Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on June 15, 2012 - 9:38am
Digital Preservation Pioneer: Laura Campbell
June 14th, 2012 by Mike Ashenfelder
Twenty years ago, Dr. James Billington hired Laura Campbell to join the Library of Congress as director of Library Distribution Services. Through Campbell’s previous consultation work with the Library, he recognized her great talent.
Submitted by StephenK on June 12, 2012 - 12:48pm
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on June 11, 2012 - 3:21pm
Management at the Library of Congress, the world’s largest storehouse of knowledge, has a poor memory. For a decade, problems of overspending, no-bid contracts, and improper care for some of mankind’s rarest books and artifacts have been brought to upper-level attention—but problems have only worsened.
For more see http://www.govexec.com/contracting/2012/06/waste-charges-rattle-library-congress/56163/?oref=govexec_today_nl
Submitted by birdie on January 31, 2012 - 11:13am
Here's an opportunity for talented college-age students headed for the field of LIS:
This summer the Library of Congress once again is offering special 10-week paid internships to college students. For a stipend of $3,000, the 2011 class of Junior Fellows Summer Interns will work full-time from May 29 through Aug. 3, 2012, with Library specialists and curators to inventory, describe and explore collection holdings and to assist with digital-preservation outreach activities throughout the Library.
In addition to the stipend (paid in bi-weekly segments), interns will be eligible to take part in programs offered at the Library. Applications will be accepted online only at usajobs.gov , keyword: 308129000, from Friday, Jan. 27 through midnight, Monday, Feb. 27. For more details about the program and information on how to apply, visit www.loc.gov/hr/jrfellows/. Questions about the program may be sent to [email protected].
The Library of Congress is an equal-opportunity employer. Women, minorities and persons with disabilities who meet eligibility requirements are strongly encouraged to apply. [ed. note: not positive about transgendered individuals, see previous story on LISNews.]
Submitted by Blake on October 6, 2011 - 11:05am
Henry Rollins Speaks On His Consciousness-Expanding Trip to the Library of Congress
Yes, THAT Henry Rollins. Like Kendra Said "It's like every old school hardcore kid turned librarian's wet dream".
"I know that collector types can be a pain in the neck and seem perpetually frozen in time -- or at least in their parents' basement -- but someone has to look out for the past, lest it slip away forever. It was amazing to be around people who are dedicated to making sure there is a trail, who work with painstaking care to maintain the integrity of what came before. I was told I was doing the right thing by diligently saving fliers in acid-free protectors and transferring my analog sources to digital, and to keep up the good work."
Submitted by birdie on September 14, 2011 - 4:29pm
How many government employees in Washington have been there since the Reagan years? Not too many, but one of them is James Billington, Librarian of Congress.
He moves a little more slowly now, at 82, and gets more questions about whether he’s thinking of retiring, but that seems to be the last thing on James Billington’s mind as he begins his 25th year as the Librarian of Congress (however, he is not credentialed as a librarian).
“I have no plans at this point — sorry to disappoint you,” a reflective Billington said during an hourlong interview with The Hill. “The Lord’s been very kind, and I’m in the middle of a lot of interesting things. And of course, it’s a time when all cultural institutions are facing lots of challenges.”
Billington, who was sworn in as the 13th Librarian of Congress on Sept. 14, 1987, outlined some of those challenges when asked about the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, given that the Library was the first to publish Osama bin Laden’s autobiography and the first to discover papers that raised concerns about terrorists hijacking airliners.
“Speaking as an American, like all other Americans I share in the horror and outrage and the deep concern and expressions of sympathy, and in the way in which the country was suddenly conscious of fragility when we all thought we were secure,” he said.
Submitted by birdie on August 23, 2011 - 4:47pm
Did you feel it? Any books fall off the shelves?
A 5.9-Magnitude (corrected to 5.8) earthquake struck the Eastern US shortly before 2:00 pm EST, centered in Virginia, but it was felt from the Carolinas to Toronto. Lots of libraries and other buildings were evacuated (some on Wall Street in NYC); here's a story from Spartanburg County, SC
Spartanburg County Emergency Management Coordinator Doug Bryson was attending a state emergency managers’ meeting in Columbia discussing Hurricane Irene when the room began shaking. “It was a weird feeling,” Bryson said. “The floor and chairs were all shaking. Apparently, it’s affected the whole East Coast.” Bryson said he began getting calls about the quake but had not heard of any damage so far in Spartanburg County. The quake shook the shelves at the Spartanburg County Headquarters Library, which was briefly evacuated.
