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total life-cycle management of it, to be able to accommodate it, to store it. So that is a second aspect; something that is essential for the Library's internal functioning.
Included in the second part is a new request for this year. This includes not only the life-cycle management of the digital material that is coming into the Library, but also the delivery. Included in that is the significant enhancement of the Congressional Research Service, their research ability to be able to deal with these materials, which are increasingly important for answering the questions that you all need answered, as well as a certain amount for computer security.
Then finally the third aspect, which was authorized by a special appropriation last year, is to develop a long-term plan for the preservation of digital content for future generations on a national basis. This is a result of the National Academy of Science's study when we realized about 3 or 4 years ago—that the amount of digital work that the Library was getting was increasing constantly, by exponential numbers. They recommended that we conceive and develop a national plan for distributed work with other repositories; that we get all the stakeholders involved; that we be much more proactive even than we were in developing a national plan for preserving and distributing; the responsibility for keeping what is in a very ephemeral form.
In 1996, the average life of a Web site was calculated at 75 days. Much of the valuable material on the Internet disappears and the technology for reading it migrates very rapidly. All of these problems meant that a national plan had to be developed and implemented. The Congress appropriated $100 million last year, the first 5 million of which is to develop the plan, which we are in the active process of doing. Then there is $20 million, after the plan is approved, to implement it; and then, finally, $75 million that will be matched by $75 million in nonFederal contributions.
So there are really three parts there. The delivery of material that we digitize and we have to sustain; that is an ongoing responsibility. Secondly is the backbone, the infrastructure, that we will have to develop an institution-wide approach for the life-cycle management of digital material that is coming in through the various streams that contribute to it. And, finally, develop a national strategy.
It is only the second of these pieces that figures into our fiscal 2002 budget request, Mr. Chairman, but it is essential if we are going to be able to continue to function, because the amount of work that is going to be required for this national program, where most of that is going to be distributed to—will have to go to other institutions as we develop this plan, as we rally all the different stakeholders with our national advisory body which we are developing for it.
So this is really an essential part, the key part; the $18.8 million in fiscal 2002 that we need for this backbone is what we have deferred from last year, and it really can't be deferred much longer if we are going to continue to assume the various responsibilities
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS COLLABORATIONS ON DIGITAL ACTIVITIES
Mr. TAYLOR. The Library was directed to work with other entities of the Federal Government, which have expertise in electronic commerce, collection and maintenance of archives of digital materials and private business organizations which are involved in efforts to preserve, collect and disseminate information in digital formats. Has there been any movement between the Library and these entities to work together? If so, what has been the outcome of the collaborative consultation?
Dr. BILLINGTON. Yes, Mr. Chairman. We have created a National Digital Strategy Advisory Board which provides representation for all of the collaborating partners that were cited in the special appropriation. It has 26 members so far, and they met on May 1st. Smaller groups will be meeting in the course of the summer and early fall. It provides representation with the designated members, representatives of the Secretary of Commerce, the head of the National Archives, the President's Science and Technology Advisor, myself, plus we have added people from the private sector from the various stakeholders who were involved in this.
We have some distinguished members: Jim Barksdale, the author of Netscape, is playing a leading role in this; and Mr. Richter of EMC, one of the major storage people. So we have a very wide number of people, including some of those that were involved in the National Academy study that have convened. And they, will be working to develop a strategic plan. With the creators, the producers, the distributors and the users, we hope to prepare a plan for congressional approval in the course of 2002. So that is the key body, as had been recommended in the National Academy study, and is already convened and at work.
ELECTRONIC STORAGE AND BACKUP Mr. TAYLOR. Do you feel that the Library has a safe and secure backup for the electronic storage of its digital collections?
Dr. BILLINGTON. The question of backup, I will refer that one to Deputy Librarian, General Scott.
General SCOTT. Mr. Chairman, we think we have a good backup of the critical information systems, such as the Legislative Information System and the THOMAS database. We have that data continuously updated. We have a backup site so if we needed to retrieve the backup data rapidly, we could do so.
We also have a backup for our financial data. Again, the backup data is at another location, and we could rapidly access it, if needed. We have other backup sites for other data that is stored in our Cataloging and Distribution Service, which is in a secure computer room located in the Adams Building.
The other part of your question has to do with how safe is the backup effort. We believe that for the money we have been able to put in it and the resources we have been able to get towards it, the backup is adequate. But given the fact that hackers are becoming more sophisticated, we need to have better equipment, and staff who have greater skills in being able to help us improve our firewall. Part of what we are asking for in this budget would specan resist having anyone break into our sites. For the present we think our effort is adequate, but we constantly need to add to it to keep the hackers out.
NUMBER OF LC DIGITIZED ITEMS Mr. TAYLOR. Dr. Billington, you have mentioned you have about 7 million items digitized, including the foreign items that you have been able to obtain from Russia and Spain. Do you have any general estimate about how large the numbers will grow in the next few years, are we talking about perhaps 10 or 20 million items digitized, or is it possible to tell at this point?
Dr. BILLINGTON. You mean in terms of foreign
Mr. TAYLOR. Both foreign and domestic items for the Library of Congress.
