Hearing Reveals that Technology, People are Key to Creating the Library of the 21st Century

Jul 27, 2006

WASHINGTON –The Committee on House Administration Thursday held an oversight hearing on the ongoing technology, design and preservation initiatives at the Library of Congress.  The hearing supported efforts by Chairman Vernon J. Ehlers, R-Mich., to ensure that the Library is well-positioned to meet the needs of the future through the use of emerging technologies in the preservation of historic works and digital media. 

Ehlers noted that testimony from the witnesses – Librarian of Congress Dr. James H. Billington, Library of Congress Chief of Staff JoAnne Jenkins, Associate Librarian Deanna Marcum, Associate Librarian for Strategic Initiatives Laura Campbell, and Congressional Research Employees Association President Dennis Roth – demonstrated a commitment to enhance the Library’s operations to maintain its relevancy into the 21st century, and beyond.

“Successful companies know it is imperative to build and sustain a highly skilled and nimble workforce that is able to not only survive but thrive in an environment where the pace of change accelerates every year,” Ehlers noted.  As for the future of the Library in light of emerging technology, Ehlers remarked, “in other words, it’s not your grandmother’s library anymore.”

Prior to the Library of Congress oversight hearing, the Committee also reported H.R. 2134, which will establish a commission to study the potential creation of a National Museum of the American Latino Community. 

“This is the first step in creating a national museum that will serve as a testament to the vibrant history and tradition of Latino Americans,” Ehlers said after the bill was favorably reported with unanimous support. 

For more information, contact the Committee press office at (202) 225-8281.