By AUDREY FISCHER
The Bicentennial of the Library in 2000 provides a unique opportunity to highlight both the history and the future of the world's largest library and the nation's oldest federal cultural institution.
While continuing to prepare for its 200th birthday, the Library implemented an Integrated Library System (ILS) that supports traditional library activities such as acquisitions and bibliographic control in a single system and administered a Russian Leadership Program that brought emerging Russian political leaders to the United States to observe the workings of democratic institutions.
Other highlights included increased physical security for the Library's staff as well as its collections, facilities and computer resources. This included readying the Library's mission-critical information systems for the year 2000 century change. In addition, the National Digital Library Program made major progress toward its goal of making freely available 5 million items on the Library's Web site (www.loc.gov) by 2000 as a gift to the nation.
The Library also received a number of important acquisitions, improved service to Congress and the nation through the use of technology, and continued to make segments of its vast resources available electronically on its award-winning World Wide Web site.
Legislative Support to Congress
Serving Congress is the Library's highest priority. During the year, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) delivered more than 545,000 research responses to members and committees of Congress. CRS provided information to Congress on matters ranging from agriculture to taxation and trade, from China to Kosovo, from space and technology to welfare and related issues. CRS also addressed a range of defense issues, among them budget priorities, medical care costs, military intelligence and law enforcement, base closings, acquisition reform, budget process procedures, the cost to the United States of the Kosovo military operation and long-term defense policy.
On the domestic front, CRS assisted Congress as it considered matters relating to agriculture, education, banking and finance, proposed election campaign finance reforms, impeachment, proposed managed health care reforms, space and technology, Social Security, taxation, trade, welfare, children and families. CRS continued to prepare expert testimony for Congress on topics related to the Y2K computer problem.
CRS held a three-day workshop on oversight for congressional staff that resulted in an updated congressional oversight manual, a video for broadcast on the congressional cable network and a committee print of the proceedings.
The Law Library answered nearly 4,400 in-person reference requests from congressional users. Law Library research staff produced 975 written reports for Congress, including comprehensive multinational studies on issues such as human rights, health care and crime.
The Copyright Office provided policy advice and technical assistance to Congress on important copyright-related issues such as database protection, extension of the satellite compulsory license, technical corrections in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (enacted on Aug. 4, 1999) and exemptions for certain educational activities taking place through digital technologies as outlined in a congressionally mandated report on "Copyright and Digital Distance Education" prepared by the Copyright Office. The office also responded to numerous congressional inquiries about domestic and international copyright law and registration and recordation of works of authorship.
The Library's Bicentennial Program Office continued to coordinate the effort to celebrate the Library's birthday with commemorative coins and a stamp, exhibitions, publications, symposia, Bicentennial-related activities at libraries nationwide and several projects, such as Favorite Poem, Local Legacies and Gifts to the Nation.
The first of the Bicentennial symposia series, "Frontiers of the Mind in the 21st Century," was held in June 1999, in which some 50 scholars from 24 fields discussed topics ranging from cosmology to mathematics.
Appointed in 1999 to an unprecedented third term as Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, Robert Pinsky will present the Library with the first 50 audio and video segments from a nationwide Favorite Poem Project as part of the April 3-4, 2000, Bicentennial symposium, "Poetry in America: Reading, Performance and Publication in the 19th and 20th Centuries."
A cornerstone Bicentennial project of 1999, Local Legacies, involved members of Congress and their constituents in an effort to document the cultural and historical traditions in their communities for the Library's Archive of Folk Culture. Citizens from all 50 states and the District of Columbia are participating in this grassroots effort to preserve the traditions and local histories of America at the end of the millennium. Selections from Local Legacies will be digitized in 2000 and shared with Americans through the Library's popular Web site.
The Gifts to the Nation project seeks to enrich the Library's collections during its Bicentennial year with materials identified as historically significant. A $1 million contribution from Gene and Jerry Jones to re-create Thomas Jefferson's library and $1 million from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation for the Martha Graham archives are among the notable contributions to this effort.
Additional information on the Library's Bicentennial is available at www.loc.gov/bicentennial.
Integrated Library System
As of Oct. 1, the Library had successfully implemented all modules of the Integrated Library System, including cataloging and circulation, the online card catalog in the reading rooms and on the World Wide Web, and the acquisitions and serials check-in modules.
The new system will improve automation support for bibliographic control and inventory management activities at the Library through the use of a shared bibliographic database that integrates all major Library Services functional areas, such as acquisitions, cataloging, serials management, circulation, inventory control and reference. The effort involved more than 500 Library staff serving on 80 implementation teams. Approximately 12 million bibliographic records, 4 million authority records, as well as some 30,000 vendor, 54,000 order, and nearly 26,000 patron records were converted from legacy systems to the ILS production database.
