North Carolina Libraries, Vol 62, No 1 (2004)

The Federal Dopository Library Program: Anachronism or Necessity

David Durant

Abstract


The rise of the Internet has had an enormous impact on library collections and services, and nowhere has this impact been more apparent than to the 1,250 libraries that participate in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). The FDLP has provided the public with free access to government information since the nineteenth century, playing a vital role in helping to maintain the informed citizenry that is essential to our democracy. The underlying principle behind the FDLP is relatively simple:  documents are distributed by the Government Printing Office (GPO) to participating libraries, on the condition that the public is allowed free access to those materials. Just 10 years ago, the FDLP distributed 100% of its items in tangible format (print, microfiche, and CD-ROMs).

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