Monday, 10 March 2008

LoC budget testimony for FY 2009

The Open House Project has a report on the March 5 testimony of Dr. James Billington, the Librarian of Congress. His prepared statement (see attached) presented information on on current LoC initiatives, and described funding priorities. The testimony repeatedly mentions 2008's "deep and painful cuts to the Library’s budget", and the Librarian adds "I feel obligated to say that if we are stretched much farther, we may soon reach a breaking point." Furthermore, the statement adds,"Demand for online services, increased pressure on web services operations to enhance THOMAS, the World Digital Library (WDL), and the Legal Information Services (LIS) databases, and the need to develop new configurations and applications have severely strained technical assistance and infrastructure support provided by the Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) and Information Technology Services (ITS). Since 1995, THOMAS has provided free legislative information on the web. Our congressional and public constituencies have for several years been requesting upgrades to both THOMAS and LIS to enhance content and searchability. ... However, the IT and digital demands on the Library will need support from the Congress in fiscal 2010 to sustain the Library’s ability to provide services to the Congress and its constituents. "

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