More reports from Patchogue NY, the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg VA, and the Nation's Capital, where the Library of Congress was evacuated.
Submitted by Blake on August 5, 2011 - 8:09am
Submitted by Bibliofuture on May 10, 2011 - 11:32am
For the first time, the Library of Congress is streaming some of its vast collection of sound recordings of popular music, speeches and comedy online for free.
National Jukebox at LOC here.
Submitted by birdie on March 23, 2011 - 11:49am
By Glenna Hall, guest contributor to The Atlantic
When Jim (James Fallows, regular columnist on temporary book leave) asked us to send him some biographical information, I mentioned that during my five-year stint at the U.S. Library of Congress, I had worked for several obscure non-library-service outfits, one of which was funded by the CIA. At that time, in the late '60s and early '70s, there were numerous peculiar units stuck around LOC -- in basements, in the stacks, in odd corners. For almost a year, another group I worked for was tucked away beneath the gorgeous ceiling of the Great Hall during a major overhaul of the Reading Room. Why was all this stuff located there? Well, that's where the books were.
My second job at LOC was with a group called the International Organizations Section. When I first arrived, I was struck by how many of the employees spoke English as a second language or were fluent in a number of languages. My immediate supervisor spoke and read Greek; one of my eventual friends was a Czech who also spoke Polish (he taught me how to pronounce "Zbigniew Brzezinski"). There were upward of a dozen desks, arranged in a block. The real feature of the big room, though, was a huge tub file filled with index cards and card dividers.
Submitted by birdie on March 11, 2011 - 12:43pm
Washington Post : The Madison Building at the Library of Congress in Washington has reopened Friday after being briefly evacuated because of a small electrical fire in the basement.
The fire broke out in the morning and was contained to a basement. D.C. fire department spokesman Pete Piringer says the fire stemmed from an electrical problem involving a generator, but the exact cause has yet to be determined.
U.S. Capitol Police say there were no injuries and no immediate reports of damages. The building on Independence Avenue was evacuated and neighboring streets were shut down.
Additional details from The Hill.
Submitted by birdie on January 26, 2011 - 10:59am
The elusive "LOC Nest Monster", a Cooper hawk that had been roosting in the rotunda of the Library of Congress' Main Reading Room for the last week, has met her match. The hawk that has been avoiding capture inside the LOC was finally corralled Wednesday morning by bird experts. Report from NBC Washington
. Click READ MORE for video.
And more from NPR
on how the capture went down.
Submitted by ScrewyDecimal on January 24, 2011 - 4:45pm
Bird experts struggle to free a hawk from the dome of the main reading room. The hawk, nicknamed "Shirley" by staff members, has been trapped in the Library of Congress since Wednesday. (The bird has been recently fed and is in no immediate danger.)
Full story here.
Additional hawk updates from the LOC Blog.
Submitted by Great Western Dragon on December 3, 2010 - 5:54pm
From The Guardian:
The Library of Congress tonight joined the education department, the commerce department and other government agencies in confirming that the ban is in place.
Although thousands of leaked cables are freely available on the Guardian, New York Times and other newspaper websites, as well as the WikiLeaks site, the Obama administration insists they are still classified and, as such, have to be protected.
Submitted by Blake on October 29, 2010 - 12:05pm
The Desk Setup
Like many technologists, I may have had some vague notion that librarians had something to contribute to discussions about information and metadata and standards and access, but my concept of what librarians did and what they knew probably had more to do with stereotypes and anecdote than on an understanding of reality. Which is a shame. Although in the last few years I think we’ve done a really good job of making clearer connections between libraries and technology, I don’t think anyone is surprised when librarians are omitted from discussions about and between prominent technologists, such as the one facilitated by the Setup. (Note: by “librarians” I mean anyone who works in, with, or for libraries. Hat tip to Eli Neiburger for saying what I’d been thinking, only less clearly, for some time before he said those words out loud.)
Submitted by birdie on August 6, 2010 - 9:04am
A recent study found that making books available to low-income children had a significant impact on preventing the reading gap.
