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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Welcome Sitting Bull College Library to the FDLP!

Last week, GPO announced that Sitting Bull College Library had joined the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and would be the first digital-only member of the FDLP. Welcome Sitting Bull College to the FDLP!

But one sentence piqued my interest in GPO’s press release: “…opting to meet their community’s needs by developing an online Government information collection.” I haven’t been able to find any information about *how* GPO is helping Sitting Bull College to develop an “online government information collection.” To me, a library collection is one that the library actually manages, preserves and makes accessible to their local community. GPO is not offering digital deposit to Sitting Bull College (or any FDLP library for that matter).

I think for the FDLP program to continue to flourish, there’s got to be more than PR. There’s so much to be done to ensure the preservation and access of born-digital government information. There need to be ways for depositories to help collect, preserve, describe and give access (e.g. digital deposit, fugitive hunting, collaborative cataloging, building an FDLP knowledge base etc). Otherwise, they’re “depositories” in name only.

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) designates Sitting Bull College Library as the first digital-only member of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). The library is opting to meet their community’s needs by developing an online Government information collection. In choosing this format, the library will not receive print materials from GPO. Sitting Bull College is a Native American tribally-managed college that was granted land-grant status under an act of Congress with the mission to serve their community through higher education programs. Sitting Bull College Library serves the information needs of its students, faculty, and staff, the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation community, and the American public in North Dakota and South Dakota. Through the FDLP, GPO works with approximately 1,200 libraries nationwide to provide the public with access to authentic, published information from all three branches of the Federal Government in print and electronic formats.

“Libraries have always been the cornerstone in helping GPO carry out its mission of Keeping America Informed on the three branches of the Federal Government,” said Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks. “GPO welcomes Sitting Bull College Library into the FDLP. As GPO continues to transform by providing information in digital formats, we are pleased to partner with the library community to expand access to Government information in their communities.”

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