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FAQ For State Agencies

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 many print copies of my agency's publications do we have to supply?

- Although the Act the depository program operates under states 75 copies, the Library has streamlined and revised the program and only 15 copies of print or other tangible formatted publications are required to fulfill your agency's legal obligation.

Do you require copies of all publications, even forms?

- No. The brochure, Management and Preservation of Michigan Government Information, lists the types of publications we do and do not collect. If you are not sure whether a publication fits into the depository program, please call us and we are happy to review it.

Do I have to submit print copies to the depository program if the publication is available on my agency's website?

- No! Except for the publications listed on the Core List of Michigan Documents, we will accept electronic or web-based publications in lieu of print.

What is the Core List of Michigan Documents and why do you still collect these publications in print?

- 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 include 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. We have developed a Criteria document to help us populate this list as publications appear, disappear, or change over time.

How do I notify the Library of Michigan that a new publication has been posted to our website?

- Send a brief email to which includes the name of the publication and a link to the web page on which the publication is located.

Does LM require an email informing them of every publication that is posted to the website, even when it is just a new issue of a long-running newsletter?

- Yes! Because the information on the Internet and on state government websites is transient and change quickly, we need official notification when each new publication is released.

Our agency creates several reports that are submitted to an audience outside of our agency, but are not posted to our website. Typically these reports are emailed to the recipients, is it possible to attach publications/documents to an email and send it to the Library of Michigan in lieu of providing print copies?

- Yes! While the preferred method for capturing electronic state government information is from the Internet, we can also upload individual files that are sent to us as email attachments.

Where and how do we send the print or tangibly formatted publications?

- All print or tangibly formatted publications can be forwarded to the Library of Michigan through Interdepartmental Mail at the address listed under Contacts (517-373-2971). Agencies that do not have access to ID Mail should use the Library's regular mailing address.

How is the Library of Michigan preserving electronic publications?

- The Library of Michigan has investigated and researched digital preservation systems and methods since 1996. In 2001 we joined a pilot project with the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization through which we assisted in developing the Digital Archive, a system that stores and preserves digital assets. The DA captures a copy of the files that make up the electronic publication and stores them in a computer server that is independent of the state agency's servers, ensuring the publication will always be available in it's original format through the Library of Michigan's online database, Answer.

My agency took down last year's annual report from our website and it was not issued in print, does the Library of Michigan have a copy of the electronic version and how do I find it?

- If we were notified of the change in format we would have captured a copy of the annual report or any other publication that was not issued in print. You would locate the electronic copy of the publication by searching our online database, Answer, and clicking on the 'archived resource' link near the top of the record.

Do we have to comply with this program?

- Yes! This program is mandated by legislative statute. All state agencies have a legal obligation to comply.

Does the Library of Michigan offer their digital archiving system as a 'service' to state agencies?

- Yes! If your agency wishes to remove information from its website, but maintain a link to electronic copies of those publications, the agency can sign a memorandum of agreement with the Library of Michigan to serve as the 'archive' for those publications through our Digital Collections Management Program (contact us at 517-373-2971). We would supply you with a link to place on your website that would lead the user to the archived copies of the publications.

How do I contact Government Documents staff at the Library of Michigan?


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

I.D. Mail address:

Library of Michigan
Government Documents
Michigan Library and Historical Center
3rd Floor

Updated 01/08/2013