Library Of Congress

Obama White House Not Appealing Transgender Ruling

AP: The Obama administration is not fighting a nearly $500,000 judgment for a Library of Congress hiree (Diane, formerly David Schroer) who lost the job while undergoing a gender change from a man to a woman.

The Justice Department let the deadline to appeal the decision pass Tuesday, a day after President Barack Obama hosted gay supporters at the White House and promised to be their "champion." Some activists have complained he has not led on their causes, including ending the ban on gays in the military.

The Library of Congress and President George W. Bush's Justice Department had argued unsuccessfully that discrimination because of transsexuality was not illegal sex discrimination under the Civil Rights Act.

Diane Schroer, a retired Army Special Forces commander from Alexandria, Va., had been offered a job at the Library of Congress when he was a man, David Schroer. The job was rescinded the day after Schroer told a library official he was going to have an operation to become a woman.

Previous LISNews reports on the case: here, here, and here.

Hey U, Tune In: The LOC Is Now on iTunes U

Library of Congress iTunes. Blog. Twitter. YouTube. iTunes. Yeah, we speak Web 2.0.

You nation’s Library has millions of stories to tell, so we’re trying to tell them as many places and to as many people as possible–whether on our own website or elsewhere. And now you can add another biggie to the list: iTunes U.

For those who don’t know, iTunes U is an area of the iTunes Store offering free education audio and video content from many of the world’s top universities and other institutions. (The iTunes application is needed to access iTunes U, and is a free download from www.apple.com/itunes.)

The Library’s iTunes U page launched today with a great deal of content, with much more to come. (Link opens in iTunes.) A nice bonus, for those in the know, is that the content is downloadable and even includes materials such as PDFs.

So as long as people keep finding new ways to get information, we’re going to keep finding ways to get it to you!

Millionth Page in Chronicling America Program

Today is a significant day for the Library of Congress:

The Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities today marked a major milestone in their partnership to digitize historic U.S. newspapers and make them widely available to the public on the Internet. During an event held at the Newseum, Deanna Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress, announced that the Chronicling America website—a free, national, searchable database of historic American newspaper pages published between 1880 and 1922—recently posted its millionth page.

Congrats to both the LOC and NEH.

Congressman Complains of Library of Congress Interference

From The Washington Post: Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) charged today that top officials at the Library of Congress have interfered with investigations conducted by its independent watchdogs and have frequently admonished investigators for the tone and focus of their investigations.

"Your office's attempts to influence and/or control the OIG appear to be in direct contravention of the principles underlying the creation of the Inspectors General," Grassley wrote in a sharply worded letter delivered today to Librarian of the United States James H. Billington. "Independence is the hallmark of the Inspectors General throughout the country."

Library of Congress YouTube Channel Up and Running

The Library of Congress YouTube Channel that Birdie previously reported on is now live. So far, it includes historical footage, book talks and readings, and short films narrated by Library of Congress staff, with more content to be added in the future.

Via Library of Congress Blog

LOC will Upload Digital Materials to Online Services

"Fishing where the fish are", the Library of Congress will soon be uploading its audio archives to iTunes, and posting videos on YouTube.

The library already offers the materials at its own Web site and through interactive exhibitions on its new, personalized Web site, but the expansion to YouTube and Apple's iTunes is part of the library's efforts to make its 15.3 million digital items more accessible, said Matt Raymond, the library's director of communications.

Novel Legal Argument: Unconstitutional For Librarian Of Congress To Appoint Royalties Judges

The Legal Times blog reports that arguments before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals over the Copyright Royalties Board have taken on a new angle. Challengers of the royalties decision that severely increased rates payable by webcasters raised the challenge of whether or not it was constitutional for Copyright Royalties Board judges to be appointed in the manner they presently are. Also raised during the hearing was the notion that since the Librarian of Congress could be fired at will by the President, the Library of Congress is more properly an institution of the executive branch than the legislative.

Miss the Stevie Wonder Concert?

Or want to see it again? You can view it in full at the Library of Congress website.

Wonder performed at the Library in celebration of his being awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. A Feb. 25 tribute concert at the White House was broadcast Feb. 26 on PBS.

LOC.gov is the only place where you will be able to view the Feb. 23 concert. (props to Stevie Wonder and to EMI for giving the LOC rights and permissions!)

Retired LOC Spokeswoman Helen Dalrymple Dead at 68

The Washington Post reports on the recent death of Helen W. Dalrymple, a Library of Congress researcher and spokeswoman. She was the co-author of several books about the library and was a leading authority on its holdings, history and mission She died Feb. 13 in Arlington VA of brain cancer.

"She was quite simply one of the nicest and noblest public servants I have had the privilege of working with," Librarian of Congress James Billington said. "I learned about the Library of Congress from her books before I was librarian." Throughout the 1970s, Mrs. Dalrymple worked closely with Charles A. Goodrum, who was assistant director of the Congressional Research Service and later became director of planning and development for the library as a whole. When Goodrum was asked by the Harry N. Abrams publishing company to write a history of the library, Mrs. Dalrymple became his chief assistant. "Without her," Goodrum said yesterday, "the book couldn't have been written."

Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition at LOC

The Library of Congress' Presents an Online Exhibit "Malice Towards None".

The exhibit commemorates the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of the nation’s revered sixteenth president Abraham Lincoln. More than a chronological account of his life, the exhibition reveals Lincoln the man, whose thoughts, words, and actions were deeply affected by personal experiences and pivotal historic events.

The exhibit will be up through May 9.

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