Librarian of Congress James H. Billington

Testimony to Congress

Statement of James H. Billington
The Librarian of Congress
before the Subcommittee on Legislative Appropriations
Committee on Appropriations
United States House of Representatives
FY 2005 Budget Request
February 25, 2004

I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the Library of Congress budget request for FY 2005. This unique institution has become increasingly important to the nation as the economic and security needs become increasingly dependent on knowledge and the wise use of information. All libraries-and especially the Library of Congress-must deal with the greatest upheaval in the transmission of information and knowledge since the invention of the printing press-the electronic onslaught of digitized information and communication. The Library is responding to this challenge, with program-focused goals and objectives contained in our new strategic plan, which was forwarded to the Congress in September 2003. The plan will undergo continuous improvement to ensure our place as the foremost library of the 21st century.

The Library's mission is unchanging-to make its resources available and useful to the Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. What is new is the need to acquire, sort, and provide access to the massive unfiltered content of the Internet in order to keep our collections universal and continue to provide full information and services to Congress and the American people.

The Library must continue to acquire, preserve, and provide access to analog collections with new storage facilities and mass deacidification. At the same time, the Library must implement fundamental technological changes to accommodate the digital revolution. Both collections and staff are being reconfigured by new initiatives in digital preservation, digital talking books, and Copyright reengineering, and by the increased reliance on digital services. The FY 2005 budget request addresses this "Challenge of Change; Maintenance of Tradition."

The priorities of our FY 2005 budget, reflecting the major objectives in the Library's strategic plan, are: to bring the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center into operation; to restore the diminished acquisition capabilities for our collections; to regain full funding for the Congressional Research Service staff capacity at 729 full-time-equivalent (FTE) positions; to implement the Copyright Office's reengineered processes; to support the conversion to digital talking book technology for people who are blind and physically handicapped; to fund the fifth increment of the Library's mass deacidification program; to accelerate the Veterans History Program; to gain additional security for the Library's systems, staff, buildings, and collections; and to address critical infrastructure support requirements.

For FY 2005, the Library of Congress requests a total budget of $602.3 million ($562.6 million in net appropriations and $39.7 million in authority to use receipts), a total increase of $43.0 million above the FY 2004 level. The total increase includes $20.5 million for mandatory pay and price-level increases and $34 million for program increases, offset by $11.5 million for nonrecurring costs. The Library's FY 2005 budget request is a net appropriations increase of 7.6 percent above that of FY 2004. The Library is submitting a FY 2005 budget amendment, which is reflected in the above numbers, that increases the net appropriations amount by $1 million, which is discussed under the headings "Copyright Office" ($.8 million) and the "Sustaining the Collections" ($.2 million).

Requested funding supports 4,363 FTE positions, a net increase of 80 FTEs above the FY 2004 level of 4,283. The 80 additional FTEs are requested to support the core needs of the collections, security, and management.

The Library of Congress Today

The core of the Library is its incomparable collections and the specialists who interpret and share them. The Library's 128 million items include almost all languages and media through which knowledge and creativity are preserved and communicated.

The Library has more than 29 million books and other print items; 12 million photographs; 4.8 million maps; 2.7 million audio materials; 925,000 films, television, and video items; and 57 million manuscripts.

Every workday, the Library's staff adds some 10,000 new items to the collections. Major annual services include handling more than 875,000 online and customized Congressional inquiries and requests, registering more than 534,000 copyright claims, and circulating approximately 23.8 million audio and braille books and magazines free of charge to blind and physically handicapped individuals all across America. The Library annually catalogs more than 300,000 books and serials and provides the bibliographic record inexpensively to the nation's libraries, saving them millions of dollars annually.

The Library also provides free online access, via the Internet, to its automated information files, which contain more than 75 million records, including more than 8.5 million multimedia items from its American Memory collections. The Library's acclaimed Web site,, will record more than 3 billion hits in 2004.

