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increasingly inundating the Internet. Libraries will be needed to assure free public
access for those who would otherwise be on the losing side of the digital divide -- and
also for those who might otherwise never learn to work both with new information and
with old books. Libraries, like America itself, add the new without subtracting the old.
Properly used, the Internet will help (a) scientifically to solve common problems shared
by widely dispersed groups in fields like health and the environment, and (b)
humanistically to share on-line the materials that express the distinctive cultural identities
of different peoples.
On behalf of the Library and its staff, I thank the Congress and the American
people for the outpouring of support for the Library of Congress during its bicentennial
celebration. The Library celebrated its 200th anniversary last year with a wide array of
programs and activities. A resolution by the Congress commended “the Library of
Congress and its employees, both past and present, on 200 years of service to the
Congress and the Nation." A Presidential proclamation on April 21, 2000, stated that
“The Library of Congress is truly America's Library." Commemorative coins and a stamp
were issued. There were privately funded bicentennial exhibitions, symposia, events,
and publications. Almost 1,300 Local Legacies projects – from all 50 states -- were
registered by more than 400 Members of Congress documenting traditional community
life. Many special donations were made to the collections, and the Library was given the
largest single monetary gift in its history by Mr. John W. Kluge.
The Library of Congress is entering a critical period when it must, in effect,
superimpose a select library of digital materials onto its traditional artifactual library if it is
to continue to be a responsive and dynamic force for the Congress and the nation. We
are not seeking appropriations for any new function, but merely trying to sustain our historic core function of acquiring, preserving, and making accessible knowledge and
information, which are now being generated and communicated in a radically new
There is a special need this year for the Law Library and the American Folklife
Center. They will play important national roles but have been seriously depleted, having
received no significant funding increases from the Congress for many years.
With congressional support of our fiscal 2002 budget, the Library of Congress
will continue its dedicated service to the work of the Congress and to the creative life of
the American people.
NATIONAL DIGITAL LIBRARY
Mr. TAYLOR. Thank you, Dr. Billington. The largest increase in the budget is for the National Digital Library, $21.5 million and 58 FTEs. This request is in addition to the $100 million previously appropriated in FY 2001 which required this program be carried out in accordance with a plan., or plans approved by the Committee on House Administration of the House, the Committee on Rules of the Senate, and the Committees on Appropriations of the House and Senate.
I can tell you, as you continue to build the Digital Library, it is serving the country well with additional opportunities to do a great deal more, we are appreciative of that initiation. Would you like to bring us up to date on the plan?
Dr. BILLINGTON. Yes, Mr. Chairman. Basically the Library of Congress is superimposing a digital library on the traditional artifactual library; that is, the traditional books, the movies, the films, the photographs, the maps, the periodicals, all are in tangible artifactual form. The digital revolution is really presenting every aspect of the Library with a whole new view.
Now, this is not a new function for the Library. The classic function of acquiring, preserving, and making accessible the collections that bring knowledge and information to the Congress and to the Nation is now to be done in a new format, and it affects all aspects of the Library. As the world's largest library and most comprehensive one, we simply have to be able to provide for the Congress what is happening in the digital universe.
Thanks to support of the Congress—and we are very grateful for that—the success of the National Digital Library Program, and the other services that we have provided, we have moved, I think, dramatically into the digital area. There are three aspects to the digital activities of the Library of Congress. The first is itself, the National Digital Library. That is, the historical collections that we have put on the Internet; material already in the Library that we have converted into digital form. That effort has been funded already. We met the target of having 5 million items online of our national heritage, the great historic documents of america.
We have a program with two national libraries—Russia and the Spanish National Library. The National Digital Library is becoming an international one. It is basically the conversion of existing materials, mostly from the Library of Congress, and a few others. We have incorporated 34 other repositories in America and added to that. That is nearly 7 million items now of American history and culture and of the broader world impinging on America. That is the first part. That has been funded and it is continuing.
The second aspect to the Library's digital program that is crucial, and which is what we are asking for in this budget, is the technical backbone infrastructure that will support what is called the “lifecycle management of digital material,” which is coming in all ways. We acquire things in four different ways. We get gifts, we make direct purchases, copyright deposits, which is most of our American materials, and let's see what—oh, yes, exchanges.
In all of these categories of acquiring things, more and more of 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 spe