Tag Archives: Library of Congress

Day Eighteen of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

LOC Main Reading Room Highsmith

The Library of Congress belongs to all of us. Not only is it an amazing resource for anyone in the library profession, but it also as an amazing symbol of the value of libraries and national access to, and storage of, information! We are a pretty amazing profession, and the LOC is our professional home.

Check out these Fascinating Facts about the LOC, and click on their page to learn even more!


The Library was founded in 1800, making it the oldest federal cultural institution in the nation. On August 24, 1814, British troops burned the Capitol building (where the Library was housed) and destroyed the Library’s core collection of 3,000 volumes. On January 30, 1815, Congress approved the purchase of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library of 6,487 books for $23,950.


The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with more than 164 million items on approximately 838 miles of bookshelves. The collections include more than 38 million books and other printed materials, 3.6 million recordings, 14 million photographs, 5.5 million maps, 8.1 million pieces of sheet music and 70 million manuscripts.

The Collections

The Library receives some 15,000 items each working day and adds approximately 12,000 items to the collections daily. The majority of the collections are received through the Copyright registration process, as the Library is home to the U.S. Copyright Office. Materials are also acquired through gift, purchase, other government agencies (state, local and federal), Cataloging in Publication (a pre-publication arrangement with publishers) and exchange with libraries in the United States and abroad. Items not selected for the collections or other internal purposes are used in the Library’s national and international exchange programs. Through these exchanges the Library acquires material that would not be available otherwise. The remaining items are made available to other federal agencies and are then available for donation to educational institutions, public bodies and nonprofit tax-exempt organizations in the United States.

Continue reading Day Eighteen of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

The US Library of Congress Just Put 25 Million Records Online, Free of Charge

LOC Main Reading Room Highsmith

By David Nield, from Science Alert

“Knowledge is power, the old saying goes, but it isn’t much use if it’s hidden away – so we’re excited to learn that the US Library of Congress is making 25 million of its records available for free, for anyone to access online.

The bibliographic data sets, like digital library cards, cover music, books, maps, manuscripts, and more, and their publication online marks the biggest release of digital records in the Library’s history.

“The Library of Congress is our nation’s monument to knowledge and we need to make sure the doors are open wide for everyone, not just physically but digitally too,” says Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.

“Unlocking the rich data in the Library’s online catalogue is a great step forward. I’m excited to see how people will put this information to use.”

Researchers and analysts will get most use out of the new records, but there’s plenty of potential for them to be used in apps and databases as well. The Library hosted a Hack-to-Learn workshop looking at how the data could be used. Continue reading The US Library of Congress Just Put 25 Million Records Online, Free of Charge

Preservation in a nuclear bunker

Packard Campus

When you think of archives, you may picture dusty boxes or dark closets filled with preserved documents or other media. You maybe don’t think of 90 miles of shelves in climate controlled and “radiation hardened” vaults!

However, that is exactly where the Library of Congress is storing its Audio/Visual collection in Culpeper, Virginia. The storage facility is actually a former nuclear bunker that was built during the Cold War to protect huge amounts of money as well as up to 500 Federal employees. This article from the blog Architect of the Capital details the original goal of the bunker structure, pictures and illustrations of the site, and also the end goal of the Library of Congress to eventually digitize their film and video collection.

Watch this video from the Library of Congress that describes the Packard Campus and the process that the digital files go through to record and preserve them at the facility (it includes robotics!):


Obama nominates 14th Librarian of Congress

Did you know that recently, President Obama nominated Carla Hayden for the post of Librarian of Congress. Did you also know…

  • The Library of Congress is “America’s Library”
  • The U.S. president nominates the person, the Senate confirms the nomination
  • The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal institution
  • Hayden will be the first female and the first African American to hold this honor. Watch this video to meet Dr. Hayden…..



Letters About Literature Invites Students to Enter National Essay Contest

What better way to get students excited about reading and writing then to ask them to write a letter to their favorite author! This is exactly the premise behind the Letters About Literature Contest.

“Letters About Literature asks student readers to write a letter to an author describing how his or her work touched their life in a personal way. Authors can be of any genre or time period and can come from any country. The contest focuses on reader response and reflective writing and has three competition levels: Level 1 for students in grades 4-6; Level 2 for students in grades 7 and 8; and Level 3 for students in grades 9-12. State level judges choose the top letter writers from each of the three competition levels who will advance to the National Level Judging. Then, a panel of national judges for the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress will select one National Winner per competition level to receive a $1,000 cash award. The judges will also select one National Honor per competition level to receive a $200 cash award.”

For official guidelines and entry forms, please visit: http://thefriends.org/about/center-for-the-book/letters-about-literature/

Want to get a jump start on instruction? Check out the Teaching Guide here.

Need examples for kids read and model? Check out past Minnesota state winners now!


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