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Mr. HOYER. Did you calculate how much it would cost to give everybody in the country health insurance?
LAW LIBRARY AND THE ABA
Mr. TAYLOR. I haven't gotten into that. We've been hearing that there is a major arrearage problem in the Law Library. The American Bar Association and the legal community has been vocal in its support of the Law Library and if there is a mechanism for that community to help, we seek their assistance. We have a lot of organizations that give money to the Library of Congress, and a large portion of the areas that we work in are done so by the kind contributions of the public. We would like to urge the American Bar Association, and the legal community generally, to make contributions, as appropriate, in this area as is done in other areas of the Library.
Mr. Wamp, who is our Vice Chairman, is here with us today and I would like to yield to him.
SECURITY OF THE LIBRARY'S IT BACKUP Mr. WAMP. I would move away from criticism and cynicism and say good morning, gentlemen, to our Librarian and our Deputy Librarian. They, too, came and met with me and we went through the programs in detail. I certainly applaud the work they do and thank them for the confidence that our country has in the Library. Mr. Mulhollan and CRS do an outstanding job, too.
I have one brief follow-up. To get more specific, General Scott, about the backup. I understand that several weeks ago at NASAGoddard, there was a water main burst and it did significant damage to printed treasures and historical artifacts. It also damaged the digital—their technology was damaged.
I also understand that on Wall Street they use a new technology, called Mirror IG, to send all of their transactions to New Jersey and keep a second file for every transaction that happens on Wall Street, because they can't afford not to.
And I heard your explanation a minute ago about backup for our digitizing of artifacts but it all sounds like it's stored in-house. I just wondered if we are ahead of the technology curve with Mirror IG, or are we sending it to another location also? If we move things to digital and they are all under one roof and you have a catastrophic fire or some problem like that, treasures could be destroyed. Are we looking at all of the innovations in the technological world to make sure that we move things away from Capitol Hill so that we can retrieve them in the event of a catastrophe?
General SCOTT. Sir, the short answer is that we don't have the backup information stored away from Capitol Hill.
We have been working on what it would take to resource that kind of offsite storage facility. But the mirroring and all that I talked about is located right here on Capitol Hill.
Mr. WAMP. I understand that. Just in closing, I would encourage us, as we meet here annually and conduct our oversight, that we go further and you report back to us with your efforts in the latest technology. Money is hard to come by, but those treasures are curve. If you need to send a team to Wall Street and find out how they do it and report back to us, please do.
General SCOTT. We will get back with you on that. We have done some work—rather than to try to explain a very complex situation in a short period of time, I would like to submit for the record what we have done and what we think we would need to establish that offsite backup capability.
[The information follows:]
COMPUTER STORAGE SECURITY In May of this year, the Library's Information Technology Services Office formed an internal working group consisting of senior technical managers and staff to review the current state of our storage systems and to develop a plan for the secure storage of the Library's rapidly expanding databases and digital collections. The group has initiated a procurement for on-line storage and a new tape backup system which addresses our short-term needs. At this time they are developing a plan for the design and construction of a “next generation” storage facility.
The Library maintains digital data which can be separated into several categories. Some of this data is crucially important to the Congress, and it is managed in an appropriately sensitive manner. Specifically, all of the data for the Legislative Information System and Thomas is mirrored to a server and storage system in the Senate Computer Center. If at any time the primary system in the Library's Computer Operations Center is disabled and cannot quickly be restored, then the mirrored system can be brought on-line to provide service. We believe this to be a prudent design, but as the working group considers backup and recovery options, it will also review the current arrangement and recommend modifications as appropriate.
Somewhat less crucial, though still vitally important, is the Library's financial data. This data must be backed up continually so that each transaction is posted to a second set of digital books and could be accessed quickly in case of major problems with the primary database. The Library is currently posting each transaction to a separate database located in the House of Representatives. If needed, this database would be used to reload our primary database, ensuring a quick return to operations.
