FAQ About the State Publications Depository Program
General Assembly recognizes that an informed citizenry is indispensable to the proper functioning of a democratic society. In order to remain informed, citizens must know about the activities of their government and benefit from information developed at public expense. Through the administration of the State Publications Depository Program, citizens will be ensured continued access to state publications, regardless of geographical location in the Commonwealth. (Code of Virginia, §42.1-92b)
What is the purpose of the program?
The State Document Depository Program was established in 1981 to guarantee access to government information, regardless to proximity to Richmond, and to ensure that information published by state agencies remains available to the public. In 2006, following a two year study by the General Assembly, the goals and purposes of the Depository Program were repealed, amended and recodified as the State Publications Depository Program in §42.1-92 et seq. of the Code of Virginia.
The State Publications Depository Program act expressly defines what should be included in the program. §42.1-93 states: "Publication" means all documents, regardless of physical form or characteristics and issued by or for a state, local, or regional agency, in full or in part at government expense, that are created for the research or informational use of the public. "Publication" shall not include documents that are developed solely for the agency's administrative and internal operations.
Complete guidelines for appropriate materials to submit to the program can be found in the State Publications Collection Policy.
What happens to all those publications?
The Library of Virginia keeps at least two copies for its collections, and distributes the others to geographically diverse libraries throughout the commonwealth and to the Library of Congress.
What about "born digital" publications?
The Library of Virginia has established a secure digital repository for electronic state publications, which became fully operational in July 2008. Like paper publications, agencies will be required to submit electronic copies to the Library. After a publication is accepted for the digital repository, the Library will distribute cataloging to depository libraries, providing long-term access to your publications. In addition, the repository is full-text searchable, and accessible from the Library's Web site.