Back to top

21st Century Library

As impressive as the everyday work of the Library of Congress is, we recognize the need to address the future. All libraries are rapidly changing in response to new digital technologies. The Library of Congress, like other research libraries, is building digital collections, making them readily accessible online, and developing search services previously not feasible. Digital technology also benefits smaller libraries because it allows them to expand and enhance resources for their patrons in colleges, schools, and communities. Libraries, in effect, are moving their catalogs and collections from physical buildings into patron's computers and are transforming their individual storage repositories into collaborative information-service centers. As this transformation continues, 21st century libraries will develop in the following significant ways:

  • libraries will collect at the point of creation rather than after publication;
  • libraries will complement classification systems with simpler search services;
  • libraries will work with information creators and publishers to create digital preservation repositories;
  • libraries will work with legislators to balance copyright against access needs; and
  • libraries will retrain print-oriented staffs for digital information services.

In a world in which Google is the preferred search mechanism, the library of the future will be less the custodian of a collection in a physical building than a guide to Internet-accessible resources and a creator and provider of online information services. Realizing this library of the future depends on providing opportunities for today's librarians to learn to take advantage of digital developments and on integrating this new digital technology into the basic library processes of acquisition, cataloging, preservation, and reference services. The Library's strategic plan and this FY 2005 budget request are helping to guide us in making this inevitable change to a 21st century library.

FY 2003 Accomplishments

Even as the Library plans for a dramatic new future, the immediate challenges continue to be addressed. In FY 2003, the Library provided concerted congressional research support in more than 150 major policy areas, including terrorism, health care, the U.S. economy, environmental and resource issues, and space exploration. The Library supported the war effort by making information and services available to the Congress as it executes its constitutional responsibilities; by documenting for future generations the war as it progresses; and by helping reconstruct the national libraries in Afghanistan and Iraq. Specifically, the Law Library helped reconstruct the destroyed law codes of Afghanistan from our collections.

The Library also received congressional approval for the plan for the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program; expanded the Global Legal Information Network to include the laws of 48 countries and international organizations; added 7 new multimedia historical collections to the American Memory Web site; increased to more than 8.5 million the number of items freely available online or in digital archives; recorded more than 2.6 billion electronic transactions on the Library's Web sites; registered more than 534,000 copyright claims; added more than 1.8 million items to our collections; opened the off-Capitol Hill storage facility at Ft. Meade, Maryland; and produced more than 2,700 new braille, audio books, and magazine titles for people who are blind and physically handicapped. Private funding enabled the Library to make notable new acquisitions, including the great Alan Lomax collection of Americana, and brought into residence a distinguished new group of invited senior scholars and competitively chosen junior researchers in the Thomas Jefferson Building with the opening of the John W. Kluge Center.

National Audio-Visual Conservation Center (NAVCC)

An increase of $5.28 million and 16 FTEs is requested for the NAVCC, a projected state-of-the-art facility for audiovisual collections. These funds are needed to continue the construction of the NAVCC and to begin the move-in of collections and staff of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division of the Library. The Packard Humanities Institute (PHI) is generously providing the majority of the funding to build the NAVCC-consolidating in one place and enhancing film and recorded sound preservation. The Library continues to work closely with PHI representatives and the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) on this much-needed project.

Construction on this national repository for America's audiovisual treasures began in early September 2003, and the current schedule calls for the newly renovated Collections Building and Central Plant to be ready for collections to be moved in by summer 2005. The new Nitrate Vaults and Conservation (Laboratory) Building is scheduled to be ready for staff move-in by summer 2006. The Library's ability to procure, deliver, and install NAVCC furnishings, equipment, and infrastructure will require close coordination with PHI's construction schedule. The requested additional funding in the current budget is essential to maintain the construction schedule and the various components and procurements that support the transition to the new facility.

FY 2005 funding will support staff relocation, collections relocation, and the design, procurement, and integration of the complex digital preservation systems within the NAVCC's audiovisual laboratories.

