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LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress LC21 A DIGITAL STRATEGY FOR THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS Committee on an Information Technology Strategy for the Library of Congress Computer Science and Telecommunications Board Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C.
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LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. Support for this project was provided by the Library of Congress under contract No. C-LC98046. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsor. Library of Congress Card Number 00-111489 International Standard Book Number 0-309-07144-5 Additional copies of this report are available from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Ave., NW Box 285 Washington, DC 20055 800-624-6242 202-334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area) http://www.nap.edu Copyright 2000 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES National Academy of Sciences National Academy of Engineering Institute of Medicine National Research Council The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.
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LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress COMMITTEE ON AN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY FOR THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS JAMES J. O’DONNELL, University of Pennsylvania, Chair JAMES BLACKABY, Mystic Seaport Museum ROSS E. BROWN, Analog Devices, Inc. GINNIE COOPER, Multnomah County Library DALE FLECKER, Harvard University NANCY FRISHBERG, New Media Centers JAMES GRAY, Microsoft Corporation MARGARET HEDSTROM, University of Michigan CARL LAGOZE, Cornell University LAWRENCE H. LANDWEBER, University of Wisconsin, Madison DAVID M. LEVY, University of Washington ANN OKERSON, Yale University DOUG ROWAN, interLane Media JEROME H. SALTZER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology HOWARD TURTLE, Cogitech Group MARY ELLEN ZURKO, Iris Associates Staff ALAN S. INOUYE, Study Director and Senior Program Officer SUZANNE OSSA, Senior Project Assistant DAVID PADGHAM, Research Assistant
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LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress COMPUTER SCIENCE AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS BOARD DAVID D. CLARK, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Chair JAMES CHIDDIX, Time Warner Cable JOHN M. CIOFFI, Stanford University ELAINE COHEN, University of Utah W. BRUCE CROFT, University of Massachusetts, Amherst SUSAN L. GRAHAM, University of California, Berkeley JUDITH HEMPEL, University of California, San Francisco JEFFREY M. JAFFE, Lucent Technologies ANNA KARLIN, University of Washington BUTLER W. LAMPSON, Microsoft Corporation EDWARD D. LAZOWSKA, University of Washington DAVID LIDDLE, U.S. Venture Partners TOM M. MITCHELL, WhizBang! Labs, Inc. DONALD NORMAN, Unext.com RAYMOND OZZIE, Groove Networks DAVID A. PATTERSON, University of California, Berkeley CHARLES SIMONYI, Microsoft Corporation BURTON SMITH, Cray, Inc. TERRY SMITH, University of California, Santa Barbara LEE SPROULL, New York University Staff MARJORY S. BLUMENTHAL, Director HERBERT S. LIN, Senior Scientist JERRY R. SHEEHAN, Senior Program Officer ALAN S. INOUYE, Senior Program Officer JON EISENBERG, Senior Program Officer GAIL PRITCHARD, Program Officer LYNETTE MILLETT, Program Officer JANET D. BRISCOE, Administrative Officer D.C. DRAKE, Project Assistant DANIEL D. LLATA, Senior Project Assistant MARGARET MARSH, Senior Project Assistant SUZANNE OSSA, Senior Project Assistant BRANDYE WILLIAMS, Office Assistant DAVID PADGHAM, Research Assistant (part-time) MICKELLE RODGERS RODRÍGUEZ, Senior Project Assistant (part-time)
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LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND APPLICATIONS PETER M. BANKS, XR Ventures, LLC, Co-chair WILLIAM H. PRESS, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Co-chair WILLIAM F. BALLHAUS, JR., The Aerospace Corporation SHIRLEY CHIANG, University of California, Davis MARSHALL H. COHEN, California Institute of Technology RONALD G. DOUGLAS, Texas A&M University SAMUEL H. FULLER, Analog Devices, Inc. MICHAEL F. GOODCHILD, University of California, Santa Barbara MARTHA P. HAYNES, Cornell University WESLEY T. HUNTRESS, JR., Carnegie Institution CAROL M. JANTZEN, Westinghouse Savannah River Company PAUL G. KAMINSKI, Technovation, Inc. KENNETH H. KELLER, University of Minnesota JOHN R. KREICK, Sanders, a Lockheed Martin Company (retired) MARSHA I. LESTER, University of Pennsylvania W. CARL LINEBERGER, University of Colorado DUSA M. McDUFF, State University of New York at Stony Brook JANET L. NORWOOD, Former Commissioner, Bureau of Labor Statistics M. ELISABETH PATÉ-CORNELL, Stanford University NICHOLAS P. SAMIOS, Brookhaven National Laboratory ROBERT J. SPINRAD, Xerox PARC (retired) JAMES F. HINCHMAN, Acting Executive Director
