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FAQ For Depository Libraries

What types of print or tangibly formatted documents will my depository receive?

- In January 2006, LM began collecting in print or other tangible formats only those titles that appear on the Core List of Michigan Documents and publications that are not available online. When published, you will still receive CDs, videos and other non-print media. Ephemera such as posters or brochures will only be collected at LM, and not distributed to depositories.

What is the Core list of Michigan Documents?

- This is a list of Michigan state government publications that we believe contain critical information about the activities of Michigan's state government or are an important reference publication for libraries and the public. Publications on the list includes those that have especially significant or enduring value, such as agency annual reports, statistics, consumers guides, laws, regulations, rules, etc., and therefore we prefer to still collect and distribute them in print to our depository libraries.

How are the titles chosen for the Core List of Michigan Documents?

- We have developed a criteria document to help us populate the list as publications appear, disappear, or change over time. The criteria is a guideline to help LM and others that use the list keep it current and relevant. Suggestions for additions to the core list are always welcome.

If my depository no longer receives a particular document in print, how do I know I will have long-term access to the information?

- The Library of Michigan utilizes OCLC's Digital Archive and other systems to capture, catalog and preserve digital state government information. Once it is captured, a copy of the document as it originally appeared will be available online via a link in WorldCat, MelCat and Answer records. 

Can any staff member at my library serve as the depository coordinator?

- We suggest that the coordinator be a full time staff member. New requirements state that the depository coordinator must have a minimum of 3 years of library experience.

Do I have to attend training or other program activities to be the depository coordinator?

- Depository coordinators will be required to attend annual training programs and participate in a Council for Michigan Documents Depositories. Training opportunities will be open to other library staff as well.

Are there any depository reporting requirements?

- Depositories are required to submit an annual report of activities. LM will provide the reporting format.

Do I have to submit discard lists when I want to dispose of Michigan documents?

- As a courtesy we request that you list any pre-1970 documents for our review before discarding, but otherwise the Library of Michigan does not impose a discard/disposal system on Michigan documents depositories.

What is the Michigan Documents Depository Program?

- The Library of Michigan is directed by legislative statute to collect, distribute and preserve published state government information. Materials are acquired from Michigan state government agencies and deposited in the Library of Michigan's collection as well as in a network of designated depository libraries around the state to insure Michigan's citizens free and equal access to state government information.

How has the Internet affected this program?

- From 1828 to the early 1990's the primary format for state government information collected and distributed by the depository program was paper. The tremendous growth and popularity of the Internet, however, changed Michigan's state government information dissemination practices. In response, the Library of Michigan implemented a digital archiving system to permanently preserve and provide access to electronic state government information in 2002. While LM still collects certain publications in print or other tangible formats, as of 2006 the primary format for depository publications is electronic. Only publications listed on the Core List of Michigan Documents and those not available in electronic format are distributed to depository libraries.

How do I contact the government documents staff at LM?

Bernadette M. Bartlett
Michigan Documents Librarian
702 West Kalamazoo Street
P.O. Box 30007
Lansing, MI 48915
Telephone: 517-373-2971
Fax: 517-373-9438

Updated 10/16/2015