New Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden




Carla Hayden has recently been sworn in as only the 14th Librarian of Congress in history. Most reports emphasize that she is the first woman and the first African-American to hold that position. Those are important milestones to be sure, but attention to them obscures some others. Carla Hayden is The first Librarian of Congress with a limited term of appointment Only the third professional librarian appointed to the position. Fully backed by the American Library Association (ALA), which opposed some of her predecessors. … Continue reading






The Library of Congress Turns a Page




The Librarian of Congress is not an official who makes the news often, but the current Librarian of Congress, James Billington, announced his retirement last June. President Obama will appoint the next Librarian of Congress, becoming only the 10th President in history to have that opportunity. Billington was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1987. You know that the Library of Congress is the library, well, of Congress. Congress created a library for its own use very early in the nation’s history. But it has become more than that. It’s America’s unofficial national library. It affects the workings of every other … Continue reading






Kids & Family at the Library of Congress website




As I have written before, the Library of Congress website contains such a wealth of information that it will take multiple posts even to begin to do it justice. Even the Kids & Family page is difficult to describe fully. It comprises links to 14 other pages, some intended especially for young readers and others not. The link to it on the library’s home page does not stand out. It is on the line of links below the 9 thumbnails. Pages intended for young readers The Young Readers Center is not a web-based collection. It is a room on the … Continue reading






War and a library: The Library of Congress burns




Two hundred years ago, the War of 1812 entered its final stages. This now obscure war turned out to have a decisive influence on the development of the Library of Congress. The upstart United States of America had declared war on the most powerful nation in the world at the time. Its victories were few, but it captured present day Toronto (then called York) in April 1813. American troops burned the Government House and Parliament Buildings. The British retaliated the following year. They invaded Washington in August 1814 with the intent of burning it. The British had a easier time … Continue reading






Library of Congress: government websites you should know




It’s not like you can go into the Library of Congress and check out books. It’s not an ordinary library. But it’s as much your library as your public library. Unofficially, the Library of Congress is the national library of the United States. You can, if you want, get a reader registration card and use the reading rooms. None of the collection can leave the buildings, of which there are now three. Most people never go to the Library of Congress, or if they do, it’s as a tourist. On the other hand, it offers so many services online that … Continue reading