The NAVCC will enable the Library to redress significant limitations in its current ability to store, preserve and provide access to its moving image and recorded sound collections. When the entire NAVCC complex is opened in 2006, the Library for the first time will be able to consolidate all of its collections in a single, centralized storage facility that provides space sufficient to house projected collections growth for 25 years beyond the NAVCC move-in date. Without the NAVCC, the Library's current preservation rate would result in the preservation of only 5 percent of its total endangered sound and video materials by the year 2015. By contrast, we project that the new NAVCC laboratories will enable us to preserve more than 50 percent of these endangered collections in the same 10-year period after move-in. The NAVCC will also include a Digital Audiovisual Preservation System that will preserve and provide research access to both newly acquired born-digital content and analog legacy formats. This new system is contributing to the Library's overall development of a digital content repository and signals a new paradigm of producing and managing computer-based digital data.

The Packard Humanities Institute's contribution to building this new state-of-the-art facility will represent the largest private donation to the Library of Congress in its entire history.

Sustaining the Collections

Acquiring timely and comprehensive collections for the National Library and Law Library as well as the highly specialized research materials required for the Congressional Research Service (CRS) are among the most essential tasks the Library performs. All else depends on acquiring needed materials-preferably at the time they appear on the market. The rising tide of new kinds of knowledge and new formats makes it essential that the Library address the already-serious catastrophic projected shortfalls in these areas. A total of $4.462 million and seven FTEs are requested for addressing-for the first time in many years-this critical area. Lost purchasing power and the increased complexity and cost of acquiring proprietary electronic resources make this a critical problem that must be addressed.

Serial subscriptions prices alone have increased by 215 percent over a 15-year period ending in 2001, yet the Library's GENPAC appropriation-used to purchase library materials-has grown at an annual average rate of only 4 percent. These shortfalls accumulated because the Library understated annual price-level increases for research materials. The Congress, in most years, has supported the Library's modest requests for inflationary increases in research materials, but the Library's methodology did not adequately factor in the value of the dollar, the sharp escalations in market prices for serials, budget rescissions, and the changes in how research materials are packaged and sold. The Library's FY 2005 acquisitions budget proposals include funding for the recovery of lost purchasing power (a one-time increase to the Law Library [$205,000] and CRS [$1 million], and a one-time and incremental increase in the National Library [$2.333 million]), for a total of $3.538 million. The $3.538 million request includes a $.2 million budget amendment for the CRS element; the original CRS catchup amount was determined through FY 2004 rather than FY 2005. During the next year, the Library will develop a new formula that will adequately reflect the inflationary increases for research materials beginning in FY 2006.

In addition, $479,000 and 7 FTEs are requested to support the new acquisitions methodology and policy that has been successfully piloted in China. Collecting materials published in China is difficult, but a three-year pilot project, funded by private donations, successfully demonstrated that the Library can acquire high quality, hard-to-obtain and politically sensitive materials, that traditional channels are not providing. Funding of $479,000 is requested to establish six teams of experts in the social sciences, located at carefully selected sites throughout China.

The teams will recommend materials from their regions, which will then be shipped by the Library's established vendors. The Library's pilot program has proven that important added information about China can be obtained in this way. The Library requests funding to make this a permanent acquisition process for the world's largest country as it assumes an even-greater world role.

Lastly, $445,000 is needed to allow the Law Library to begin properly reclassifying 800,000 volumes or one-third of its legal collections from the "LAW" class-previously used to shelve legal materials-to the "Class K," (the new international standard for the classification of legal materials that was developed by the Library of Congress). Currently, one out of every four foreign legal documents cannot be located because of the outdated classification system, and the inevitable change to the new "Class K" cataloging system is required to effectively provide foreign legal research. The five-year project would enable the Law Library to meet its own cataloging standards before the few remaining staff with the experience and knowledge of the outdated "LAW" class cataloging leave or retire.

CRS Staff Capacity

In FY 2005, CRS must face the increased cost of sustaining the research capacity needed to meet the legislative needs of the Congress. CRS is requesting a base increase of $2.71 million-the equivalent of about 25 FTEs. During the past ten years, the total size of CRS has decreased from 763 to 729. However, the salary costs per person have increased at a rate that exceeds the funding provided in the budget process. Without the proposed base increase, CRS would have to staff down further to a level of about 704 FTEs. The impact of this reduction would be a loss of CRS capacity in serving the Congress of about 275 hours a year in each of more than 150 major policy areas in which the Congress can be expected to be engaged. CRS would lose between 8 and 9 weeks of capacity per major policy area.

