BPL Celebrates 120 Years as a Federal Depository Library

Federal Depository Library Program

On October 8, 1895, the Birmingham Public Library was designated as a Federal Depository Library. We have proudly maintained our partnership with the Government Publishing Office for the last 120 years.

As the largest publisher in the world, the United States Federal Government realized the need to make government publications available to the people as early as 1813. Over the years, government information and how we access it has changed tremendously. Once government publications were available only on paper, now many federal agencies publish online and paper documents are quickly becoming a thing of the past. One thing remains the same, however, and that is our mandate as a Federal Depository Library. We are proud to offer government information to the public in a timely manner and with excellent customer service.

Alabama has 22 Federal Depository Libraries. However, most of them are university or government agency libraries. Birmingham Public and Gadsden Public Library are the only public libraries in Alabama that serve as Federal Depositories.

Libraries that are part of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) receive publications from various federal agencies, free of charge, and make them available to the public. Census records, decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, congressional hearings, and all manner of statistics are just a few examples of government documents. Since government agencies cover topics such as education; public health; farming; and even the weather, your local government documents library is sure to have something for everyone.

M.B. Newbill
Government Documents and Southern History Department Department Head
Central Branch