State Plan

Uncle Sam 
Government Publications Department
Tennessee Regional Depository


I. Introduction

For over one hundred-twenty years, Federal Depository Libraries in the state of Tennessee have been providing no-fee, public access to United States Government information in all formats through the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Since 1813, depository libraries in the United States have ensured that the American public has access to the information produced by its government, ensuring a well-informed democracy. Depository libraries in Tennessee hold a rich tradition in the provision of government information services.

Ideally, each federal congressional district will have located in it at least one depository library in order to ease access to government information throughout each state. In the state of Tennessee, all nine congressional districts do, indeed, have at least one Federal Depository Library, with some containing more than one. All but one of these depository libraries are known as "selective depositories" as they select the portion of all available depository publications that are needed by the constituents they serve. Generally speaking, each state also has one "regional depository," which selects and archives all materials available to Federal Depository Libraries.

In Tennessee, there are presently twenty-five Federal Depository Libraries. These libraries represent a mixture of public, academic, state, federal, and law libraries of varying sizes. Appendix 1 lists these and outlines basic characteristics of the libraries. The Regional Depository Library for the state of Tennessee is at the University of Memphis. Tennessee was the last state to have a Regional depository named, with the University of Memphis taking that role in 1989. Tennessee also has the unique arrangement where six selective depositories serve as the "regional" for certain agencies' publications issued prior to 1989. This shared holdings concept provides depositories in Tennessee some unique challenges and advantages.

In 1999, the Tennessee Library Association's (TLA) Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) recognized that in order to provide the best possible services to constituents and to work effectively with each other, a plan needed to be formed to address key issues. TLA GODORT formed a committee representing a variety of library types and sizes to draft a plan for the Federal Depository libraries in Tennessee.

II. Mission

The purpose of this document is to assist the Federal Depository Libraries in Tennessee as they provide access to all formats of government information in a variety of methods. While this is not a step-by-step manual, it is intended to offer direction and goals for the libraries so that the best possible service may be realized. Suggestions and standards for the provision of service, bibliographic access, collection development, and the promotion of depository collections are some of the primary topics addressed in this plan. Found throughout this plan is the overarching principle that to be most effective, depositories in Tennessee should work together.

III. Collection Development

The goal of all depository libraries in Tennessee is to assure the availability of government information in all formats to the citizens of Tennessee and to ensure the comprehensiveness and integrity of Tennessee's depository resources.

Current Collection
The 25 Federal Depository Libraries in Tennessee will maintain a collection responsive to the needs of the citizens served. The collection will include all formats of materials: paper, microform, and electronic.

A written collection development policy based on user needs and the Core Collection specified in the Federal Depository Library Manual shall be maintained by each depository library. Selective depositories will assess the needs of their particular users in making appropriate selection and maintenance decisions of its depository collection.

Each depository should maintain a core collection as recommended in the Federal Depository Library Manual for its particular library type. In addition, a core Tennessee collection (See Appendix II.) will be maintained by all depositories to insure access to key regional information. Within neighboring areas, unnecessary duplication may be eliminated and full coverage a provided through cooperative comparison, discussion, and amendment of item selections.

Depository libraries should acquire commercially produced publications that supplement and enhance the depository collection and strengthen access points. This would include indexes, guidebooks, statistical works, information on regulatory agencies, legal areas, Congress, Census, and other areas. These could include CD-ROMs, licensed Internet sites, data-files and, other materials that would supplement the use of primary materials delivered through the Government Printing Office.

Collection development should attempt to satisfy the broadest base of information users within your Congressional District and depository community. Effort should be made to share ideas and resources within your library system and depository community.

Selective Housing
Selective housing allows for a depository library to transfer current or retrospective materials to another library. Depositories may enter in to such agreements in order to allow for wider usage and greater accessibility of documents, to alleviate space problems, or other reasons. Depository materials located in selective housing sites are subject to the full range of depository standards. A formal agreement between the libraries must be signed. The Federal Depository Library Manual outlines the requirements for selective housing agreements.