CRS has been evaluating workforce opportunities and authorities to improve the productivity, efficiency, and attractiveness of CRS as an employer. During FY 2003, CRS hired approximately 90 new staff-nearly 13 percent of the total staff population. To enhance retention of new staff and to further staff development Service-wide, CRS is requesting $546,000. This funding would be used to initiate a pilot student loan repayment program, to increase slightly its training and related travel budgets, and to provide monetary incentive awards to the Service's most highly talented and productive employees. The CRS Director will provide more details of this request in his statement.

Copyright Office

The Copyright Office's Reengineering Program, which will be completed in FY 2006, requires additional funding authority for FY 2005. The extensive multiyear Reengineering Program has redesigned the Office's business processes, developed a new information technology infrastructure, created new work-flows and new job roles, and developed a new facilities plan. The program will allow the Copyright Office to replace outdated information systems with technology that promotes the use of electronically transmitted applications and works. The Library requests $3.66 million, in budget authority and equal offsetting collections authority (zero net appropriations), in order to implement the facilities portion of the Reengineering Program. This funding will support relocation of staff, redesign and construction of current space, and acquisition of furniture and other equipment.

In developing the FY 2005 budget request, inflationary factors for mandatory pay and price level increases were applied to both the Copyright Office's net appropriated funds and receipts funds. In reviewing this approach and upon further analysis, the Library has determined that the increases needed to cover inflationary growth cannot be met by the initially requested receipt level. As a result, the Library is requesting, via a budget amendment, that the FY 2005 receipt level be reduced by the inflationary adjustment of $810,000, with a corresponding increase in net appropriations. The Register of Copyrights will provide in her statement more details about the Reengineering Program and this adjustment.

Digital Talking Book Machine

In support of the Blind and Physically Handicapped (BPH) program, the National Library Service (NLS) for the BPH is implementing a revolutionary change from analog to digital technology, which has been projected and planned since the early 1990s. The service will replace cassette tape players with Digital Talking Book (DTB) players and introduce a new medium for distributing the DTBs: solid-state ("flash") memory, replacing the present cassette tape.

NLS plans to introduce the DTB players to its customers by FY 2008. The Library is requesting a total of $1.5 million in FY 2005, of which $1 million will support the beginning of the design phase of the DTB player. In concert with the development of a DTB player, NLS will begin converting its current analog collection to digital format to ensure that its patrons will have a large and diverse collection of DTBs by FY 2008. The balance of $500,000 in the request is for the first installment of a three-year conversion of 10,000 audio titles from analog to digital format. Support for the FY 2005 budget will help prepare the way for the new delivery system to replace the current analog cassette tape technology.

Mass Deacidification

A total increase of $948,000 is requested for the fifth increment of the Library's five-year, $18 million initiative to save through deacidification one million endangered acidic books and five million manuscript sheets during the period 2001-2005. The Congress has approved the first four increments of this critical preservation program, and the Library requests the planned increase to continue to scale up to $5.7 million annually. By 2005, the Library plans to have reached the capacity to deacidify 300,000 books and 1,000,000 manuscripts annually.

Veterans History Project

Additional funding of $1.035 million and four FTEs is required for this important and growing project. Support is requested to increase public participation in interviewing veterans and creating the collection; to preserve accounts and documents for researchers, educators, and future generations; and to disseminate this compelling material to the public more widely. The overwhelmingly positive nationwide reaction to this program has exceeded our expectations, and will require additional resources to respond to the growing demands of this mandated program.


The Library is requesting an increase of $7.306 million and 47 FTEs to support improved security of the Library's systems, staff, buildings, and collections. The Library continues to work with the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) to support major perimeter security improvements, consistent with the entire Capitol Hill campus (e.g., garage barriers, bollards, entrance reconfigurations). Seventy-five percent of Phase I (Jefferson and Madison Buildings) perimeter security project construction has been completed. However, unforeseen structural conditions below the James Madison building have resulted in a partial redesign and additional AOC costs to complete the Phase I work. The Library understands that the AOC is working with the Committee to fund the additional costs and complete the initial phase. We ask the Committee to support the funds required to bring our perimeter security fully up to Capitol Hill standards.

