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About the Library

Welcome Message from the Librarian of Congress

The Library of Congress is the nation’s first established cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with millions of items including books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections.

The Library provides Congress, the federal government and the American people with a rich, diverse and enduring source of knowledge to inform, inspire and engage them and support their intellectual and creative endeavors.

As the Acting Librarian of Congress, I welcome you to this vast online treasure trove of materials and services. Whether you wish to explore the collections online, seek legislative information, register a copyright, access programs or plan a visit, I am glad you are here and invite you to return often.

David S. Mao
Acting Librarian of Congress

Strategic Plan

Download the 2016-2020 Library of Congress Strategic Plan.

Library Organization

An agency of the legislative branch of the U.S. government, the Library of Congress encompasses several integral service units, listed below. Download a current Library of Congress organizational chart

Office of the Librarian

The Office of the Librarian is the administrative branch of the Library of Congress and has overall management responsibility for the Library. It sets policy and directs and supports programs and activities to accomplish the Library’s mission.

Congressional Research Service

CRS exclusively serves Congress by providing confidential, objective and authoritative research and analysis to help inform the legislative debate.

Copyright Office

The U.S. Copyright Office administers the Nation’s copyright laws for the advancement of the public good, offers services and support to authors and users of creative works, and provides expert impartial assistance to Congress, the courts and executive branch agencies on questions of copyright law and policy.

Law Library

Congress established its Law Library in 1832, recognizing its need for ready access to reliable legal materials. The Law Library has grown over the years to become the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over three million volumes spanning the ages and covering virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

Library Services

The mission of Library Services is to develop qualitatively the Library's universal collections, which document the history and further the creativity of the American people and which record and contribute to the advancement of civilization and knowledge throughout the world, and to acquire, organize, provide access to, maintain, secure, and preserve these collections.

National and International Outreach

National and International Outreach manages the public facing programs and activities of the Library of Congress with the mission of broadening awareness and use of the Library and its resources through outreach and external partnerships.

Other Offices

Other offices that operate independently of individual service units but are within the Library's organizational structure are listed here.