The American Library Association Committee on Legislation (COL), Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) Task Force was created to examine a set of questions and issues to guide the Committee on current aspects of the FDLP and options for the future. The U.S. FDLP, managed by the U.S. Government Printing Office distributes federal information to depository libraries around the nation and the resources are used by FDLP libraries and all libraries in order to access a variety of information critical to our democratic life. The success of the FDLP has been supported through numerous ALA resolutions, policies, and efforts and as such, the ALA membership has a vested interest in FDLP strategies to improve access to information through our libraries and membership. The Task Force released its report to the Committee in June 2013. This report examined six issues as identified by the Committee. The Task Force was asked to continue for an additional year to outline a process for ALA to bring together diverse opinions and to guide the Committee in its future consideration of policies in relationship to the FDLP.
The Task Force is considering the components and process for a national preservation plan since such a plan would incorporate a number of tasks within a work plan that has wide appeal to most libraries: digitization, preservation of tangible and online materials, cataloging, training, advocacy, and coordination of the necessary work. While the ideal preservation plan would be implemented with many libraries, agencies, and commercial entities working in a coordinated and single effort, the Task Force realizes that this is not possible for the moment. But every effort begins will small tasks and eventually builds toward a stated goal. In consideration of the following issues, please consider how the FDLP community might begin a process now that would contribute toward and build the ideal program.
It is also critical to keep in mind the role of ALA. The Task Force is looking for specific suggestions on the role of ALA in the development of a national preservation plan. Your advice, suggestions, and comments should focus on how ALA might advise, assist, and coordinate the efforts of a national preservation plan.