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Government Documents Administration: Disposal Instructions

Tools for librarians working with government documents in Montana

Disposal Instructions

Instructions to Depository Libraries for Submitting Disposal Requests for Discarding of
U.S. Government Depository Publications


Regionals “may permit” depository libraries to dispose of depository publications which the library has retained over five years, and the Regional is to add those publications which are not presently available in its collection. As addressed in Title 44 of the United States Code, the highest state appellate court library, the Montana State Law Library, is not obligated to discard depository materials through the Regional library. It should be remembered that no library is required to discard any depository library materials, unless the Superintendent of Documents directs such discarding.

Guidelines for Disposal


• Any government publication not received on deposit from the Superintendent of Documents may be included on a disposal list. Such items should be noted as non-depository items if at all possible. Offering unneeded gray literature or gift documents to the Regional is highly appreciated.

• Any publication which can be discarded without the Regional’s approval (i.e., superseded items) should not be included on disposal lists.

• Items on disposal lists should be identified by SuDoc number, title, and year of publication.However, special arrangements for abbreviated listing can be made for common series and microforms.

Disposal Procedures

1. Materials must be at least five years old or have an alternate format available (microform, electronic, etc.).

2. A list of publications for disposal must be typed and arranged by current and correct SuDoc number.

3. Each list should contain the name of the library, the date of the list (e.g, March 2006, 2006-03-A), and the page number.

4. For each item offered, the following information is necessary:

• The SuDoc classification number issued by GPO;
• For non-serial publications, the title and date of publication;
• For serial publications, the series title and holdings range (volume/issue and dates/years).

5. Print, microform, and electronic items should be listed on separate lists or in distinctly defined sections of the same list. If possible, maps should be listed separately.

6. Lists should be no more than 20 pages.

7. Do not send more than one list to the Regional at a time. A list may be sent to Montana Selective depositories at the same time it is sent to the Regional.

8. A list of materials needed by the Regional will be sent to the Selective library as soon as it is available. Or, if no items are needed from a given list, an email indicating this fact will be sent to the Selective. Regional requests for items from a disposal list must be filled before other Selective requests.

9. The Regional will endeavor to process and respond to Selective disposal lists within 6 weeks. If at all possible, response will be given within 1 month. If the 6-week deadline cannot be met, the Regional will apprise the Selective of the delay.

10. After the Regional has approved the disposal, it is strongly recommended that Selective depository libraries use the national “Needs and Offers” list or GovDoc-L to notify government information librarians nationwide of available publications. It is the library’s option whether or not to ask for postage reimbursement for requested titles.

11. After all reasonable efforts have been made to transfer the publications to other libraries, the depository is authorized to dispose of the remaining publications by means of any of the following:

• Offer for free to the public.
• Recycle the paper.
• Sell, either as secondhand books or waste paper. All depository publications remain the property of the U.S. government. Therefore, the proceeds from the sale of any items must be sent to the Superintendent of Documents with a letter of explanation.
• Discard.

Included as Appendix B in the 2006 Montana State Plan