Federal Depository Documents Discard Procedures Illinois State Library

General Rules and Regulations

  1. The Federal Government retains the ownership of all government publications received by depository libraries. They may not be sold or bartered without the proceeds being sent to the United States Government Printing Office (GPO).
  2. By Federal law, materials must be retained by the depositories for no less than five years with the exceptions of secondary copies, copies received in error, and superseded materials. Selective depository libraries may substitute tangible commercially produced products or online content, for any depository holdings held in the library for at least one year; however, it must meet the official criteria of being official, complete and free of charge to the user.
  3. Permission to discard materials may be granted through the Regional Library (Illinois State Library). If for some reason the Regional does not concur that the materials may be discarded, the selective will be notified within two weeks of the posting date.
  4. The discard process should be viewed as the selection process in reverse with the most used and needed materials of your community weeded the least. It is recommended that Depositories to review your institution’s selection profile annually as item numbers may change or be added. Depository libraries must develop depository collections to meet the needs and format preferences of their primary library users and the general public.
  5. Each federal depository in Illinois is required to subscribe to the ISL-FED-DEP electronic list. The subscription to the list can be found at http://www.islemail.org/mailman/listinfo/ISL-FED-DEP. Discards lists and other documentation are to be posted through this electronic list.

Discard Procedure

  1. When creating a discard list, each depository is requested to use an Excel template provided by the Regional. The list must include the following information:
    • Sudoc classification
    • Title
    • Date of publication
    • Item number
    • Volume/issue number for serials

Also required in discard communication is: contact information and deadline date to request materials.

  1. Discard lists should be no longer than 500 titles per list, with a maximum of 500 titles posted per depository per day.
  2. Each depository will hold the materials listed for at least one month (30 days) before discarding – allowing other selectives around the region time to select items from the list. The Regional retains the prerogative to extend this deadline for any list.
  3. At the end of the discard time, the selective will send a note to the regional, within five days, listing the items that were claimed from that list.
  4. The Regional will issue an official cumulative monthly composite list of all the unclaimed materials for the previous months. By removing the claimed items from the composite list, it will provide an opportunity for other depositories to claim items they wanted but were already claimed by another depository before them. Once the composite list is posted, selectives will be free to discard materials from this official list for one year without posting to a list.
  5. Depositories are strongly encouraged to post lists to and check FDLP eXchange with any unclaimed items.

Exceptions to the Discard List Process

These items may be discarded, after being held for the statutory required amount of time, without posting or consulting the Regional office.

  1. Secondary copies or copies which were sent to the depository by mistake (e.g. materials with item numbers not on the selectives selected item numbers). These items may be discarded or offered immediately upon receipt.
  2. Superseded materials (may be discarded immediately upon supersession).
  3. Materials in authorized formats. These include: Microfiche, VHS tapes, CDs and disc drive media storage devices.
  4. Maps, with the exception of Illinois and the six surrounding states (Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin).


If a depository has any questions or concerns please contact:
Blaine Redemer, Regional Coordinator
Illinois State Library
300 S. 2nd St.
Springfield, IL 62701-1796