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As Easy as FDL? What do you think?

The Government Printing Office has produced a draft marketing plan for the Federal Depository Library Program. The 22 page plan and a survey link can be found at

Depositories have been asking for marketing/promotion assistance for awhile and this plan seems to be in response to these requests. It’s also quite good that it is a draft plan and that input is being solicited before being rolled out. It suggests a willingness to collaborate that is appreciated. It is our hope at FGI that GPO will get a good response rate to their call for comments because this will become a major way of marketing for the community. Better that stakeholders have input and suggestions BEFOREHAND instead of complaining about it afterwards.

The proposed slogan for the marketing campaign has stuck in my head every since I read it off the executive summary of the plan — “As Easy as FDL – Free (information), Dedicated (service), Limitless (possibilities)” As slogans go I think that this is an excellent encapsulation of everyone’s vision for the FDLP. I think it might even serve as a rough approximation for what the program is now.

Whether this slogan will strengthen an improving reality or degenerate into mere lip service depends greatly on how the electronic era will be implemented. If it becomes a centralized model with digital rights restrictions that means that info is only free within depository walls, then it won’t be as easy as FDL. But if librarians successfully adapt the century old model of decentralized, freely reusable information to the electronic era, it will be as easy as FDL.

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