On NPR this morning, W. Ralph Eubanks reminisces about visiting the bookmobile as a child. He is the author of The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South and Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey Into Mississippi's Dark Past and Director of Publishing at the Library of Congress.
"When I feel the summer heat steaming from the pavement, my childhood memories of the bookmobile provide a cooling sensation to my spirit. This feeling came back last summer on a visit to Chicago when I happened upon a parade of bookmobiles of various ages. There it was: an old Ford grille with big, round headlights that was a dead ringer for the bookmobile that stopped at my house as a child. "
More from NPR.
Submitted by birdie on July 20, 2010 - 11:46am
This week in Washington, DC, the Library of Congress is gathering its "Digital Preservation Partners" for a three-day session -- one of a number of such meetings the library has been holding under a broad initiative called the "National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program." Its multi-year mission is "to develop a national strategy to collect, preserve and make available significant digital content, especially information that is created in digital form only, for current and future generations."
It's what Dan Gillmor of Salon calls a non-trivial task, for all kinds of technical, social and legal reasons. But it's about as important for our future as anything I can imagine. We are creating vast amounts of information, and a lot of it is not just worth preserving but downright essential to save. Gillmor's role this week, and at a workshop he joined last year, is to be thinking about the news.
Submitted by birdie on June 2, 2010 - 3:27pm
Paul McCartney confessed he was "slightly nervous" in the leadup to Wednesday's big concert at the White House, where President Barack Obama was presenting McCartney with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.
An all-star cast lined up to perform at the East Room tribute concert, including the Jonas Brothers, Faith Hill, Stevie Wonder and Jerry Seinfeld. Also to appear: Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, White Stripes singer and guitarist Jack White and Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl. McCartney himself was to perform as well.
McCartney, 67, is the third recipient of the Gershwin prize, awarded by the Library of Congress. It is named for the songwriting brothers George and Ira Gershwin, whose collections are housed at the library. Previous recipients of the Gershwin award are Stevie Wonder and Paul Simon.
McCartney played a private concert at the library on Tuesday, and said he'd grown up listening to music by the Gershwin brothers. Librarian of Congress James Billington credited McCartney for "symbolizing and humanizing the global soundscape," with his music and his activism around the world.
Those not lucky enough to snag tickets to the East Room gig can catch the concert July 28th, when it's televised on PBS' "In Performance at the White House." AP story.
Submitted by birdie on April 14, 2010 - 1:47pm
Ars Technica reports: The Library of Congress is archiving for posterity every public tweet made since the service went live back in 2006. Every. Single. Tweet.
The LOC announced the news, appropriately enough, on Twitter. Twitter isn't just about being pretentious and notifying the world about the contents of your lunch (though it's about those things too).
Matt Raymond, one the Library's official bloggers, notes that "important tweets in the past few years include the first-ever tweet from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, President Obama’s tweet about winning the 2008 election, and a set of two tweets from a photojournalist who was arrested in Egypt and then freed because of a series of events set into motion by his use of Twitter."
But even those billions of other tweets and retweets, the ones about how you just got back from the worlds' most epic jog or how you're sick at home with the crocodile flu or how your crappy Internet connection just went down again and you can't take it any more—those matter too.
Try the blog (it was down when I tried); the LOC says on Twitter:
" Sorry, LOC blog having some disruptions. Twitter acquisition story also on Facebook" about 1 hour ago via web.
The New York Times weighs in on Twitter on LOC.
Submitted by birdie on January 11, 2010 - 4:49pm
The ACLU has sued the Library of Congress for firing a former chief prosecutor for the Guantanamo military commissions.
Col. Morris Davis (now retired from the military) was fired for criticizing the system in which detainees at Guantanamo are tried while being employed by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, where he worked as an assistant director in the foreign affairs, defense and trade division.
The Library of Congress, which oversees CRS, said Davis had shown poor judgment and that his criticism “could do serious harm to the trust and confidence Congress reposes in CRS,” according to a letter sent to Davis in November by Daniel Mulhollan, the director of the CRS.
The LOC cited rules that require employees to explicitly disassociate themselves from the LOC when writing or speaking about controversial topics. The letter singled out criticism Davis expressed in two op-eds written in November; here's Davis's Wall Street Journal op-ed and his Washington Post letter to the Editor.
Story from The Hill.