The Library is also working with the Capitol Police regarding the filling of 23 new police officer positions authorized by the Committee for the Library's campus. Capitol Police officers will be detailed to the Library to fill the new positions beginning in March 2004.

Components of the Library's FY 2005 security budget request are:

  • Police Staffing - The Library is requesting $3.825 million and 45 FTEs for the continuation of the FY 2004 hiring initiative, which identified a police staffing shortfall of approximately 100 FTEs. This is the second of three fiscal year requests for funding beginning in FY 2004. For FY 2005 funding and staffing are being requested in the Library of Congress's budget to ensure that this critical need is set forth to the Congress. The staffing requirements will not diminish if and when the Library's Police Force merges with the Capitol Police Force. The requirements will be the same, regardless of which force provides the service. The Library needs additional police positions to meet minimum staffing levels at all public building entrances; to staff new and enhanced fixed exterior posts; and to ensure an overtime rate that does not exceed 10-15 percent above the standard 40-hour workweek.
  • Police Merger - On August 6, 2003, the Library responded in a letter to U.S. Capitol Police Chief Gainer regarding the U.S. Capitol Police Implementation Plan for the Merger of the U.S. Capitol Police and the Library of Congress Police. In this response, we relayed our concerns about how this proposed plan will impact the Librarian's statutory responsibility to protect Library assets.

    The Library remains concerned about the how the merger of the Library of Congress Police Force with the U.S. Capitol Police Force diminishes the Librarian's authority to exercise his responsibilities. The current plan proposed by the Capitol Police does not take into account the statutory obligation of the Librarian of Congress to oversee the Library's collections and buildings. The Library's police force is focused not only on the physical safety of our staff, visitors, and buildings, but on the integrity and security of our invaluable collections, and is the primary arm for the Librarian of Congress in discharging this responsibility. At the very least, the Library must have a presence on the Capitol Police Board in order to argue for the level of resources made available to protect the Library's assets. The Capitol Police officers that serve on Library property must also be under the technical direction of and accountable to the Librarian of Congress. The Library looks forward to working with this Committee and the authorizing Committees to ensure that the merger is completed in a manner that preserves the mandated authority of the Librarian.

  • Security Equipment Maintenance - A total of $930,000 is requested for the maintenance and repair costs of five new major electronic security systems, which will become fully operational in FY 2005. Sustaining their operations will be crucial for Library security. The requested funding will ensure that these vital security systems, installed in accordance with the Library's Security Enhancement Plan, are adequately maintained and repaired by accepted best industry practices.

    Intrusion-Detection System - $1 million is requested to build-out the electronic access control and primary intrusion detection systems requirements identified in the Library's Security Plan's risk framework and needed to mitigate safety risks within the Library.

  • Alternate Computer Facility (ACF) - An increase of $622,000 is needed for CRS to support the annual recurring operating costs of this all-important facility. The ACF will provide for IT business continuity in the event of a catastrophic failure of the Library's computer center. In the event that the Library's primary computer center becomes inoperable, the ACF will also provide continued online service to the Library's remote/local users, preventing disruption of service to the Congress and its constituency.

    IT Security Certification and Accreditation - Security must be treated as an integral part of the Library's overall IT infrastructure if risks are to be systematically reduced. Accordingly, the Library has embarked upon a thorough review of its IT security. Funding of $929,000 and two FTEs is requested in FY 2005 for ITS to certify and accredit existing, mission-critical IT applications, systems, and facilities of the Library ($720,000) and to conduct security computer audits by the Inspector General Office ($209,000/2 FTEs).