Another level down in the hierarchy of data are business applications such as the Library of Congress integrated Library system (LC ILS) and the American Memory content files. This data is stored on high quality on-line storage to ensure its availability twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. All data is backed up on a regular schedule. At lest one copy of each backup is maintained in the Library's Computer Operations Center and is available for rapid recovery. In addition, on a weekly basis all of these tape files are copied onto additional tapes which are then shipped to the Library's John Adams Building for remote, or off-site, storage.
The current systems, processes, and procedures are in need of revision, and the working group is actively evaluating these systems and investigating new products and procedures. As part of this effort, the Library's Information Technology Services Office has proposed the design and construction of a “next generation” storage facility which would combine products from various vendors to address the Library's unique storage requirements. Additionally, they are looking at commercial, off-site vaulting services which would provide storage facilities for tape backups of all data far from the primary storage site on Capitol Hill. By the end of the fiscal year,
the Library expects to have an appropriate vaulting service contract in place.
The Library's content data files are somewhat different from the majority of automated data collections. Most large database managers deal with an enormous amount of transaction data (which is generated or which supports exchange of goods, services, and the like) and contains relatively small amount of data about each individual transaction. Very few institutions and organizations have the massive content files routinely acquired by the Library of Congress. Thus, it is not surprising that the Library considers it important to mount a special effort to evaluate its storage systems. As we commence work with other external partners as part of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, we will be looking for potential opportunities to join forces with private sector entities, vendors, and other public institutions to further the development of a massive, content
FIRE SAFETY ISSUES
Dr. BILLINGTON. Some of it is in different buildings on Capitol Hill. So it is not all in one place, but that has been primarily the problem.
Mr. WAMP. Thank you.
Mr. HOYER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to try to ask some serious questions. General Scott, regarding fire safety, the Compliance Office, has cited the Architect and the Library for deficiencies, and the House Inspector General has found additional problems on his own. What is the status of the efforts to correct the deficiencies that the Library is responsible for?
General SCOTT. Yes, sir. The Compliance Office reported about 503 deficiencies that the Library was responsible for. These deficiencies were things like doors being blocked, combustibles being improperly stored and fire doors being propped open.
Mr. HOYER. This ties directly to the concern that Mr. Wamp and the Chairman discussed in terms of destruction.
General SCOTT. Yes, sir. Once we got that report, we immediately put a full-court press on addressing all identified hazards. I am pleased to report that we have corrected 92 percent of all of the deficiencies that the Library was responsible for.
We also plan to have another intensive week before the end of this calendar year in which we will focus upon and cleaning up the rest of those deficiencies making sure that we don't rebound. Seventy-five percent of the deficiencies that the Office of Compliance report cited are under the responsibility of the AOC—about 1,700 hazards. Most of them involve the structural sprinkler systems and testing the various maintenance controls and systems.
Mr. HOYER. What is your view of the Architect's progress on those deficiencies within his responsibility?
General Scott. We think that the Architect is devoting a sincere effort to try to improve and fix those systems. Of the total that they are responsible for, our latest count is that they are about 48 percent completed.
Mr. HOYER. Thank you. I am going to ask the Architect about that as well.
Moving to a different subject, because I have a lot of questions and want to go quickly, what is the status of telecommuting?
General SCOTT. Telecommuting is another employee benefit for which we are working very hard to establish a program. We do have a policy that we want, the Library wants, to offer to the employees who can benefit from it. We are working with our labor organizations right now to see if we can't come to some agreement as to how we would implement such a program. We are hopeful that we can have agreement before the end of this fiscal year so that we can start implementing functional portions of the program.
Mr. HOYER. As you know, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Moran, others and I have for many years been working on this, and we are excited about it. And as long as employees can do the work, it is, I think, you know in America how fast it is when you are talking to someone who could be in Mississippi, or California, or New York, and you don't care. As long as they have the ability to computer interface, they can give you the information you seek. I appreciate you working on that.
AMERICAN FOLKLIFE CENTER You have asked for a doubling of the budget for the American Folklife Center, which is where we placed the new Veterans Oral History Project. Can you discuss briefly the Folklife Center's need and your plan?
