U.S. Federal Government Documents through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) Collection Development Policy
As an integral part of the total educational effort of Harford Community College, the Library contributes to excellence in teaching and learning by supporting and expanding classroom instruction. The Library provides easy and comprehensive access to information in various formats. Responsibilities include instructing students, faculty, and members of the general community in information-seeking skills for self-directed studies, critical thinking, and lifelong learning, while serving as a resource center for the citizens of Harford County.
The Library was designated a selective depository for federal documents in 1967 when Harford County was in the Second Congressional district. It is currently one of three FDLP Depository Libraries in the First Congressional District of Maryland due to prior redistricting. The Library has the privilege of being only one of two community college FDLP libraries in the Regional area of 53 libraries in Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia served by the Regional Library at McKeldin Library at the University of Maryland. The purpose of the Government Documents Collection is to make information from the federal government available and closer to the citizens of Harford County and nearby counties in the First Congressional District such as Cecil and Baltimore, as well as meet the information needs of the College's students and faculty. The Eastern Shore area, also in the First Congressional District, is well served by the depositories at Salisbury University and Washington College.
Materials Selection Responsibility
Selection of government documents is the responsibility of the Government Documents Librarian/Depository Library Coordinator in consultation with the Assistant Director of the Library. Depository items are selected in the Government Publishing Office’s Depository Selection Information Management System (DSIMS) from the Item Number System after reviewing Library of Congress call numbers and subject areas needed in the Library’s collection as suggested by the Reference & Instruction Librarians and from the most recent List of Classes, the List of Classes Modified, the monthly list of New Electronic Titles, and the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP).
Materials for the Library are selected in subject areas represented by the various curricula of the College and at a level appropriate to community college students. Materials are selected by the Government
Document Librarian/Depository Library Coordinator to match the collection development rightsizing needs of the Library as determined by the Assistant Director of the Library and the Reference & Instruction Librarians. In addition, materials are selected to meet community needs based on any needs assessment that may be conducted with Harford County Public Library system librarians. Efforts can be made to coordinate selections with other nearby depository libraries.
Criteria for selection of documents include:
A. Content Considerations
- Titles in the FDLP Basic Collection (https://www.fdlp.gov/requirements-guidance-2/collections-and-databases/1442-basic-collection) as required by Legal Requirements & Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program
- Online publications cataloged in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP - https://catalog.gpo.gov/ ), including publications found in Govinfo (https://www.govinfo.gov/), demonstrated through a combination of cataloging, creation of web pages, or integration of online material into traditional library finding aids such as subject guides per the Legal Requirements & Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program (https://www.fdlp.gov/requirements-guidance/legal-requirements) .
- Titles which support Harford Community College curricular needs of our faculty and students, and regionally accredited programs.
- Titles which support general community needs including: a.) educational pursuits, b.) work-related projects, and c.) personal information needs.
- Annual reports from most federal agencies.
B. Format Considerations
- Electronic format is preferred for access through links in the library catalog, databases, Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP - https://catalog.gpo.gov/ ), Govinfo (https://www.govinfo.gov/), HCC Library Federal Depository Library Program web page (https://www.harford.edu/academics/library/about-the-library/federal-depository-library-program/ ). Government Documents at HCC LibGuide (https://harford.libguides.com/govdocs ), and other LibGuides.
- Paper is next preferred, except for titles which require extensive shelving space in paper and which receive only occasional in-library use and circulation.
- Periodicals will usually be selected only if they are included in one of the indexes to which we have access, and electronic format is preferred.
- Selections of large format maps and posters will be extremely limited because of lack of proper storage facilities.
C. Geographic Considerations
Materials selected will usually be for Maryland or the Mid-Atlantic region. In the case of U.S. Census materials, U.S. summaries, as well as Maryland items, will be selected.
Access to Documents
HCC Library is open to the general public, and the Government Documents Collection is integrated within the general collection by Library of Congress call number for easy access and assistance. Comprehensive access to the Government Documents tangible and digital collections is assured by full
OCLC cataloging of all materials received. The web-based library catalog system shared by Harford Community College and the Harford County Public Library System extends this comprehensive access to all Harford County citizens, as well as to the world through OCLC. Links to documents available online are included in the catalog records for those titles.
Assistance by the Reference & Instruction Librarians is available during all hours the Library is open at the Information Desk and through Chat. The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (https://catalog.gpo.gov/) and Govinfo (https://www.govinfo.gov/) are available through links on the HCC Library Federal Depository Library Program web page (https://www.harford.edu/academics/library/about-the-library/federal-depository-library-program/ ). There is also a Government Documents at HCC Library LibGuide under “Research & Cite”, then “Subject Guides”, then “Government & Political Science” (https://harford.libguides.com/govdocs).
Documents not available in Harford Community College Library will be obtained on interlibrary loan from the Regional Depository at McKeldin Library at University of Maryland, from selective depository libraries in our Regional area of Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia (especially Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore, which is the State Resources Center), or through interlibrary loan through OCLC.
Weeding the Collection
By law, government documents received through the Federal Depository Library Program must be retained by the Library for at least five years from the time they are received unless they are included in the List of Superseded Depository Documents. If a document is on the superseded list, it may be withdrawn and discarded when a new edition is received. Before discarding other documents, permission must be requested from the Regional Library at the University of Maryland through the Needs and Offers process done through FDLP eXchange. FDLP guidance: https://www.fdlp.gov/requirements-guidance/guidance/30-weeding-a-depository-collection
The Government Documents Librarian/Depository Library Coordinator and Library Associates process new documents and withdraw superseded publications as part of the regular processing. They also consult the FDLP Substitution of Depository Materials criteria for any tangible or online format substitution. Outdated documents are usually weeded unless there is some reason to keep them for historical purposes.
FDLP Libraries may not make any money from the sale of the withdrawn material. Any exchange of funds must be sent to the Superintendent of Documents, per the Legal Requirements & Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program (https://www.fdlp.gov/requirements-guidance/legal-requirements).