Back to top

Infrastructure Support

The Library is requesting $6.531 million and nine FTEs to address critical support systems, space, and staff initiatives. These Library-wide initiatives support all organizational entities and are key to performing our varied tasks efficiently and to providing our customers with efficient and seamless services. Funding supports:

Information Technology (IT) - IT is a critical tool for achieving organizational success in the Library. An additional $3.316 million is needed for the Library's IT infrastructure. To keep pace with the rapid increase in electronic traffic, ITS server processing power and associated storage has increased, and the corresponding funding for maintenance must also increase. A total of $1 million is needed to cover ITS's actual and projected maintenance costs (we anticipate a 14 percent increase in hardware maintenance and a 6 percent increase in software maintenance in FY 2005). The Library's technology needs change as services expand, and they require 24-hour support to satisfy the Library's customers, which sharply raises contract costs. The requested $1.017 million will allow ITS to support the increasing costs of the IT service provider contract, which the current ITS budget cannot fund. Without added funding, ITS will have to either curtail services or dangerously cut back on equipment purchases or maintenance. One-time funding of $1.299 million is also needed to implement a single integrated search function for the Library's primary online information sources (LIS/THOMAS, American Memory, LC Web pages, and the Integrated Library System bibliographic catalogs). This initiative will support searching with the commonly used data standard (XML) that the Congress is now applying to the preparation of its publications. As the House and Senate develop and implement new authoring systems that support XML, the congressional clientele expect the Library to have a search engine and related software that can handle XML. CRS will be partnering with the ITS Office to identify the requirements, develop solutions, and procure, migrate, configure, and optimize the needed new search engine tools.

Facilities Management - An increase of $1.880 million and nine FTEs are requested to modernize the Library's facilities services, supporting space management ($1.658 million/8 FTEs) and custodial services ($222,000/1 FTE). The Library's Facilities Services Division cannot effectively meet current and future Library space support requirements, and lacks flexibility to respond to the Library's rapidly changing needs. Multiple internal and external audits and studies of Facilities Services have identified fundamental problems in facilities programs that only division-wide modernization and workforce development can improve. The funding request addresses the most urgent recommendations identified by the auditors, several outside expert consultants, the ISS Director, and the Facilities Services management team. Implementation of these recommendations will provide the Library with the basic support tools, previously not available to the Library but used throughout industry and by other government agencies, to increase the efficiency of all space-related projects, and enable rotated scheduling of preventive maintenance (reducing costly repairs Library-wide). These steps are especially important for the Offices of Safety Services, Security and Emergency Preparedness, and for ITS.

Reduced funding for custodial services in recent years has resulted in a general deterioration of building conditions, and an additional $196,000 and one FTE (custodial work inspector) is needed to supplement the current contract. Since
Ft. Meade will add 335,000 square feet of space between FY 2005-2009, the Library is requesting $26,000 to fund the needed custodial services.

Personnel Management - A total of $1.335 million is requested to upgrade the Library's personnel hiring system. The future of all of the Library's efforts depends on our greatest asset-the expertise, intellect, and dedication of a Library staff that makes our vast collections and services relevant and accessible. Library management must be able to train, develop and renew its staff and add fresh talent to sustain the Library's leadership role amid the massive technological changes in the 21st century. The Library's Human Resources Services (HRS) needs a fully integrated and comprehensive Web-based Human Resource Information System (HRIS) that interfaces with the Library's payroll provider. The added funding of $1.335 million requested for FY 2005 will procure and implement staffing and classification modules that will be integrated with the emerging HRIS and will improve the timeliness and efficiency of the Library's hiring and classification processes.

Library Buildings and Grounds

The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is responsible for the structural and mechanical care and maintenance of the Library's buildings and grounds. In coordination with the Library, the AOC has requested in its FY 2005 budget an increase of $121.8 million for Library-related work and support. The AOC budget includes funding for six key projects requested by the Library. The two most crucial projects are (1) continuation of the Ft. Meade construction program by the construction of Book Storage Modules 3 and 4 ($38.5 million), and (2) construction of the Copyright Deposit Facility ($59.2 million). Both of these capital improvement projects are critical in addressing basic storage and preservation deficiencies, as well as serious environmental, fire, and employee safety issues. Delay in funding this construction will make an already-critical situation worse and will increase the future cost of construction. Funding is also requested for increased space modifications ($150,000), construction of six secure storage rooms/vaults ($860,000), a dishwashing machine for the Madison cafeteria ($210,000), and an integration and upgrade study ($400,000) of our aging book conveyor system. The Library strongly recommends the approval of the AOC's Library Buildings and Grounds budget, which is essential for the effective functioning of the Library.

