Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

September 16, 2002

Library of Congress Publishes Annual Report for 2001

Report Highlights First National Book Festival

The "Annual Report of the Librarian of Congress for 2001" is now available to the public. The report 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, 2001, describes the Library’s activities in Washington, D.C., and in national and international outreach programs.

On Sept. 8, 2001, the Library welcomed first lady Laura Bush, 60 authors and 30,000 visitors to the first National Book Festival to celebrate books and reading. The book festival is described in the report and illustrated with a picture portfolio highlighting the day’s events.

The Library responded to the tragic events of September 11 by increasing physical and computer security, providing Congress with timely information on terrorism and related topics, and by launching several projects to collect and preserve materials in all formats that document the attacks and the nation’s response to them. The material is the subject of a Library exhibition on display through Nov. 2 in the North Gallery of the Thomas Jefferson Building’s Great Hall.

The Library’s yearlong bicentennial celebration concluded with symposia, concerts and other activities that culminated with the sealing of a time capsule. The Bicentennial Gifts to the Nation program, which allowed the Library to acquire many significant items and collections, resulted in 392 gifts totaling $119.5 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. A gift of $60 million from John W. Kluge, Metromedia president and founding chair of the Madison Council, supported the establishment of the John W. Kluge Center for postdoctoral research.

The year marked the 30th anniversary of the Cataloging in Publication (CIP) program and the 70th year of the National Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS). Since its inception, the CIP program has produced more than 1 million records. Established by an act of Congress in 1931, NLS now supplies more than 23 million braille and recorded disks to hundreds of thousands of readers through a network of 140 cooperating libraries around the country.

During the year, NLS made substantial progress in its goal of developing a Digital Talking Book to replace obsolete analog playback equipment. At year’s end, more than 1,600 users were registered for the new Internet service known as Web-Braille, which allows access to more than 3,800 digital braille books.

During the year, the size of the Library’s collections grew to more than124 million items, including 28.2 million books and other print materials, 55 million manuscripts, 13.5 million visual materials, 13 million microfilms, nearly 5 million maps and 5 million items in the music collection.

Congress appropriated nearly $100 million to develop and implement a congressionally approved strategic plan for the preservation of the Library’s digital assets. The Librarian of Congress subsequently established the position of associate librarian for strategic initiatives to develop a full range of digital policies and operations for acquiring, describing and preserving content created and distributed in electronic form.

At year’s end, 7.5 million American historical items were available on the Library’s award-winning Web site, www.loc.gov. Work continued to expand the content and features available in another Library Web site, America’s Library, interactive Web pages for children and families drawing on the library’s vast online resources. The site (www.americaslibrary.gov) received more than 100 million "hits" during its first year of operation.

These and other activities are described in the 2001 report. The 262-page paperbound publication is available from the Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954, for $37. Telephone (866) 512-1800. Cite stock number 030-000-00289-0 when ordering.

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PR 02-132
09/16/02
ISSN 0731-3527

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