papers on the New Model for Selection of Online titles document and the New Model for the Selection of Tangible Publications document. Revised versions of all three papers have been released.

Conference Presentations

A plenary session on the proposed changes to depository selection mechanisms was held on April 5, 2006 at the Spring Federal Depository Library Conference.


During the Spring Depository Library Council Meeting, Superintendent of Documents Judy Russell asked conference participants and others in the depository community for feedback on the proposed models for the selection of online and tangible publications. The selection mechanisms questionnaire was posted on the FDLP Desktop to allow individuals not in attendance to respond.

GPO received over 170 responses to the questionnaire on selection mechanisms. GPO thanks all those who took the time to respond to the questionnaire and will utilize this data to help finalize the new models for selecting online and tangible publications.

GPO Resources used for the Review

Other Models Reviewed

  • Approval Plans (Blackwell Books Service)
  • Approval Plans Acquisitions Services (Harrassowitz)
  • Approval Plans (YPB)
  • Commonwealth Library Deposit and Free Issue Schemes (LDS)
  • Depositories in the U.S. (European Union)
  • Depository Services Program (Canada)
  • Handbook for Depository Libraries (North Carolina State Library)
  • Montana State Publications Center
  • OrDocs, Oregon Document Depository
  • United Nations Depository Libraries
  • World Bank Depository/Regional Depository Library Program