Dr. BILLINGTON. Well, the Folklife Center is of course the premiere collection of American folklife. It has been much enriched by the Local Legacies Project of the Congress, 1,300 projects that more than 400 Members of Congress added in their districts. It has been further challenged by the unanimously passed legislation to try to collect oral histories from war veterans. That is a huge, gigantic project, and we have a modest request for some initial funding for it. 1,500 veterans die every day, so we cannot wait to move ahead on this.
More generally, the Folklife Center has very dynamic new leadership. We have asked for five new archival positions that we need to process approximately 80,000 items that come in every year. We have very substantial arrearage there. We will not eliminate the backlog, but we will reduce and manage the arrearage, keeping it constant as new collections arrive. There really hasn't been any additional staffing to deal with it. It is the largest archive of American folklife in existence, dating way back to 1928 with the creation of the folk archive, and then of course with the 1976 legislation. The whole idea was that the Bicentennial would be celebrated by gathering in the local creative heritage of America from everywhere, and we just haven't had any additional staffing. We now have many new Board of Trustees members for the Center that are very dynamic. People like Mickey Hart have been very active in helping us acquire new material. We have a very large collection of folklife material, now we need the five new archival positions to get on top of the immense amount of work that they have.
They have a backlog of about 700,000 unprocessed items, including thousands of items documenting the community cultures that were gathered in during the Bicentennial by the Local Legacies Project.
I think this is like the Law Library. This is something that is long overdue, and we would like to especially stress how important it is, I think, for the country as a whole.
Mr. HOYER. Thank you, Doctor. If I might, Mr. Chairman, I have two brief questions. I have taken a lot of time. I appreciate the gentleman from California timing me.
HISTORY OF THE HOUSE PROJECT
What is the status of the History of the House Project? Mr. Lewis wanted the answer to that question, which is why I ask it.
Dr. BILLINGTON. Yes, sir. Well, we had a convening meeting of the advisory board in January. We had an excellent meeting with There was general agreement that we wanted to, if possible, recruit David McCullough for this. We had a 3-month series of discussions with him, and he finally decided that he couldn't give the full commitment of time. We are now in the advanced stages of negotiations with another leading historian, and we hope we will be able to conclude an agreement with him.
In the course of our discussions, there was a realization that this was a very substantial undertaking, but it was agreed that it should be a popular history-something that would be widely accessible and interesting to a broad audience. In order to have it also be fairly comprehensive, there is going to have to be a fair amount of support.
Ralph Eubanks, the head of our publishing office, is in the advanced stage of negotiation with the historian. You might say that David McCullough was the first choice, and this outstanding historian is a second choice who will be able to devote the time needed to complete the project. If we cannot close with him, we will probably reconvene the advisory committee and try to determine what the next step would be, but we are moving ahead as rapidly as we can, and I hope we will be able to have an author engaged soon.
There is the problem of raising funds for this project determining what kind of research support will be and so forth, but we are working on all of it and we hope to have a resolution fairly soon.
Mr. HOYER. We are all interested in that and look forward to your success, and appreciate that you are going to make it a popular document, readable by the general public. I think it will be a great benefit to them.
CONGRESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS Lastly, we recently authorized new editions of Black Americans in Congress and Women in Congress, to bring those up to date. Can you tell me the status of those two publications? When do you expect to get those out?
Dr. BILLINGTON. We are planning this publication. We have had preliminary discussions with the House Office of Legislative Resources about assistance that they might provide, and we expect to have a plan developed for discussion with appropriate committees of the House and Senate within the next few weeks. We are moving ahead on these and we should be able to get that done fairly rapidly.
Mr. HOYER. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. LEWIS. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Moran, it may come as some surprise to you, but in ancient history I had the privilege of serving for some years as the ranking member of this committee, and we were involved in a number of worthwhile projects around here, like the rebuilding of the West Front of the Capitol, the marvelous work that was done at the Jefferson Building, and we built the extension of the Library across the street during those years. Our building programs sometimes are tedious and do take some time. I am reminded that we also had the concept of refurbishing, remodeling and redoing the Botanical Gardens, and I think that may be completed some time after I finish my next am