Electronic Information
All depositories shall provide access to electronic resources in accordance with the most current Recommended Specifications for Public Access Workstations in Federal Depository Libraries. All depositories should also develop an Electronic Services Policy. A depository is permitted to replace tangible versions with electronic equivalents provided the electronic version is complete, official, and permanently accessible. FDLP Guidelines on Substituting Electronic for Tangible Versions of Depository Publications.) Depository librarians should use professional judgment and consider user needs and patterns when determining if electronic access only is best suited for a given title. A carefully written collection development policy should reflect these considerations. Depositories will coordinate with area depositories and the Regional to insure print copies are available for patron use. The selective depositories must receive the Regional's permission to dispose of the tangible material.

Retrospective Collection Development and Archiving
Retrospective collection development is defined as the acquisition of non-current documents in order to complete partial runs of series, fill in gaps, replace missing volumes, and acquire documents never owned. Archiving is the responsibility of the regional depository and of the shared holdings libraries in specified areas (see Appendix I). Selective depositories should maintain retrospective collections in areas prescribed by their collection strengths and in accordance with their collection development policies.

The Regional Depository Library and the shared holdings libraries shall coordinate efforts concerning documents to be withdrawn in order to ensure availability and to avoid duplication.

The Regional shall develop a union list of commercial indexes, microform sets, and major document-related holdings in depositories. Depository libraries shall identify special collections such as maps, patents, census, etc. and shall promote awareness of these collections.

The Regional Depository Library will maintain the Tennessee archival collection from the date of 1989. Some selective depositories with larger and older collections, in coordination with the Regional depository, agree to be responsible for certain areas of the depository collection for archival purposes pre-1989. While a library will archive publications in their collection areas, they will be able to discard from other areas as deemed appropriate. The Tennessee Shared Holdings System is described in Appendix II.

Depository libraries will carry out weeding / withdrawal procedures in accordance with guidelines set forth by the Government Printing Office and in cooperation with the Regional Depository Library. (See Appendix IV, Tennessee Withdrawal Policy)

The Regional Depository will co-ordinate disposal of documents by selective depositories ensuring that:
* retrospective documents not widely held will be identified and retained in the State.
* incomplete series and missing volumes are replaced and the Regional's retrospective documents collection is strengthened whenever possible.
* access to archival material, including electronic information, is provided.

IV. Bibliographic Access and Control

Bibliographic access to all federal government information is essential to the operation of the depository program. The Government Printing Office provides for basic bibliographic access through the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. Each depository library should maintain appropriate access to the Catalog.

Each depository library should provide the same bibliographic access to government information, regardless of format, as they do to other library material. All government publications should be included in the library catalog. Each depository library should:

* integrate bibliographic records for all government information in their main catalog rather than as a separate database.
* maintain bibliographic information indicating library holdings of federal government information to the piece level.
* provide the same bibliographic access to government information regardless of format.
* include, as searchable in the records, the Superintendent of Documents Classification system (SuDocs).

Additional Standards for Electronic Catalogs
Each depository library should provide the same bibliographic access to government information in electronic catalogs:
* include these records either through local cataloging or by purchasing GPO tapes from GPO or other commercial provider.
* include active electronic links for government information in their catalogs.
* add holdings to the bibliographic utility (e.g., OCLC, RLIN) in which the library is a member.

Additional Access Tools
Each depository library should acquire and maintain a collection of bibliographies, commercial indexes, and other reference sources and finding aides to facilitate verification, acquisitions, and retrieval of government information.

Inter-Library Cooperation
Each depository library should contribute, when appropriate, federal holdings to union lists. The regional depository library should develop and maintain a union list of commercial indexes, microform sets, and major government-related holdings in depository libraries in the State.

V. Resources

This area covers issues directly related to the support of depository services through allocation of human resources, adequate space, supplemental equipment and resources, and an underlying commitment from the library administration to maintain services in a changing technological environment.

Human Resources
Each depository library should have a Coordinator, who is a librarian with a Master's Degree from an American Library Association accredited program. This person should be actively involved with overseeing depository operations, including collection development and maintenance, handling of communications and surveys with the Government Printing Office and performing or supervising stated actions of service covered in the Federal Depository Library Manual.