Russian Leadership Program
On May 24, Congress appropriated $10 million for an "Open World" Russian Leadership Program to bring emerging political leaders from the Russian Federation to America to observe the workings of democratic institutions. Administered by the Library of Congress, the program brought more than 2,100 Russian political, civic, business and intellectual leaders from 83 of 89 regions to America between July and Sept. 30. Hosted by more than 50 members of Congress and 800 American families in 400 communities, the Russian guests visited 46 states and the District of Columbia. Program co-chairs were Dr. Billington and Russian academician Dmitri Sergeevich Likhachev, who died on Sept. 30, the last day of the program.
In February 1999, the Library's independent accountants, Clifton Gunderson LLC, issued an unqualified "clean" audit opinion on the Library's fiscal 1998 Consolidated Financial Statements. In addition to the third consecutive "clean" audit opinion, the auditors found no material internal control weaknesses, and the number of reportable conditions decreased from six to two.
Improved Service to Congress and the Nation Through Technology
The Library continued to improve its cataloging, copyright, research, management and information delivery systems through the development and use of technology. Specific achievements in 1999 include:
- Legislative Information System. The focus of development for the shared Legislative Information System (LIS) for Congress during the past year was creation of a Y2K-compliant system for the exchange of data among the House, the Senate and the Library of Congress. With the transition to the new system in December, the LIS will be the central point for locating legislative information.
- Legislative Alert. To speed legislative analyses to Congress, CRS developed weekly electronic mail delivery of reports, issue briefs and electronic materials relating to issues likely to receive action each week in the House and Senate. With links to the most recent products on the CRS Web site, these weekly summaries of legislative issues make information and analysis readily available to members and staff to support legislative deliberations.
- Electronic Briefing Books. CRS continued to develop one of its newest products, the electronic briefing book, by adding books for banking and finance, taxation and the year 2000 computer problem.
- Internet Resources. The Library continued to provide more information to Congress and the nation with its Internet-based systems. The Library's Web site was frequently cited for excellence in 1999 and was included on many "best of" lists, including PC Magazine, Netscape Net Guide and The Scout Report. Throughout the year, an average of nearly 80 million transactions were recorded on the Library's public electronic systems each month, a 30 percent increase over fiscal 1998 usage. Use of the American Memory historical collections increased by more than 60 percent -- from an average of 9.3 million transactions during fiscal 1998 to 15 million per month in fiscal 1999. The publicly accessible legislative information system known as THOMAS continued to be an enormously popular resource, with more than 10 million systems transactions logged on average each month.
- Global Legal Information System (GLIN). GLIN is a cooperative international network of nations to which member nations contribute the full, authentic text of statutes and regulations on a database hosted by the Law Library of Congress. Twelve member countries are currently participating via the Internet. In addition, the Law Library contributed information about another 24 nations. This year, 264,000 GLIN transactions were made, including searches, inputting and updating of files. A milestone was reached in March when a new GLIN file was put into production to allow GLIN members to enter legal writings into the database and link these writings to summaries of laws that exist in the GLIN database.
- National Digital Library Program. At year's end, approximately 2.5 million Library of Congress items and 85,000 items from collaborating institutions were available online or in digital files. An additional 2.5 million items from the Library's collections and other repositories were put into production as part of a national collaborative effort.
During the year, 18 new multimedia historical collections were added to the American Memory Web site, bringing the total to 68. Eight existing collections were expanded with additional items, and four new Library exhibitions were mounted on the Library's Web site.
Fiscal 1999 was the third and final year in which Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition awards were made to other archives and institutions to digitize historically significant American history collections; a total of $615,965 went to 12 recipients. Since the program's inception, a total of 33 award-winning institutions have received support to digitize their historical collections and make them available through the Library's American Memory Web site.
In 1999 the NDL Program held its third American Memory Fellows Institute, welcoming 50 K-12 teachers and school media specialists from 20 states to the Library's existing network of master educators, bringing the reach of the National Digital Library's educational outreach program into 30 states since 1996.
During fiscal 1999, the National Digital Library Visitors' Center hosted more than 500 programs for more than 7,800 visitors. Center staff also answered 5,074 requests for information received through electronic mail.
