Press contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
October 30, 2001
Library of Congress Publishes Annual Report for 2000
Special Bicentennial Issue Highlights Yearlong Celebration
The Annual Report of the Librarian of Congress for 2000 is now available to the public. This special Bicentennial issue was submitted to Congress earlier by Librarian James H. Billington and accepted by the legislative body. The report, for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2000, describes the Library's activities in Washington, D.C., and in national and international outreach programs.
With a theme of "Libraries, Creativity, Liberty," the Library's 200th birthday provided an opportunity to feature the Library's collections, its role in American life, and the importance of libraries in a democratic society as providers of free and open access to knowledge and information. A special chapter in the 2000 Annual Report describes the yearlong program of events that marked the Library's Bicentennial. The chapter includes a black-and-white photographic record of these events in chronological order. A Bicentennial Appendix includes detailed information about all commemorative activities.
Bicentennial initiatives included commemorative coins and a postage stamp, exhibitions, publications, symposia and other special projects, including an interactive Web site for children and families (www.americaslibrary.gov) that registered 100 million hits during its first year of operation.
"Local Legacies," a project to document cultural traditions and events in each congressional district at the turn of the 21st century, was the principal grassroots Bicentennial effort. More than 75 percent of Congress registered nearly 1,300 projects from every state, territory and the District of Columbia. All told, some 4,000 Americans participated by documenting their local heritage through photographs, sound and video recordings, and written reports. These projects are preserved in the Library's American Folklife Center.
The "Gifts to the Nation" project enriched the Library's collections during its Bicentennial year with materials identified as historically significant. The program resulted in 384 gifts totaling $109.8 million. Through the generosity of the Library's private sector support group, the James Madison Council, and contributions from other donors, the Library received gifts of Americana, maps, atlases, globes, rare books, foreign rarities, and performing and visual arts collections. Among the notable contributions to this effort was a $1 million gift from Gene and Jerral Jones that launched the successful effort to re-create Thomas Jefferson's 1814 library, the nucleus of today's Library of Congress. At year's end, Madison Council Chairman John W. Kluge presented the Library with an unprecedented gift of $60 mllion to establish the John W. Kluge Center, which provides endowed chairs in several areas of the human sciences.
As its Gift to the Nation, the Library exceeded its five-year goal of making 5 million items freely available on its award-winning Web site (www.loc.gov) through the efforts of the National Digital Library Program and other cooperating institutions. During the year, 19 new multimedia historical collections were added to the Library's American Memory Web site. More than 100 collections are now available on the site. Eight new Library exhibitions were also added to the Library's Web site. The online version of the "American Treasures of the Library of Congress" exhibition was updated periodically to include rotating collection items.
Securing the Library's staff members, visitors, collections, facilities, and computer resources continued to be a major priority. During the year, the Library made progress in implementing its security enhancement plan for major physical security improvements. Work continued to secure the Library's technological foundation to improve service to Congress and the nation, including the successful completion of a two-year Y2K project to prepare the Library's computer systems for the new millennium.
The Library further developed the Legislative Information System as the central point for locating legislative information so that data can be more rapidly exchanged between the Library and the House and Senate. The Congressional Research Service continued to provide members of Congress with weekly electronic mail delivery of materials on topical issues and developed additional electronic briefing books.
The Library successfully completed initial implementation of all modules of an Integrated Library System, designed to make more efficient all of the Library's basic bibliographic functions. This included cataloging, circulation, acquisitions, serial check-in modules, and the online public access catalog. After extensive testing, the new system officially replaced the Library's legacy system known as MUMS (Multiple-Use-MARC System).
During the year, the size of the Library's collections grew to nearly 121 million items, an increase of nearly 3 million over the previous year. At year's end, the arrearage of unprocessed materials stood at 19.2 million items, a decrease of 51.6 percent from the 39.7 million-item arrearage at the time of the initial census in September 1989.
These and other activities are described in the 2000 report. The 313-page paperbound publication, with a colorful image of the dome of the Main Reading Room on the cover, is available from the Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954, for $35. Cite stock number 030-000-00-287-3 when ordering.
# # #