Legislative Initiatives

The Library has proposed language to extend, by five years, the period for securing commitments from partners to join the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), to provide the mandated matching funds, and to work out formulae to include grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and other legally enforceable pledge agreements entered into before 2010.

The Library's strategy for meeting the requirements of the legislation revolves around making investments that require mutual participation and cost-sharing agreements with a wide variety of stakeholders. Given the current economic climate, the Library anticipates that a substantial volume of nonfederal matches will be in the form of in-kind, cost sharing contributions to the joint NDIIPP projects that will be defined and developed by the Library over time. The Library seeks to extend the period of time in which these nonfederal contributions can be solicited and received. The Library's ability to support these jointly funded projects will be substantially enhanced if the $75 million that is subject to a matching requirement can be made available for obligation over the extended time frame in which the different schedules of pledge donations are likely to be fulfilled.

The Library is funding the NDIIPP by investing in a first set of practical experiments and tests. Following an assessment, we will fund a second set of investments as described in the plan that was submitted to and approved by the Congress in December 2002. The initial planning and fact-finding phase of NDIIPP made it clear that the entire amount available to NDIIPP could not be responsibly committed without the benefit of the earlier testing and iterative learning, followed by reinvestment in a second generation of work. The language we are proposing for FY 2005 is required to implement this approach, which was needed for the Congressionally approved NDIIPP plan. Attaining the $75 million of matching federal funding and achieving the desired results in the preservation of digital material requires investing the initial $20 million in a series of practical projects that will unfold over a five-year period.

The creation of an attainable national preservation strategy will occur incrementally, because of the complexity of the challenge and the number and diversity of partners involved. The Library is taking actions to begin building the preservation infrastructure by:

  • building the technical architecture that can support these multiple partnerships;
  • developing a network of partners who will share the responsibility in the course of the next five years; and
  • participating in joint collaborative research on long-term digital preservation and archiving issues.

A first formal call for network partners was released in August 2003, and we received final proposals on November 12, 2003. The Library, along with the National Endowment for the Humanities, is making selections among the proposed applicants to seed the NDIIPP network with partners for long-term preservation of digital content.

The Library anticipates awarding up to $15 million of the available $20 million available in this initial round of investments.

The Library is simultaneously funding a test of existing architectures to assess how digital content can be shared and be made interoperable among different institutions. This will result in a revised technical architecture and a second generation of investments in developing the overall technical preservation architecture.

The Library is partnering with the National Science Foundation (NSF) in a digital archiving and long-term preservation research program. The goal of the program is to stimulate research that builds capacities for long-term management and preservation of digital materials. The intent of the program is to support both technical and economic, social, and legal research topics related to archiving digital materials. The Library signed a memorandum of understanding with NSF in February 2004.

Language is also proposed to prohibit transferring funds from the Library of Congress to the State Department (DOS) for the construction of embassies. The DOS has proposed establishing a Capital Security Cost-Sharing Program that, by FY 2009, would cost the Library as much as and possibly more than the entire present cost of our overseas offices. Under the proposed new program, the Library would be paying DOS, by FY 2009, approximately $7.4 million for 202 positions located in 12 locations-95 percent of which are located in only six locations. This assessment would be equivalent to 90 percent of the Library's FY 2004 total present overseas budget of $8.231 million. The DOS proposal does not follow government cost-sharing standards and would unfairly leverage additional costs on the Library's overseas acquisitions programs that are essential for our continued understanding of the Near East and other areas of national concern.