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LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress PREFACE The Library of Congress (LC) is a living and vital library and at the same time an icon. It is easier to be a library than to be an icon, but it is no easy thing to be a library amid the turmoil of the digital revolution. As icon, LC has functioned at least since 1945 as the benchmark for what capabilities new information technology might bring to the communication of information. Every technology is spoken of as one that can store or transmit or search “the entire Library of Congress” in square inches of disk space or minutes or seconds of processing time. Though even LC falls far short of containing every book ever written, its record of extraordinary comprehensiveness and reach has captured the popular imagination as has no other library since ancient Alexandria’s. Inevitably, reality falls short of what the icon seems to promise. The Library of Congress is a relatively small federal government agency of about 4,000 employees, with all the challenges of focus and service quality that impose themselves upon an organization that depends on taxpayer funding and civil service policies and procedures. The physical management of a collection of objects of almost limitless variety, size, shape, material, and fragility—objects that are repeatedly sought out, used, abused, disarranged, and rearranged—has always taxed human ability to index, tag, and control. This report arises from the Library’s own sense of its vulnerability and uncertainty at the dawn of the information age and attempts to respond closely to the institution’s own sense of its mission. Accordingly, the Librarian of Congress asked the Computer Science and Telecommuni-
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LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress BOX P.1 Statement of Task Identify strategic directions for the application of information technology within the Library of Congress into the next decade. Assess the structure and system needs for LC to pursue its stated missions, including the adequacy of plans for modernizing and integrating those systems and the institutional and management structure for implementing the modernization. Examine systems and structures across the main components of LC and for its major programs. Identify opportunities for interaction between LC and other digital library initiatives, for the integration of electronic collections with existing analog materials, and for the preservation of library collections using digital technologies. cations Board (CSTB) of the National Research Council (NRC) to conduct a study to provide strategic advice concerning the information technology path that LC should traverse over the coming decade. The statement of task is given in Box P.1.1 COMMITTEE COMPOSITION AND PROCESS The study committee convened by CSTB included experts in digital libraries, databases, networks, computer security, metadata and information retrieval, digital documents and collections, digital archiving and preservation, academic and public libraries, museums, electronic publishing, information technology management, and human resources (see Appendix A for biographies of committee members). The committee did its work through its own expert deliberations and by soliciting input from a number of experts (see Appendix B for a list of briefers to the committee and Appendix C for a list of letters received). The committee met first in February 1999 and four times subsequently in plenary session and obtained extensive input when subcommittees visited the Library and other 1 LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress builds on a number of CSTB reports. The issues of digital copyright and public access to digital information addressed in The Digital Dilemma: Intellectual Property in the Information Age (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2000) are, not surprisingly, central to this report. Previous CSTB work in reviewing systems modernization at other federal agencies also informs the committee’s work: see Elements of Systems Modernization for the Social Security Administration (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1991) and Continued Review of the Tax Systems Modernization of the Internal Revenue Service: Final Report (National Academy Press, 1996).