The depository staff should be given adequate time to perform all the depository responsibilities. The library administration should be aware of the time required to weed, maintain, promote and train other staff on significant depository issues and resources. In-service training is essential to maximize use of a depository library, especially given the extensive availability of remote access and online resources. The depository library administrations should support participation in regional training sessions, meetings of TLA GODORT, and other programs beneficial to the continuing education and development of personnel involved with depository operations.

The personnel assigned to handle depository functions will depend on the size of the collection, its relationship to the other library departments and overall integration within the library's mission. It is very important to maintain awareness and proficiency among the entire library staff. Efforts should be made to keep staff aware of government information in its many formats. Support staff, particularly in the computer services area, should be informed of the technical requirements necessary to provide comprehensive service through a depository program. Administrations are encouraged to support the necessary expansion in technology by budgeting appropriately.

Equipment and Space
Physical facilities and environmental controls for a depository collection should be of the same quality as other library areas. Proper temperature, humidity control, ventilation, shelf space, seating, and lighting should be provided in the documents area. Processing, reference, and reading areas should be functional and expandable. Equipment should be provided and upgraded as needed to better meet the needs of depository users. This would include adequate storage cabinets for microfiche, maps, and CD-ROMs, as well as photocopy, fax machines, computer workstations with printers, and other equipment to meet the emerging technologies. The Recommended Minimum Technical Guidelines should be followed for purchasing decisions. Policies related to computer and Internet use should attempt to make government information freely accessible and should include access to downloading and printing documents.

Financial Responsibility
Crucial to the success of a depository library is the administration's commitment to providing stable and adequate funding for all of the depository's functions. The aforementioned areas of human resources, adequate facilities and supplementary equipment and reference materials must be planned for and budgeted in a consistent and realistic manner. The evolution of technologies in the government information services area is evident and reflects a need for planning and flexibility in the budgeting area.

Funding for staff participation in the TLA GODORT activities, regional meetings, and Federal conferences should be provided. When possible, enrollment in workshops, training classes, and symposia should be supported with time and funding.

The Regional Depository Library will provide space, shelving, equipment, bibliographic control, and staff to meet the responsibilities of permanent retention of Federal Government information and its retrieval and dissemination within the state of Tennessee.

VI. Public Service

The fundamental goal of all depository libraries is to provide exceptional service and no-fee public access to Federal Government information, regardless of format. Title 44 of the United States Code (USC), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the FDLP, and an individual library's own set of supporting policies will provide direction in attaining this goal. Libraries should ensure that service and access is provided to all patrons regardless of sex, race, religion, or disability.

The depository maintenance functions should be carried out by trained staff comparable to that which is provided for other collections. Among the skills the staff should posses, it is critical that staff be familiar with how to access and use electronic government information as well as how to demonstrate or apply this knowledge directly to the patrons. The staff should be up-to-date on and aware of new issues in the realm of government information. To ensure this, staff should identify and participate in training and continuing education opportunities. Documents staff should encourage and participate in the training of non-documents staff in government information identification, access and retrieval. This could be achieved in a training and orientation process for new library personnel.

Federal documents should be available during regular library hours. If depository material can be used outside the library, the library should have a circulation policy that addresses outside use. The depository collection should also be promoted in the surrounding community. The Regional Depository will provide reference service to in-state selective depositories.

VII. Promotion

Promotion of the depository collection should be carried out on various levels. Without fail, it seems the depository collection is the portion of the library that the majority of patrons understand the least. Promotion of the collection will help ease this problem. Below are several ways to promote the collection, starting from the very local and working up to broader audiences.

The best place to start is at home. That is, within the library. As the entire library staff becomes familiar with the depository collection and its potential, the more comfortable they will be in using the collection and making the proper referrals. Simply providing periodic "reports" to library staff on new and useful titles or demonstrating CD-ROM or Internet resources to reference/public services staff will help educate them as to the types of materials available and how to use them. Increasing your colleagues' knowledge of the collection and the comfort level of using it will allow you to potentially realize many more voices promoting the use of the collection to those outside of the library.