The budget before this subcommittee reflects important needs for the Library-preservation of its collections, expansion of its services to the Congress, and increasingly services for the nation. As the national library leading and working with a complex network of partners at the beginning of the 21st century, the Library's workforce-now and in the future-is an essential element to the success of our mission and goals. In previous appearances before this Subcommittee, I have stressed the need to transfer knowledge and expertise to a new generation of knowledge specialists. An estimated 40 percent of the Library's workforce will be eligible to retire by 2009. The Library must also be able to attract and retain the very best talent available-in CRS, the Law Library, the Copyright Office, and in its core library management areas.

Elsewhere in the federal government-widely in the Executive Branch and within sister agencies such as GAO-the recruitment, management, and pay scales of the federal workforce are being changed. The Library will be seeking from the 108th Congress authorization for broad-based human capital tools and flexibilities, in line with practices already in use within the federal government. We need to ensure that the Library of Congress can attract, retain, motivate, and reward a top quality and high performing workforce to serve the Congress and to sustain and make even more usable the nation's strategic information and knowledge reserve. In order to meet the ambitious goals of our strategic plan and accomplish our goals, we must be able to compete on a level playing field within the federal government for the best talent. The Library's services to the Congress and the nation are unique and multifaceted, and they require the Library's workforce to possess cutting-edge knowledge and skill sets.


As the keeper of America's-and much of the world's-creative and intellectual achievements, the Library of Congress is keenly aware of its awesome responsibility. This Library is the research and information arm of the national legislature and contains the world's largest storehouse of knowledge and the mint record of America's creativity. The strategic plan and supporting FY 2005 budget request will continue the Library's great tradition, which covers the world and has now been expanded to include Congressionally mandated leadership in the massive task of sorting and preserving digital material. All of this is needed to support the Congress, the public, and the democratic ideal.

The Library's vision for the 21st century is to lead the nation in ensuring access to knowledge and information by promoting the Library's creative use of its unmatched human and material resources for the Congress and its constituents. By 2008, the Library plans, with the support of the Congress, to have achieved the following:

  • The Library's National Audiovisual Conservation Center is operating and is recognized as having assumed international leadership in providing film and recorded sound preservation and accessibility. The new storage facilities at Fort Meade are operating and are recognized as an outstanding example of how to perform off-site storage, long-term preservation, and rapid access to the material.
  • The core national programs of Library Services and the Office of Strategic Initiatives are recognized to have sustained the breadth and depth of the universal artifactual and digital collections. These programs will also have provided positive, verifiable assurance that the Library is acquiring, establishing bibliographic control, preserving, providing 24/7 access, and securing the collections for future generations regardless of the information's format.
  • The Congressional Research Service has succeeded in restructuring both its permanent workforce and its supplemental interim capacity so that it is always the first-choice research provider of the Congress for authoritative, nonpartisan, timely, and objective research and public policy analysis in support of legislative deliberations. It will have improved both the quality of its analysis as well as its overall research capacity.
  • The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has completed the development of digital talking book technology and has begun conversion to use of the technology through distribution of the new talking book machines.
  • The Copyright Office is a leading advocate of an effective national copyright system that serves both creators and users of copyrighted works; is the primary advisor to the Congress on national and international copyright matters and is a relied-upon source of information and assistance to federal agencies and the judiciary on these matters; is providing its services, including registrations, electronically; and is creating registration records compatible with the Library's cataloging system.
  • The Law Library of Congress will have achieved and maintained an enhanced electronic system involving almost all countries important to the U.S. Congress in order to provide it with more comprehensive, authoritative, and timely global legal information.
  • The Library has implemented human capital management initiatives resulting in recruitment, development, and maintenance of a diverse, well-trained, highly skilled, and high-performing workforce to filter, navigate, analyze, and objectively interpret knowledge for the Congress and the nation. Further, the workforce functions in a management-supported environment characterized by open communication, innovative thinking, leadership in managing change, and effective and efficient program and supporting processes rivaling the best commercially available services. Special emphasis will be paid for providing flexible rewards and responsibility for staff with substantive expertise that leads to productivity improvements.

On behalf of the Library and all of its staff, I thank the Congress for its continued support of the Library and its programs. I ask for the support of the Library's FY 2005 budget request as the next step in moving toward achieving these strategic outcomes.

Back to top