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LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress sites between March 1999 and May 2000. The typical LC site visit involved several members of the committee, the study director, and staff members of the Library. Library staff were informed that their remarks would be held in confidence. Additional information came from reviewing the published literature, monitoring selected listservs, and obtaining informal input from members of the library community and the information industries. During the editorial phase of the study, facts were checked for accuracy with either authoritative published sources or subject experts. The observer affects the system observed. One cannot study an organization for more than a year and expect to have absolutely no impact on it during that time. Because the committee was asking for testimony from particular people or was asking certain questions, some of the issues of concern to it became apparent to LC staff. The committee has a strong sense that the internal conversation in LC over the months of its study has already benefited as a result of the issues and concerns the committee has raised. Thus, in addition to this final report, another outcome (in the committee’s view, a desirable one) seems to have been to encourage LC staff to think about the opportunities and challenges presented by the digital revolution. The committee focused its efforts on the present and future of information systems and technologies that are intimately tied to the mission of the Library—namely, to the acquisition, processing, management, storage, and preservation of library materials and to making those materials available to users. The Library, like other organizations, has information systems that support the administrative aspects of the organization, such as accounting, financial planning and budgeting, and human resources management; for want of time, the committee did not study those information systems in any detail. The committee did not construe its charge as calling for an information technology report of the sort that any reputable consulting firm could provide. Rather, the committee accepted the Library’s encouragement to pool its own wide-ranging expertise in considering how information technology could affect the Library’s mission and core processes during the new decade. The strategic perspective taken looks first at how information technology could transform the acquisition, collection, preservation, and accessibility of digital materials and then addresses questions relating to information technology infrastructure. Although the report refers to a number of companies, products, and services by name, such reference does not constitute an endorsement by the committee or the National Academies. The committee did not evaluate any product or service in sufficient detail to allow such an endorsement.
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LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The committee would like to acknowledge James Billington for his leadership in requesting this study; it takes no small amount of courage to voluntarily invite a panel of national experts to examine closely one’s organization. We appreciate his guidance and support as well as that of Donald Scott and Jo Ann Jenkins. The day-to-day support for this study rested with Virginia Sorkin, who worked diligently to ensure that the committee had the access it needed to documents and LC staff; Ms. Sorkin’s efforts played an important role in supporting the timely completion of this report. Many other LC staff members provided invaluable assistance to the committee through their testimony—whether in public plenary session or in private small meetings (see Appendix B for a list of all LC staff who made presentations to the committee). Throughout the course of this study, a number of individuals not connected with the Library also contributed their expertise to the committee’s deliberations. The committee is grateful to those who agreed to provide testimony at its plenary meetings and site visits (see, again, Appendix B). The committee appreciates the thoughtful comments received from the reviewers of this report and the efforts of the NRC review coordinator. The comments were instrumental in helping the committee to sharpen and improve this report. Finally, the committee would like to acknowledge the staff of the National Research Council for their work. Alan Inouye served as study director with overall staff responsibility for the conduct of the study and the development of this final report. Without his breadth of understanding, keen sense for the salient detail, and highly effective management, this report would have been either a far poorer one or entirely nonexistent. He was assisted first by David Padgham and later by Suzanne Ossa. The committee would like to acknowledge the important role played by William Wulf, Jane Bortnick Griffith, and Marjory Blumenthal in launching this study. Jane Bortnick Griffith also provided invaluable advice to the committee throughout the study. The committee acknowledges the important contribution of NRC editors Liz Fikre and Susan Maurizi. Editorial and research assistance was provided by consultants Laura Ost and Kim Briggs and NRC librarian Jim Igoe. The committee thanks Charles Starliper and David Padgham for providing comments on report drafts. Janet Briscoe and D.C. Drake of the CSTB and Claudette Baylor-Fleming, Theresa Fisher, and Sharon Seaward of the NRC’s Space Studies Board also contributed to the preparation of the final report. James J. O’Donnell, Chair Committee on an Information Technology Strategy for the Library of Congress
