Disposal of U.S. Government Depository Publications
Procedures for New York State Depositories

Selective U.S. depository libraries served by a regional depository may withdraw depository publications no longer needed providing they have been retained for at least five years from the date of receipt and approval has been received from their regional library. Discard lists are reviewed by the regional to ensure completeness of the regional's holdings. If the material is not needed by the regional, it will be offered to selective depositories in the state and lastly to other libraries. Documents may then be disposed of if no recipient is found.

Disposal procedures are based on information found in Legal Requirements & Program Regulations of the Federal Depository Programexternal link:

Materials that do not need to go through the discard process:

  • Duplicates;
  • Unrequested documents sent from GPO by mistake;
  • Superseded items: See Superseded List and Guidelinesexternal link;
  • Microfiche: Must be held for five years before discarding. Large or significant runs of serials or sets, such as DOE microfiche, must still be listed. Individually listing each title is not necessary.

Substitution of electronic for tangible versions of depository materials:

Substitution of tangible formats

Tangible depository publications can be replaced by another format, e.g., microform or CD-ROM, provided they have been held for five years. The items still need to be offered through the regional.

New York State Library Needs List

The needs list consists mainly of items claimed by the NYSL, but never received. It also contains “lost” items. The NYSL may own some of these titles in another format. Check the needs list before preparing discard lists. Documents can be sent to:

New York State Library
Documents & Digital Collections - Federal Documents
Cultural Education Center
222 Madison Avenue
Albany, NY 12230

Procedures for submitting discard lists to the New York State Library

Lists should be sent as an e-mail attachment preferably in MS Word or MS Excel.
Please keep lists to a reasonable size or split them into two or more files. Send the lists to nyslfedoc@nysed.gov

  • Discard lists should contain:
  • SuDoc classification number (list in Sudoc number order)
  • Title of document
  • Date of publication (serials and annuals do not need to be listed individually. Use inclusive dates)
  • Contact information (name of depository, depository library number, name of contact person, e-mail address or phone number).
See NYS Federal Depository Libraries Offers Lists for examples of list formats.
  • Discard lists submitted will first be reviewed by the regional to determine if any items are needed.
  • Lists will then be posted for a period of thirty days. The selective library will be notified when the list is posted to the web site.
  • Requests for items should be sent directly to the offering library.
  • Requests from New York depositories should be filled before requests from out of state depositories and non-depositories.
  • Any remaining items not requested may be disposed of. The items should be marked "withdrawn."

Remember that if items are sold as second hand books or waste paper the proceeds must be sent to the Superintendent of Documents.

Depositories libraries are encouraged to offer any remaining items of historical or significant nature through the national Needs and Offers Listexternal link, or the GOVDOC-L listservexternal link.

New York State libraries are encouraged to offer any depository publications they do not need through the national Needs and Offers Listexternal link. Publications can be offered simultaneously on the NYSL site and the national list. Preference should be given to New York State libraries.

Contact the Federal Depository librarian to discuss possible solutions if you have a large weeding project or other problem that would make following the procedures difficult.

Questions about these procedures should be directed to:

Cindy Conway, Senior Librarian
New York State Library
Documents & Digital Collections
Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230
nyslfedoc@nysed.gov
518-474-3854 (voice)
Fax: 518-474-5786 (fax)
Last Updated: October 28, 2014