- CORDS. Developed in collaboration with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and Corporation for National Research Initiatives, the Copyright Office Electronic Registration, Recordation and Deposit System (CORDS) will help the Copyright Office streamline its internal registration, recordation and deposit processes, as well as provide the Library with copies of new copyrighted works in digital form for its National Digital Library repository. During the year the Copyright Office continued to develop, test and enhance CORDS for the digital registration and deposit of copyrighted works through the Internet, using the latest advances in networking and computer technology. The major emphasis of CORDS testing and implementation during the year was focused on successful establishment of system-to-system communications for CORDS electronic copyright registration and deposit with the office's largest copyright remitter, Bell and Howell Information and Learning (previously known as UMI), for electronic receipt and processing of claims for digital dissertations.
- Geographic Information Systems. The Geography and Map Division (G&M) continued to work closely with the National Digital Library to digitize cartographic materials for electronic access throughout the nation. In cooperation with the Congressional Research Service and the Congressional Relations Office, G&M produced customized maps and geographic information for members of Congress. Working with the National Digital Library, G&M digitized cartographic materials for electronic access throughout the nation. With the help of private-sector partners, G&M continued to expand a collection of large-format images available through Internet. A new collection, "Mapping the National Parks," was introduced on June 2, and an evolving collection of "Places in the News/Contemporary Maps" was inaugurated in April 1999. By the end of the fiscal year, 2,428 maps (8,120 images) were made available to the world through the Map Collections home page, which now averages more than 410,000 computer transactions each month.
Securing the Library's facilities, staff, collections and computer resources continued to be a high priority. On Oct. 21, 1998, President Clinton signed an omnibus emergency spending bill that included $17 million for security of Library buildings as part of a $106.8 million U.S. Capitol package to improve physical security of the Capitol Hill complex.
During the year, the Library installed X-ray machines in the James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams main lobbies, where visitors were screened electronically beginning in May. The Library also awarded a single contract for security guards to support certain functions; expanded police presence by adding new posts and patrols; and gained congressional approval of plans to make major physical security improvements, including the consolidation of the two police command centers, the integration and upgrading of intrusion detection systems and the installation of improved access controls, such as vehicle barriers, curb walls, perimeter bollards and secure police shelters.
In coordination with the Office of the Inspector General, an external auditing firm was contracted to do a random sampling of the collections in the Prints and Photographs Division, the first step in a major undertaking to establish baselines of the Library's inventory so that follow-up inspections can be made to measure the extent of theft and mutilation.
The Collection Security Oversight Committee created four standing subcommittees (Policy and Standards, Operations, Security Awareness and Resources), which have implemented actions outlined in the Library's Security Plan.
The Library continued to implement a comprehensive computer security plan to safeguard its valuable electronic resources and a Year 2000 plan to ensure that its computer systems will function properly at the turn of the century. As a result of testing, modifying or replacing systems as necessary, all of the Library's mission-critical systems were certified Year 2000 compliant at year's end.
Information Technology Services completed the curriculum for a Library-wide information technology security awareness class and completed work on automation of security administration for the Library's large UNIX server complex, on network subdivisions (i.e., public vs. private) and on full Internet "firewall" implementation.
During the year, the size of the Library's collections grew to nearly 119 million items, an increase of approximately 3.5 million over fiscal 1998 totals. This figure includes 27.5 million books and other print materials, 53 million manuscripts, 12.5 million microforms, 4.5 million maps, 4.2 million items in the music collection, and 13.4 million visual materials (photographs, posters, moving images, prints and drawings). At year's end the total number of unprocessed materials, or "arrearages," stood at 19,793,689 items, a decrease of 50 percent from the 39.7 million-item arrearage at the time of the initial census in September 1989. Staff created catalog records for 205,893 print volumes and inventory records for an additional 55,243 items.
Linked to the Library's arrearage reduction effort is the development of secondary storage sites to house processed materials and to provide for growth of the collection through the first part of the 21st century. In March 1999, the Library and the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) recommended the firm of Tobey & Davis to the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to be the prime architect to design a National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Va.
The Library also continued to work closely with the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) and its contractors to ensure that the first storage module at Fort Meade, Md., meets the necessary environmental requirements to house and preserve the transferred collections and that materials handling will be as efficient as possible. The AOC has advised the Library that construction of Module 1 will be complete and the building ready for occupancy late in 2000. The module will house 2.2 million items of paper-based material, primarily books, shelved by size in containers.
