January 19, 2022

Legislation Introduced in U.S House of Representatives to Modernize Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP)

From the FDLP/GPO Website:

On March 15, 2018, the U.S. House of Representatives filed H.R. 5305, the FDLP Modernization Act of 2018, the amend Title 44, U.S. Code.

From ALA’s District Dispatch

The FDLP Modernization Act was developed with input from the library community following a series of public hearings in the Committee on House Administration in 2017, which included testimony from librarians. Chairman Harper commented at the time that the hearings were an opportunity “to see how we can make something that we like, better.” The bill follows that approach and incorporates many of the recommendations ALA sent to the committee.

While earlier, unintroduced drafts of the legislation dealt with a wide range of topics related to the Government Publishing Office (GPO) and government printing, the FDLP Modernization Act focuses solely on the FDLP and the Superintendent of Documents’ programs that provide public access to government information. Specifically, the bill would:

  • Modernize the FDLP to provide greater flexibility, facilitate collaboration, streamline program requirements, and allow more libraries to participate
  • Improve public access to electronic government information by clarifying that digital information belongs in the program, guaranteeing free access to GPO’s online repository,
  • modernizing the repository and online services, and authorizing the Superintendent to digitize historical publications
  • Strengthen preservation of government information by clarifying the Superintendent’s responsibility for preservation, establishing partnerships with libraries to preserve publications, and directing GPO to preserve publications in its online repository
  • Increase transparency and oversight to encourage the program to continue to evolve to meet the future needs of libraries and the public

Read a Letter of Support For the Bill From ARL, ALA, and AALL 
Letter Sent to Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Administration,


Read the Bill (HR. 3505)

Track the Legislation (via GovTrack.us)

Video and Statements From Hearings Noted Above

Hearing: Transforming GPO for the 21st Century and Beyond: Part 4


  • The Honorable Karen Haas, Clerk of the House, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Dr. Eric Petersen, Specialist in American National Government, Congressional Research Service
  • Ms. Robin Dale, Deputy Director for Library Services, Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • Mr. Roger C. Schonfeld, Director of Libraries and Scholarly Communications Programs, Ithaka S+R

Hearing: Transforming GPO for the 21st Century and Beyond: Part 3


  • Ms. Laurie HallActing Superintendent of Documents, Government Publishing Office
  • Mr. Mike Furlough, Executive Director, HathiTrust
  • Ms. Celina McDonald, Government Documents & Criminology Librarian, University of Maryland
  • Mr. Stephen Parks, State Librarian of Mississippi, State Law Library of Mississippi
  • Ms. Beth Williams, Library Director, Stanford Law School

Hearing: Transforming GPO for the 21st Century and Beyond: Part 2

The Honorable Davita Vance-Cooks


  • The Honorable Davita Vance-Cooks, Director, United States Government Publishing Office

Hearing: Transforming GPO for the 21st Century and Beyond


  • The Honorable Davita Vance-Cooks, Director, United States Government Publishing Office

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) 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 Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.