Collection Development Statement: Government Documents and Information

Maintenance and Discards

The collection is maintained in accordance with the Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program, related guidance and instructions, and according to the requirements of the Tennessee State Plan and the 1991 Shared Holding Agreement. An accurate shelflist of all depository publications is maintained to the piece level. Currently all government publications including periodicals are checked in on the online catalog level. Historic materials before 1990 may be listed on cards in a shelflist. All depository publications are clearly marked with the depository property stamp and the SuDocs number.

Classes of government publications that are part of the Shared Holdings Agreement must be retained permanently. Otherwise, most superseded or duplicative depository publications will be withdrawn, and other depository publications may be reviewed for retention after five years. Those publications that are not duplicative but are no longer needed must be offered to other libraries, or discarded (any non-superseded discarding must have the permission of the regional depository).

With prior approval of the regional, tangible publications may be substituted with online equivalents provided the publication has been held for one year and the online version is official, complete, and free of charge to the user. Any withdrawals or discards must be in accordance with the FDLP Guidelines, the Tennessee State Plan, and with the prior approval of the regional.

Tangible depository publications supplied to depository libraries are Federal government property. Depository publications must be retained and kept accessible for at least the minimum retention period. Materials may only be disposed of through appropriate withdrawal mechanisms. These include:

  • “Five-year rule”: a minimum retention period of five years from date of receipt, processing, or shipping list date (for selective libraries),
  • Supersession (for all libraries),
  • Tangible substitution for tangible publications (for all libraries), and
  • Official online substitution for tangible publications (for selective libraries)