Important acquisitions came to the Library through gift, exchange or purchase; the copyright deposit system; or through other federal agencies. Notable acquisitions during fiscal year 1999 included more than 600,000 items of Supreme Court Justices Harry Blackmun and Ruth Bader Ginsberg; papers and documents relating to the early history of the United States in the Marian Carson Collection; a multimedia collection of ballet choreographer Bronislava Nijinska; the Carte de Canada et des Etats Unis de l'Amerique (1778), the first map to recognize the independence of the United States.; a Persian manuscript celestial globe, ca. 1650; the first American Haggadah, published in New York City in 1837; 337 issues of the post-Revolutionary newspaper Claypoole's Daily Advertiser, 1791-1793; 40,000 works by more than 3,000 artists in the J. Arthur Wood Jr., Collection of cartoons and caricature; the Victor Hammer Archives containing the works of one of the great hand-press printers, printmakers, and type designers of the 20th century; and Politica by Aristotle (Cologne, 1492), the earliest version of Aristotle's work to become available in the West.
The Library took action to improve the preservation of its vast and diverse collections by (1) completing the mass deacidification treatment of 75,000 volumes using the Bookkeeper process; (2) binding 183,202 paperback volumes and labeling 156,004 hardcover volumes; (3) introducing a conservation fellow volunteer program, in which five volunteers rehoused 15,101 items; (4) identifying and evaluating an improved, commercially available motion picture container; (5) developing a new time-saving, accelerated-aging test that will be used to predict the longevity of paper products; (6) coordinating the preservation microfilming of 1.6 million pages of historically significant U.S. newspapers, adding more than 6,000 titles to the national union list of newspapers; microfilming 3.3 million papers from the Library's collections; (8) completing housing for 162,242 technical reports in the Publication Board Collection in the Science, Technology and Business Division; (9) inspecting and processing 364 positive and 175 negative reels of microfilm acquired from Moscow's Library of Foreign Literature and Russian State Library, Lithuania, and military archives in Hungary, Poland and Romania; and (10) identifying laser-marking equipment that can be used to place Library property information safely on CDs, audiotapes and videotapes in the Library's collections.
The Copyright Office received 619,022 claims and made 594,501 registrations in fiscal 1999. The office responded to nearly 427,000 requests from the public for copyright information, of which more than 10,000 were received electronically. Selected as one of the nation's top Web sites by PC/Novice/Smart Computing magazine, the Copyright Office Web site played an increasingly important role in the dissemination of information to the copyright community and the general public. The Web site logged more than 5.6 million hits during the year, a nearly threefold increase over the previous year.
National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped distributed more than 22 million items to some 765,000 readers in 1999. Braille readers may now access more than 2,700 Web-Braille (digital braille) book files created by the Library with a computer or electronic note-taker and a refreshable braille display, which is an electronic device that raises or lowers an array of pins to create a line of braille characters, or a braille embosser. Work also continued on digital talking-book standards under the auspices of the National Information Standards Organization. Expected to be completed in one year, this digital standard will be used by NLS to develop its new talking book.
American Folklife Center
Approved on Oct. 21, 1998, the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act of 1999 provided the American Folklife Center with permanent authorization and six new trustees for its board of directors. The center continued its mandate to "preserve and present American folklife" through a number of outreach programs, including the Local Legacies project and the addition of three new online collections.
Sharing the Library's Treasures
The Library's collections were shared with hundreds of thousands of Americans through on-site exhibitions, special events, symposia, traveling exhibits and major publications.
The Library presented six new exhibitions. Items rotated into the Library's permanent exhibition, "American Treasures of the Library of Congress," included a copy of the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln's 1861 inaugural address and Thomas Jefferson's rough draft of the Declaration of Independence. The year's two major exhibition's, "Sigmund Freud: Conflict and Culture" and "Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention," were scheduled to visit Germany, Denmark, Vienna, London, New York City, Los Angeles, Brazil and Chicago. The Bicentennial theme of "Libraries, Creativity, Liberty" was reflected in the first two Bicentennial exhibitions, "The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention," and "John Bull and Uncle Sam: Four Centuries of British-American Relations," featuring materials from the Library of Congress and the British Library. Four new exhibitions, including "Freud" and "Eames," were added to the Library's Web site.
The Publishing Office produced more than 25 books, calendars and other products describing the Library's collections. The office also produced a catalog of the Library's selected publications, titled Celebrating Books. Major publications in fiscal 1999 produced by the Library or in cooperation with outside publishers included: Sigmund Freud: Conflict and Culture (Alfred A. Knopf); The Declaration of Independence: The Evolution of the Text (University Press of New England); and Gathering History: The Marian S. Carson Collection of Americana. Language of the Land: The Library of Congress Book of Literary Maps received much media attention and was the subject of feature articles in newspapers across the country.
