November 26, 2015

GPO Releases Some Preliminary Data from 2011 Biennial Survey of Depository Libraries

From an Article Appearing in the May 2012 Issue of FDLP Connection:

In 2011, submissions were received from 1181 depository libraries, resulting in a ninety-eight percent response rate from FDLP participants. Of these, 837 were from academic libraries (including law schools), 197 from public libraries, 78 from state or state court libraries, 56 from Federal libraries (including agencies, service academies, and Federal courts), and 12 from special libraries.

A preliminary analysis of the data shows that the majority of libraries (91%) plan to remain in the FDLP, whereas only a small number (1%) plan to leave the Program. The remaining 8% are unsure or undecided. These numbers are consistent within library types.

Also of interest are current trends regarding training. Over the next few years, depository coordinators plan to receive most of their training from in-person workshops and training held locally within their states or geographic areas. This is closely followed by both live and self-paced online sessions. Fewer coordinators plan to use in-person conferences and other training methods over the next two years.

A variety of training topics interest depository coordinators and directors. More than half of the libraries that responded want training on GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) and U.S. Government information sources in specific subject areas. Many want training on Federal depository management activities, the FDLP Desktop, and the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications and its related services. Training on the Cataloging Record Distribution Program, the FDLP Community site, and Ben’s Guide were also cited as being of interest to some libraries.

Not surprisingly, the vast majority of responders cited budget restraints as one of the biggest problems their libraries as a whole are confronting. More than half of responders cited the use of physical space and staffing as major issues as well. A significant number of libraries cited collection scope changes, demands from primary users, and library user group changes as challenges facing them. A small number of libraries consider the lack of computers or connectivity to be an issue.

The examination of the data gathered from the Biennial Survey continues, and a complete analysis is forthcoming.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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