The provision of thorough and user-friendly bibliographic access is also an exceptional promotional tool. Cataloging and classification of your depository collection in your library's online catalog, for example, will dramatically increase the interest in and usage of the collection.

Depository librarians have also found that holding general government information instruction sessions that are open to the public have been quite successful and well-received. Allowing for plenty of time for interaction with attendees, these can serve as wonderful opportunities to receive feedback from the public at large in terms of the services we provide and the materials that we do or do not select. Other instruction sessions can be arranged with particular organizations and less formally organized groups, too. Rotary clubs and other civic groups are great target audiences, as are groups of educators. Many professional organizations are, also.

Depositories in academic libraries have long found that working closely with faculty and providing bibliographic instruction sessions where government information is stressed is an excellent method of promoting the depository collection. While some fields such as political science and economics are obvious targets, other, less obvious fields should also be examined. For example, documents librarians have illustrated the effective use of government information in the areas of art, religion, philosophy, biology, anthropology, chemistry, and many, many more.

Local newspapers may be willing to publish information about depository library collections. Librarians might write a brief column periodically in order to keep the collection in the mind of the public as well as to illustrate its usefulness when discussing timely topics such as elections, current policy issues, etc.

Another means of promoting your collection is through your congressperson. Depositories are encouraged to maintain communication with the representative in whose district their library resides. This dialogue can serve several purposes. Getting to know your representative's staffers will not only educate them about your collection, but also about the FDLP in general. An established line of communication can be an invaluable resource when it comes time to contact that representative regarding proposed legislation or other matters. Depository staff should encourage their congressperson to display a link on their Internet home page to your library's home page. Many constituents do not contact their representatives and can thus learn of the depository in their district just by visiting the web site.

Aside from US congressional contacts, state and local public officials should also be made aware of the depository collection. Not only will they find the material useful, but they may also refer the public to your collection when they seek government information.

One very effective means of promoting the collection to millions, potentially, is the Internet. Your library's home page on the World Wide Web should include information about your depository collection. This can range from a basic outline of the collection and service hours to several pages of content with links to key government Internet sites and indexes. Handouts that you produce for locating information on particular topics or databases are excellent additions to depository Web sites in electronic form.

VIII. Cooperation

Cooperation among the depository libraries in Tennessee and beyond is crucial. Some suggested methods of fostering cooperation are listed here:
* be familiar with and abide by the policies and procedures found in the Federal Depository Library Manual and Instructions to Depository Libraries * be familiar with and abide by the policies and procedures recommended by the Regional Library. * be familiar with American Library Association Government Documents Round Table, (GODORT), its activities and purpose. * utilize local groups to disseminate and or collect Depository information:
1. WeTalc: West Tennessee Academic Library Consortium
2. Middle Tennessee Depository Council
3. TRC: Tennessee Resource Center
4. Boone Tree Library Association
5. East Tennessee Library Association
* subscribe to and monitor the official state and national federal government information electronic list serves. For example:

1. GOVDOC-L The national list serve, where members post messages, queries, and notices to government documents libraries across the country.
2. TNGOVDOC-L The state list serve, where members post messages, queries, and notices to government documents libraries across the state of Tennessee.

* provide mentoring. Due to the geographic nature of the state, experienced staff in nearby depositories in each of the 3 regions, East, Middle, West shall act as mentors to the small selective libraries in their region.
* provide efficient interlibrary loan services in all formats, except titles that are necessary for reference use of the library's clientele. Libraries requesting documents through interlibrary loan should include all available bibliographic information.

IX. Authority/Review

This plan will be thoroughly and critically reviewed every five years. The chair of the Tennessee Library Association's (TLA) Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) and the Regional Depository Librarian will form a review committee comprised of representatives from all types of Federal Depository Libraries in Tennessee. The appendices may be reviewed and updated at any time.


I.    List of Tennessee Depository Libraries
II.  Shared Holdings Libraries Explanation and History
Shared Holdings Libraries' Collection Areas
IV.  Procedures for Withdrawal
V.    Tennessee Core Collection, (not developed)
VI.  Union List of Collection Strengths
VII. Map