Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

December 20, 1996

Library of Congress Expands Public Access to Internet in its Reading Rooms

The Library of Congress has increased the number of public access terminals in its reading rooms that provide free access to the Internet.

In five reading rooms and the Computer Catalog Center, the Library now provides unlimited access to the Internet for all those permitted to do research in the Library.

"I am very proud of this new, expanded service at the Library of Congress," said Associate Librarian for Library Services Winston Tabb. "We have been such a world leader in the development of digital library content that it is only appropriate for us to be expanding access to digital resources in our own library."

These initial 10 stations in six locations represent the first phase of this effort. The reading rooms are Prints and Photographs in the Madison Building; Hispanic, Local History and Genealogy and Main Reading Room in the Jefferson Building; and Science in the Adams Building. The Computer Catalog Center is in the Jefferson Building.

These have been added to augment the public access workstation made available in the Madison Building's Newspaper and Current Periodicals Reading Room in 1993.

Researchers now have access to a wide range of Internet functions and media. Said Diane Kresh, acting Director for Public Service Collections, "We are delighted that we are able to expand reading room service to our users. There is a powerful advantage for researchers being in both the digital and the artifactual library at the same time. Resource possibilities become limitless, and public service improves exponentially.

The Library has had a direct Internet connection for more than six years and has been providing Internet services for more than four years to researchers outside the institution: In 1992 an anonymous FTp site was established, and several e-,mail discussion groups were created. In 1993 the Library created a Gopher service called LC MARVEL. That year also marked the release of LOCIS over the Internet. LOCIS (Library of COngress Information System) has been widely available on site for research since 1977; it comprises the complete on-line catalog and many other files, including files for copyright information, federal legislation, science bibliographies, records for materials for those unable to read standard print, and selected legal citations and articles from some foreign countries. In 1994 the Library began its National Digital Library Program, whose intiatives are available on the World Wide Web at http://www.loc.gov. Among its offerings are the American Memory historical collections and THOMAS, a congressional information service.

Although LOCIS has been available for many years to researchers in the Library's reading rooms, technical and other constraints, such as legal issues, prevented the provision of widespread access to the Library's other electronic services.

LC MARVEL, LC Web and the anonymous FTP site provide not only access toa wealth of information about the Library of Congress and its activities, but also to digital collections, various ways to search the Library's on-line catalog and links to numerous sites elsewhere on the Internet.

Addresses for other on-line initiatives are:
LOCIS: telnet://locis.loc.gov or tn3270://locis.loc.gov
LC MARVEL: gopher://marvel.loc.gov
Anonymous FTP: ftp://ftp.loc.gov

These services can also be reached through the main home page at http://www.loc.gov

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PR 96-183
12/20/96
ISSN 0731-3527

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