An ALA Washington Office Press Release is extremely disturbing, if correct:
ALAWON: American Library Association Washington Office Newsline
Volume 14, Number 6
January 27, 2005
In This Issue: Call for Oversight on GPO Initiatives
We are writing to ask you to contact your Members of Congress to tell them about GPO's proposed plan that would eliminate almost all print distribution to depository libraries beginning October 1, 2005. Urge them to support a call for an oversight hearing on the impact of the
Government Printing Office's (GPO) proposed initiatives and changes to the Federal Depository Library Program and the impact on the public's
permanent access to authentic government information.
Use our Legislative Action Center http://capwiz.com/ala/home/> to send a letter, or use the toll-free free number to call members of Congress: 1-800-839-5276.
We also urge you to send copies of your letters to Public Printer Bruce James ([email protected] / fax: 202-512-1347) and to Superintendent of Documents Judith C. Russell ([email protected] / fax: 202-512-1432).
We will send out a separate ALAWON Alert on the GPO budget issue when their budget request is officially submitted.
The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP)was established by Congress more than 150 years ago as a geographically dispersed system to provide no-fee public access to government information and has proven to be a very successful partnership among Congress, federal agencies, the courts, the Government Printing Office (GPO), depository libraries, and the American public in ensuring the public's right to know.
At ALA's Midwinter Meeting in Boston, GPO informed the library community that their FY 2006 Salaries and Expenses (S&E) appropriations request for the FDLP will be for level funding (at the 2005 level), plus cost of living increases. One result of this request will be drastic changes in the distribution of print materials to our Nation's federal depository libraries. These proposed changes would take effect October 1, 2005.
Among the changes, the key is that GPO would produce and distribute in print only the 50 titles listed on the "Essential Titles for Public Use in Paper Format." The Essential Titles List
http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/pubs/estitles.html", last revised in 2000, does not include important materials including maps, geological information, administrative decisions and other congressional
and legal materials, as well as Senate and House reports, documents, and hearings that inform the citizenry of the workings of Congress. All other agency information will be disseminated only in electronic format to depository libraries - whether they are equipped to handle this format adequately and whether or not this is the most usable format for their publics. This decision, if allowed to go forward, will have a profound negative impact on access to authenticated government information in formats most usable to the American public.
Second, to supplement the "Essential Titles" publications, GPO will initiate a Print on Demand (POD) Allowance Program of $500 for selective
depository libraries and $1500 for the 53 regional depository libraries for purchase of other titles. GPO is, in effect, asking Congress to support and depository libraries to accept a new fee-based Print on Demand Program that has not yet been established or tested.