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LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF REVIEWERS This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the NRC’s Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Christine L. Borgman, University of California, Los Angeles, Stephen D. Crocker, Steve Crocker Associates, Alan J. Demers, Cornell University, David Ely, NXT Corporation, Edward A. Fox, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Laura N. Gasaway, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, John P. Glaser, Partners Health Care System, Morton D. Goldberg, Cowen, Liebowitz & Latman, P.C., Betsy Humphreys, National Library of Medicine, Karen Hunter, Elsevier Science, Inc., Carole Huxley, New York State Education Department, Brewster Kahle, Internet Archive, Clifford Lynch, Coalition for Networked Information,
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LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress Deanna Marcum, Council on Library and Information Resources, Charles McClure, Florida State University, Jerry Mechling, Harvard University, Candace Morgan, Fort Vancouver Regional Library, Richard Nolan, Harvard University, Jan Pedersen, Opengrid Corporation, Kent A. Smith, National Library of Medicine, Sarah E. Thomas, Cornell University, Robert Wedgeworth, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Grayson Winterling, Rooney Group International. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Roy Schwitters, University of Texas, Austin, appointed by the Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications, who was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
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LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress CONTENTS EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 1 DIGITAL REVOLUTION, LIBRARY EVOLUTION 23 Introduction, 23 Context, 24 The Need for Cooperation Among Libraries, 24 The Rapid Rise of Information Resources in Electronic Formats, 26 High Initial Cost of the Electronic Environment, 40 User Demand for Electronic Resources, 41 Digital Materials, Ownership Rights, and Libraries, 42 The Great Libraries in the Electronic Age, 43 Roadmap for This Report, 48 2 THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS: FROM JEFFERSON TO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY 50 A Brief History, 50 Units of the Library of Congress, 53 Office of the Librarian, 54 Library Services, 54 Law Library, 67 Copyright Office, 69 Congressional Research Service, 71 National Digital Library Program, 74 Looking to the Future: The Library of Congress in 2010, 76
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LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress 3 BUILDING DIGITAL COLLECTIONS 82 Traditional Collections: Scope and Responsibility, 82 The Challenges of Digital Collections, 85 Defining and Building Collections in the Digital Era, 90 Defining the Scope of “Collecting” Responsibility, 90 Mechanisms for Building Digital Collections, 93 Copyright Deposit, 93 Licensed Resources, 97 Collecting Web-based Resources, 99 Building Infrastructure for Digital Collections, 101 4 PRESERVING A DIGITAL HERITAGE 105 Preservation: Traditional Scope and Responsibilities, 105 Preservation Challenges for Digital Collections, 106 Organizational Issues: Defining the Scope of the Library’s Preservation Responsibilities, 108 The Library of Congress As Owner and Primary Custodian, 108 The Library of Congress As a Fail-safe Mechanism, 110 The Library of Congress As a Participant in Shared Responsibilities for Long-term Preservation, 114 What Does the Library of Congress Need to Do to Fulfill Its Long-term Preservation Responsibilities?, 119 5 ORGANIZING INTELLECTUAL ACCESS TO DIGITAL INFORMATION: FROM CATALOGING TO METADATA 122 A History of Leadership in Cataloging Standards, 123 Machine-Readable Cataloging, 124 General Cataloging Standards, 126 Encoded Archival Description, 126 The Digital Context and Its Challenges to Traditional Cataloging Practices, 127 Scale, 130 Permanence, 131 Credibility, 131 Variety, 132 Metadata as a Cross-Community Activity, 133 Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, 135 Geospatial Metadata Standards, 136 Content Rating, 136 E-commerce and Rights Management, 136 Resource Description Framework, 137 Interoperability of Metadata Standards, 137
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LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress New Cataloging Models, 140 Summary, 141 6 THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS AND THE WORLD BEYOND ITS WALLS 144 The Library of Congress—Roles for the New Millennium, 147 The Library as Convenor, Coordinator, Partner, Collaborator, and Leader, 147 The Library of Congress Made Visible, 149 The Library of Congress Is Not the “National Library,” 151 The Library of Congress and Other U.S. “National Libraries,” 152 Findings and Recommendations, 153 Funding for the Library of Congress, 155 Findings and Recommendations, 161 7 MANAGEMENT ISSUES 163 Human Resources, 166 Library of Congress Challenges, 166 Lessons Learned from Library Projects, 173 Human Resources Processes and HR21, 174 Findings and Recommendations, 177 Coordination of Information Technology Vision, Strategy, and Standards, 179 Present Situation, 179 The Chief Information Officer Function, 181 Vision and Implementation, 182 Outside Expertise, 184 Findings and Recommendations, 185 Executive Management, 186 The Office of the Librarian, 189 New Tasks for Executive Management, 190 Findings and Recommendations, 192 8 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE 193 The Information Technology Services Directorate, 194 Outsourcing, 196 The Information Technology Services Directorate As a Service Organization, 200 Information Technology Support Beyond the ITS Organization, 202 Findings and Recommendations, 202 Hardware and Software, 203
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LC 21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress Information Technology Security, 204 Networking, 207 Databases and Storage, 209 Information Retrieval, 210 Digital Repository, 211 Findings and Recommendations, 212 AFTERWORD 214 BIBLIOGRAPHY 217 APPENDIXES A Biographies of Committee Members 243 B Briefers at Plenary Meetings and Site Visits 253 C List of Letters Received 261 D Acronyms 262