Discard List Guidelines


As Regional Depository for the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), we oversee the discard process for federal documents’ depositories throughout Ohio. This process is governed by the United States Government Printing Office and described in Federal Depository Library Handbook, chapter 12.


All federal government publication discard lists will be submitted electronically to the fedgovdoc listserv.

Each federal depository in the state is required to subscribe to the fedgovdoc list. Please remember to format the message you send as plain text.

For more information on the fedgovdocs listserv and how to access the list, please visit https://lists.library.ohio.gov/mailman/listinfo/fedgovdocs.

Preparing to Discard

  • Submit only items that have been retained for 5 or more years.
  • Other factors for consideration:
    • Cooperative efforts within your region to assure coverage.
    • Collection development guidelines in the State Plan.
    • FDLP guidelines are located in the Weeding a Depository Collection article
  • A selective depository is permitted to replace tangible versions with online equivalents of depository materials provided the library has held the publication for at least one year, your regional depository has approved the disposal of the tangibles, and the online version is:
    • Official
    • Complete
    • Free of charge to the user
  • No library is required to substitute online versions for paper, microfiche, CD-ROM, etc

Discarding Microfiche

  • All microfiche depository receipts are to be held for at least five years before they may be discarded. The five years is to be measured from the date of receipt, not the date covered or date published.
  • Selective depositories may discard microfiche copies of depository documents after they have been retained for 5 years without offering them on disposition lists.
  • Selective depositories discarding large runs or sets of microfiche documents, such as DOE microfiche or USGS Open File Reports, must receive permission from the Regional before discarding. The Regional reserves the right to require selectives to prepare disposition lists for this or any other type of material.

Preparing the List

Include the following information:

  • SuDoc Number
  • Title
  • Year of Publication (for monographs)
  • Year of coverage, volume and issue (for serials)
  • Format (if other than paper)

Lists should be a manageable size. You might want to submit more than one list, if you have many items.

Include with your list the name of the contact person, their email address and/or telephone number.

At the top of the list, post the final date for obtaining the materials (4 weeks from the date of posting).

After the List is Prepared

Check out our regional Needs List. If you are discarding any of the items on the needs list, please notify us to make arrangements to transfer the items.

Note: The needs list does not necessarily list all items we may want. Pre–1976 items are of particular interest. If you are discarding older items, even those that might appear on the Superseded List, please call them to the attention of the State Library. An example of an item the State Library might want is old editions of the CFR.

Submit the fedgovdocs list during the first 7 days of the month.

Use a subject line for the email that reads: Discards, [your library name] [date]

Maintain the items on the list for a period of four weeks. Each library should be responsible for noting its own discard date.

During the four weeks, other federal depositories may request items from the list

As regional, the State Library of Ohio should be given priority in requests.

At the end of four weeks, if the State Library has not requested the items, other requests may be filled. If there are no requests for the items, the offering library may offer items to area libraries or discard. Approval by the State Library of Ohio for discard is automatic at the end of four weeks; no letter of approval is required.

Substantive items may be offered to the National Needs & Offers list.

Requests by individuals may be filled after all disposal options listed in Instructions to Depository Libraries, chapter 4 Maintenance, section E Discards by Selective Depositories and section I Secondary Copies have been exhausted.