April 23, 2007 Library of Congress Launches Its First-Ever Blog in Celebration of 207th Birthday
Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
The Library of Congress might be turning 207 years old tomorrow (April 24, 2007), but with the addition of the first-ever public blog to its award-winning Web site, it quite possibly has never looked younger. Long a pioneer and leading provider of online content, with a Web site at www.loc.gov that makes 22 million digital items available at the click of a mouse and receives 5 billion hits per year, the Library of Congress will launch the blog at www.loc.gov/blog/. "The Library of Congress has been in the vanguard of providing a wealth of knowledge in digital form, so it is fitting that it would be among the first federal agencies to join the blogosphere," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "A blog is a natural and user-friendly way to help people navigate and understand the vast amounts of information and programs that are synonymous with the Library of Congress." The blog will be authored by the Library's director of communications, Matt Raymond, with contributions from Dr. Billington, along with curators and other Library staff. "Given the presence of some 70 million blogs worldwide - and growing exponentially - it's crucial that the Library of Congress be a part of the collective conversation that is taking place," Raymond said. "Birthdays are often an occasion to look backward, but we chose April 24 to look to a future in which the digital world becomes an even more indispensable part of the physical world," he said. The blog will accept moderated comments from readers, governed by rules of respectful, civil discourse and appropriateness. Those rules are part of a policy the Library of Congress is in the process of adopting to guide the creation of other audience-specific blogs in the near future. Blogs are among the important born-digital content that is being saved and preserved in perpetuity under the Library's National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (www.digitalpreservation.gov). The Library announced last week that its Web site has been nominated this year for two Webby Awards, the Internet equivalent of the Oscars.