UMN Region U.S. Depository publications weeding and disposal guide

Selective federal depository libraries have guidelines about when and what to withdraw from their collections.

Contact the Regional Coordinator with questions


Selective federal depository libraries which are served by a Regional Library may withdraw depository materials from their collections after the materials have been held for five years from the date of receipt, and after receiving permission from the Regional except for the Exceptions to the 5 Year Rule listed below. For withdrawal purposes, it is essential that the date of receipt be marked on each publication and/or the shelf list.

There is no requirement that selectives must withdraw any publications, and all depositories are encouraged to consider the needs of their users when developing withdrawal policies. Each depository should have a collection development policy which identifies both selection and withdrawal policies in the context of the community's needs.

Withdrawal lists are checked by the Regional Library in FDLP eXchange, in order to maintain a complete collection of federal publications which is then available to libraries in the region. Most publications in the regional collections, with the exception of some reference materials and fragile publications, are available for Interlibrary Loan and/or photocopy. The Regional, in cooperation with Minitex, will attempt to supply any publication needed by selectives within the region, including microfiche.

These guidelines are based on the Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Library Program.

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Exceptions to the 5 year rule

  • Publications listed on the Superseded List
  • Government publications which are duplicates or are received outside of the depository system (gifts, Documents Expediting Project, mailing list, etc)
  • Depository publications received from Government Publishing Office (GPO) but not selected
  • Publications for which an online version replaces a print/microfiche version (online substitution). Selective depository must hold the tangible copy for at least 1 year from date of receipt before discarding through the Regional. See Weeding a Depository Collection for details. You must contact the Regional in advance to do this type of discard.
  • Publications which are replaced by microfiche, commercial reprint, or other re-publication may be withdrawn in less than five years but discarded through the Regional. You must contact the Regional in advance to do this type of discard.

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University of MN regional guidelines

The following guidelines apply to all formats of depository materials, including print, CD-ROMs, DVDs, VHS, floppy disks, diskettes, etc.  Exceptions for microfiche are described under “Withdrawing depository microfiche”.

  • Look at the regional needs list to determine if you even need to check our catalog. We have gone through some of the larger sets and identified what we're missing so that you don't have to take the time to check for every item when they all fall under the same title (or sort through long serial records). These lists cover the Essential Titles, Serial Set, Census, and other miscellaneous titles.
    • You do not need to offer anything from Y 1.1/4, Y 1.1/5, Y 1.1/6, Y 1.1/7, and Y 1.1/8 since these House and Senate reports and documents are all retained within the bound Serial Set that the Regional receives separately.
  • If the University of Minnesota catalog shows that a Twin Cities campus (UM TC) library owns a copy of the document, it does not need to be offered and may be withdrawn without contacting the Regional. You can either search by title or use the SuDoc browse.  Tip: use proper spacing and punctuation when using SuDoc numbers.  If it is unclear if the University of Minnesota owns a copy, please list it via FDLP eXchange. If you are discarding a paper copy and we only have a microfiche copy, please list it with us as a courtesy.
  • If significant publications or large sets are being withdrawn, contacting the Regional is encouraged as a courtesy, as well as publicizing them for other depositories in the region.
  • It is preferred that libraries offer materials not needed by the Regional to other depositories in the region and then nationally. However, offering past the Regional is not required. We highly encourage selectives to offer appropriate materials to Preservation Stewards, which are depositories committed to retain specified tangible depository resources for long-term preservation including the Serial Set, Congressional Record, Federal Register, hearings, US Statutes at Large, and other large runs and sets (full list of Preservation Stewards by Sudoc). GPO also has a digitization needs list for the Serial Set, hearings, and the Congressional Directory that you can check if these items were not needed by the Regional.

Withdrawing depository maps

Depository maps at the Regional are often not cataloged down to the item level in the catalog (but are indexed within the Map Library), which makes it more difficult to determine Regional holdings. Below are the Regional's USGS Topographic map holdings for you to compare with your holdings. Thematic sheets, Land Use series, and County Map series maps you should be able to check in our catalog. For larger weeding projects of maps, contact Jenny McBurney, Regional Coordinator, and Ryan Mattke, Map Librarian, for further information and instructions.

Withdrawing depository microfiche

Depositories may withdraw microfiche after the mandatory 5-year retention without providing lists to the Regional.

While we do have paper copies, we are missing several volumes in microfiche of the Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, Congressional Record (daily & index), and Lists of Sections Affected. Please check our Basic Collection & Essential Titles Needs List if you are discarding these titles in fiche.

Large collections or long runs of serials in fiche may have interest for the Regional. Please contact the Regional Coordinator, Jenny McBurney, with a description of the collection via email. A detailed inventory is not necessary. The email should specify that the library plans to withdraw, for example, the Federal Register earlier than 1990, or all microfiche from the 1980 census.

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How to submit withdrawal lists/items in FDLP eXchange

All lists and/or items should be submitted via FDLP eXchange using the instructions below. If your library is unable to do so, please contact the Regional Coordinator, Jenny McBurney, to discuss alternatives or how to access your FDLP eXchange account.

If submitting items for discard via spreadsheet, use the GPO offers template. Required fields are bolded in the header. Use the eXchange Data Dictionary to determine accepted values for each field. If submitting items individually or entering manually into eXchange, you must enter in all required fields indicated with a red asterisk. Please enter SuDoc classifications if it at all possible (check the 086 field for the SuDoc if your documents are classed in LC or Dewey).

If offering multiple issues from one serial title, enter each individual piece and indicate the volume in the SuDoc classification field (ex: A 92.24: 1960, A 92.24: v. 20). If multiple volumes are bound together in one piece, enter the entire bound volume as one submission/item with multiple pieces and indicate the volume range in the SuDoc classification field (ex: A 92.24: 1978-1980; A 92.24: v. 20-25). In the Multiple Pieces Notes field, indicate that it is a bound volume. If you need to list a large run that you don't want to enter individually (20 volumes or more), contact the Regional Coordinator, Jenny McBurney.

If you are submitting items that you have held for less than 5 years (tangible substituted by online, duplicate copies, superseded material, etc.), indicate in the Additional Notes field why you are discarding so that we know why you’re submitting something less than 5 years old. For the date received/shipping list date, you must check the "I don't have a date" box and then accept the legal disclaimer indicating that it is an eligible discard.

If you are submitting items that can go directly to the National Offers Repository (superseded, found a copy in UMN catalog, etc.), please put "Regional Bypass" in the Additional Notes field so we can find and pass on them immediately.

Submitted items are checked on a monthly basis, so depending on where in the month the items were submitted it can take up to 8 weeks for us to get back to you (but it's usually less than that). You will receive automated notifications from eXchange when we request items from you. Follow the prompts in eXchange to accept any requests/matches from the Regional.

After the Regional has requested or passed on your submitted items, the items that the Regional does not need will move on to the National Offers Repository if you have the Offer Nationally box checked in your eXchange account (you also indicate how long they will be offered nationally). Otherwise, the items will clear from eXchange and you can discard (we still retain the lists for our records).

For items the Regional requests, please either route materials via Minitex courier (for MN and SD libraries; code MNU) or mail requested items to the address below. Once materials have been mailed or routed, please make sure to select "Mark as Mailed" in eXchange so we can clear out the requests in the system. If you need postage/shipping costs covered, please contact the Regional Coordinator, Jenny McBurney, to obtain a pre-paid shipping label before the items are mailed.

Government Publications Library (DL)
10 Wilson Library
University of Minnesota
309 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

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