Dr. BILLINGTON. Well, Mr. Chairman, the additions to what we plan to digitize, will be relatively modest in the international area. We received a special appropriation of $2 million to do the Meeting of the Frontiers project with the Russians. That is proceeding very well. The project has more than 100,000 items on it, mostly from the Library of Congress. And we have items from two of the largest libraries in the world. We had a very successful meeting with the Russians in Alaska, also involving the Fairbanks Library there. That is proceeding quite well and is having quite an effect because this is the comparative story of the two frontiers, how they met just north of San Francisco, Fort Ross, and the sale of Alaska. It is going into the school systems of both countries and is doing very well.
The Spanish project has just started. It will probably be considerably more modest. We do not have a special appropriations for that, but we are devoting a certain amount of money to that. We are hoping that our Spanish partners will have begun digitizing a small number of items from the national library there.
We are also in a fairly advanced state of development of a project with both the Vatican Library and the National Library of Brazil. We hope to begin something with these later this year, but they will be relatively modest. I should stress, most of what we are digitizing of these foreign countries is from the Library's own collections. We have just put up, for instance, photographs from the czar's official photographer. The 2000-item show that is an exhibit at the Library right now is going online. That exhibit is having a tremendous effect. They are the only color pictorials of Russia before World War I which the Library of Congress actually has in its collections. We are putting online our own collections as well as some from these other countries.
A lot of other people would like to do this. We want to proceed slowly. We plan to do one or two projects with foreign libraries a year at the most, relatively modest. We have about 133,000 items online in these foreign ones. We have much more, nearly 7 million of American items online. We hope to continue at a modest rate. The most important additive elements in the next few years are going to be on our new Web site, America's Library, which is very interactive, extremely popular. It is designed to reach people who are not reached in the digital divide and includes
lots of bells and
ported by the Advertising Council. So we are seeing a lot of ads for this. It is going to have much increased usage.
I think our main effort is going to be on the America's Library, because that is the most potent and powerful teaching device, and also is recognized as being good for intergenerational reading and story telling. We have, incidentally, Mr. Chairman, given you a fair idea what is online in this publication which I hope everybody has copies of.
I think the largest addition to our digitization material will not be the intense level it was to get that first 5 million up, but we will continue, we hope, to develop on that basis. And, of course, what we already have needs to be serviced. We are going to have small but very interesting foreign elements, and we are going to try to add a lot to this interactive one, because that is where the usage is-we had 100 million hits the first year, even though only a very small number of images were up. For instance, it teaches searching on a scavenger hunt. There is a lot of history about baseball. It raises questions and gets kids interested in story telling and learning. It has proven to be very popular in schools and libraries and homes, as the Advertising Council has recognized by mounting this campaign.
Mr. LEWIS. Mr. Chairman, I was just across the hall. We were discussing the fact that the Speaker has an interest, in the last session, in a problem in the region of Colombia, and we have some programs going forward there. We were talking about the prospect of maybe even going down and visiting some of those. I hear about a library in Brazil and we might consider actually going to see how well they are working.
COOPERATIVE DIGITIZATION EFFORTS
Mr. TAYLOR. Certainly. One of the most exciting parts of the Library's direction is the digitization that is being used in public schools and certainly the international digitization that you are doing is going to be especially worthwhile. Because first of all most countries would not allow their treasures, such as maps and photographs, to be taken out of the country. By digitizing collections from Russia, for instance, the work that you are doing, and the $2 million that was budgeted is certainly a very inexpensive educational tool for our students, to spark the imaginative sense provided by the treasures that we have acquired.
I know you have in the Library now a collection that you acquired some years ago that is currently an exhibit. This collection gives our students training in an international world and the ability, even in the early grades, to learn firsthand what they cannot through a textbook.
Secondly, I would hope that we could utilize treasures in our own country. I would urge cooperation, and perhaps we can talk in the future with other organizations such as the Archives and the Smithsonian, about treasures that are in their own collections. You have done such good work in the Library of Congress through the digitization and the pilot programs that are now going out to the schools, we don't want to create that over and over again in every area of government. And so I hope we can have cooperation with
which knowledge brings." In 1800, the Congress established a Congressional Library to help provide it with the information required to administer this questioning and expanding land. Thanks to the continuing vision and support of the Congress, its Library has expanded and become not only a resource for the Congress but also the de facto national library of the United States and one of the world's greatest intellectual and cultural resources.
At the start of the third millennium and the Library's third century, the Library must acquire, preserve, and ensure rights-protected access to "born digital" works that are playing an increasingly important role in the intellectual, commercial, and creative life of the United States. The amount of "born digital" works that have already been lost is unknown but substantial. The average life of a Web page is only about 75 days. Given the immeasurable size and short life span of much of the Web's content, the Library clearly faces a substantial challenge in both (1) defining the scope of its collecting responsibilities in this new world and (2) developing a whole new range of partnerships and cooperative relationships to continue fulfilling our central historic mission in the new digital universe. In conformity with the Congress's recent special appropriation, the Library's digital strategy will focus first on formulating an implementable national strategy for the life-cycle management of digital materials as part of the national collection. The Library must make sure that it has the digital infrastructure that can be scaled in the future to support and sustain the national digital information strategy that we will be cooperatively developing.
Librarians will be needed more than ever before as objective knowledge navigators amid the sea of unorganized and often undependable information that is