Basic Project Management for Weeding Government Documents Collections

Celina McDonald


For as long as academic libraries have participated in the federal depository library program, there has been an inherent conflict between their academic and depository mandates. While state and public libraries are tasked with serving the greater public, academic libraries have an imperative to meet the specific needs of their institutions. As institutional priorities have evolved and new needs emerged, many academic depositories have come to face pressures of staffing and physical space that lead to the desire to downsize their physical government documents holdings in favor of digital surrogates. Because the government documents received through the federal depository library program are not the libraries’ property, withdrawing these materials is a time consuming, labor intensive, costly, and complicated undertaking.

Full Text:



Federal Depository Library Program, “Weeding a Depository Collection,” (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, October 15, 212),

“Our Mission,” University of Maryland Libraries, March 26, 2016,

“University of Maryland Campus Counts,” University of Maryland Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment, 2015,

Regional Depositories; Designation; Functions; Disposal of Publications, 44 U.S.C. § 1912 (1995).

“2002 Superseded List and Supplements,” August 29, 2016,

“Government Publications Authorized for Discard by Regional Depository Libraries,” August 29, 2016,



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