Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

June 19, 1997

Library of Congress To Offer New Initiatives, Workshops at American Library Association Annual Conference in San Francisco

Representatives of the Library of Congress will be available in booth No. 3016 during the Annual Conference of the American Library Association (ALA) in San Francisco, June 28-July 1. Staff of the Library's National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped will discuss their programs in booth No. 3247.

A special program on "Promoting Libraries Through the Library of Congress's Bicentennial," hosted by Winston Tabb, Associate Librarian for Library Services, and John Y. Cole, Director of the Center for the Book, is a forum on how the nation's libraries can benefit from the Library of Congress's celebration of its bicentenary in the year 2000. The program, to be held June 28, 2-4 pm., at the San Francisco Marriott, Golden Gate A1 Meeting Room, will also include speakers from ALA, the Illinois State Library, Drexel University, Johns Hopkins University, the Naval Research Laboratory and the Minnesota Center for the Book.

New on-line collections from American Memory, a project of the National Digital Library Program that is making available on the Internet the most important American historical collections of the Library (, will be demonstrated. These new offerings are:

  • "California as I Saw It: First-Person Narratives of California's Early Years, 1849-1900." Offers 190 books documenting the Gold Rush and the decades of early statehood that followed in individual narratives about travel to and life in California.
  • "California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the '30s." A multiformat ethnographic field collection that includes sound recordings, still photos, drawings and written documents from a variety of European ethnic and English- and Spanish-speaking communities in Northern California.
  • "The New Deal Stage: Selections from the Federal Theatre Project, 1935-1939." Playscripts, production materials, photographs, and administrative records selected from the output of a New Deal WPA arts project. Additional materials to be added to this on-line.
  • "Panoramic Maps, 1847-1909." This collection preview, which debuted June 9, offers idealized schematic views of towns and cities; a wealth of detail in setting, streets and buildings. The site allows viewers to zoom in on particular areas of the maps. Continuing additions through 1998.
  • "Inventing Entertainment: Turn-of-the-Century Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings from the Thomas A. Edison Companies." This is a preview of a collection of early films and recordings from the company formed by the man who invented the phonograph.

The Library will also offer demonstrations of the various methods for searching its electronic catalogs, as well as copyright records. THOMAS (, a congressional database, has some new features, and the exhibitions home page offers such recent exhibitions as "American Treasures of the Library of Congress," in addition to 13 others.

Also available will be representatives from the Center for the Book, discussing the center's literacy and reading- promotion programs; and from the Cataloging Distribution Service, with their most recent product introductions. The newest publications from the Library will also available, and staff of the Sales Shop will offer products based on the Library's collections.

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) will exhibit two aisles away in booth No. 3247. There, representatives will be on hand to advise librarians on the services offered by the free talking-book program and how libraries can help their eligible patrons enroll in the service.

The representatives will also display cassette and braille books, demonstrate the special playback equipment used by NLS patrons and help visitors locate NLS network affiliates throughout the United States and its territories.

In addition, conference participants will be able to pick up the brochure "Facts: Books for Blind and Handicapped Individuals"; program applications for individuals (in English and Spanish) and institutions; reference circulars citing various resources and bibliographies for blind and physically handicapped people; and a variety of catalogs and bibliographies listing selections available through the program. Colorful plastic bags, print-braille rulers, and braille bookmarks will also be handed out.

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PR 97-110
ISSN 0731-3527

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