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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2000. LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9940.
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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.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2000. LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9940.
×

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

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2000. LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9940.
×

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.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2000. LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9940.
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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

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2000. LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9940.
×

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)

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2000. LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9940.
×

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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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2000. LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9940.
×

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-

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2000. LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9940.
×

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).

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2000. LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9940.
×

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.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2000. LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9940.
×

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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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2000. LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9940.
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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,

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2000. LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9940.
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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.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2000. LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9940.
×

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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Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 2000. LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9940.
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 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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Digital information and networks challenge the core practices of libraries, archives, and all organizations with intensive information management needs in many respects—not only in terms of accommodating digital information and technology, but also through the need to develop new economic and organizational models for managing information. LC21: A Digital Strategy for the Library of Congress discusses these challenges and provides recommendations for moving forward at the Library of Congress, the world’s largest library. Topics covered in LC21 include digital collections, digital preservation, digital cataloging (metadata), strategic planning, human resources, and general management and budgetary issues. The book identifies and elaborates upon a clear theme for the Library of Congress that is applicable more generally: the digital age calls for much more collaboration and cooperation than in the past. LC21 demonstrates that information-intensive organizations will have to change in fundamental ways to survive and prosper in the digital age.

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