The award-winning book Eyes of the Nation was also released as a multimedia CD-ROM and DVD-ROM by Southpeak Interactive and the History Channel. Eyes of the Nation won second place in the American Association of Museums CD-ROM design competition, was named one of the top 10 family multimedia products by Family Life magazine and was the topic of a feature article in The New York Times. Publications that garnered overall design excellence awards from Washington Book Publishers were Freud: Conflict and Culture; Gathering History: The Marian S. Carson Collection of Americana; Oliphant's Anthem: Pat Oliphant at the Library of Congress; and Performing Arts: Motion Pictures.
The Visitor Services Office conducted 3,108 tours for 64,489 visitors; arranged 734 tours for 13,699 congressional constituents; and made 487 appointments with Library staff for 2,180 VIPs, professionals, and students representing 77 different countries. The office assisted 858 first-time readers at a new Researcher Guidance Desk. A cadre of 152 volunteers provided 26,531 hours of service, conducted 1,780 public tours and 52 Spanish-language tours, and responded to inquiries from 179,813 visitors.
The Library piloted a Web broadcasting program starting with Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky's lecture that opened the 1998-99 poetry season on Oct. 8, 1998. The pilot explored the practicality of a regular Library cybercast during the year of the Library's Bicentennial.
The bimonthly Civilization magazine, which is published under a licensing agreement with the Library, completed its fifth year of publication with more than 250,000 paid subscribers, who are also Library of Congress Associates.
Restoration and Renovation
During fiscal 1999, the Library completed a number of moves and actions as part of the multiyear plan to outfit and occupy the remaining renovated spaces of the Thomas Jefferson and John Adams buildings. Major accomplishments include relocating Contracts and Logistics Services from the Landover Annex to the John Adams building; completing the Thomas Jefferson Building and Rare Book Roof Replacement project, as well as work in the Jefferson Visitors' Center, Concert Office and Coolidge Green Room.
With the complete restoration of the Thomas Jefferson building, the Library has been able to support the work of Congress by providing the Members' Room and other building facilities for legislative and policy retreats as well as leadership convocations for the House and Senate. More than 100 events were held by Congress members during fiscal 1999.
Gift and Trust Funds
During fiscal 1999, the Library's fund-raising activities brought in a total of $14.2 million in gifts, including $5.2 million in cash gifts and $9 million in new pledges. The Library received 784 gifts to 72 different Library funds. Twelve new gift and trust funds were established. At year's end, outstanding pledges totaled $16 million. During fiscal 1999, the Library celebrated the completion of the fund-raising for the first phase of the National Digital Library Program. Major gifts included $2.5 million from the AT&T Corp. and $1 million from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The total raised for the NDL Program is now $48 million, which exceeds the original goal of $45 million from the private sector. The Library honored the founding and charter sponsors of the NDL Program during a celebratory event on April 13, 1999.
Private gifts supported a variety of other new and continuing programs throughout the Library, including exhibitions, acquisitions, symposia and an extensive series of Bicentennial programs. Major gifts included a $1.4 million grant from the Xerox Foundation to fund the new "World Treasures from the Library of Congress" exhibition; a $1.6 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the Congressional Research Service; a $1 million grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to purchase the Martha Graham Archives and to support dance programs; and a $1 million gift from Jerry and Gene Jones for the reconstruction of Thomas Jefferson's library. Through the Gifts to the Nation program for the Bicentennial, the Library brought in 35 new gifts totaling $7,487,953 for special items, collections and programs.
Human Resources Improvement
Congress approved two reprogramming actions during fiscal year 1999 totalling $720,000 to accelerate the Library's HR 21 initiative to enable the Library to compete successfully for highly qualified staff, retain high performers, and reward excellence and innovation, train and manage staff to achieve Library missions, and make personnel administration responsive, efficient and effective. A Strategic Planning Group and a Hiring Improvement Group recommended a new human resources program and a timetable for implementing new systems, programs, and procedures. The Library also issued a Human Resources Strategic Plan to guide the transformation effort and ensure that human resources activities clearly align with the agency mission.
The Library of Congress Internal University (LCIU) developed and published the Library of Congress Mission Critical Education and Training Matrix, a training tool that identifies 37 Library mission-critical courses as well as specific courses for service units. To reinforce "facilitative leadership" practices throughout the Library, LCIU developed and conducted the course "Teams in Action." The LCIU also continued to coordinate the quarterly "Leadership Lecture Series," a forum for managers and staff to learn from top corporate offices, government officials and leadership scholars about effective leadership practices and techniques.
The Library also signed an agreement with the labor organizations to establish a pilot mentoring program for Library employees.
Ms. Fischer is a public affairs specialist in the Public Affairs Office. Portions of this article were excerpted from other staff reports.