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LEGISLATIVE BRANCH APPROPRIATIONS FOR
FISCAL YEAR 2000
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17, 1999
Washington, DC. The subcommittee met at 10:04 a.m., in room SD-116, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Robert F. Bennett (chairman) presiding.
Present: Senators Bennett and Feinstein.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES H. BILLINGTON, LIBRARIAN OF CON
DONALD L. SCOTT, DEPUTY LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS
SERVICES FRANK KURT CYLKE, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL LIBRARY SERVICE
FOR THE BLIND AND PHYSICALLY HANDICAPPED BEN BENITEZ, ACTING DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF THE ASSOCIATE LI
BRARIAN FOR HUMAN RESOURCES SERVICES JOHN D. WEBSTER, DIRECTOR, FINANCIAL SERVICES KATHY A. WILLIAMS, BUDGET OFFICER
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT F. BENNETT
Senator BENNETT. Good morning. The subcommittee will come to order.
This is our third hearing on the Legislative Branch budget for the fiscal year 2000. We will have one more hearing next Wednesday.
As it comes to no surprise to anyone, because of my interest in the Y2K problem and area with respect to the Legislative Branch, we may have additional hearings in April on that issue. It would be very personally embarrassing to me if the rest of the govern
ment were ready and the one area where I have some leverage in the Legislative Branch were not ready.
So we are reserving the right to have another hearing in April if it is necessary on that issue.
Our first panel this morning is the Library of Congress and the Congressional Research Service, both of which are of great value and importance to the Congress.
We welcome Dr. James Billington, the Librarian of Congress, Mr. Dan Mulhollan, the Director of the Congressional Research Service, and General Scott, the Deputy Librarian of Congress. We are always happy to have you as well, sir.
BUDGET REQUEST The Library is requesting $383.7 million in appropriated funds; $33.1 million in authority to use receipts, which is a 5.5 percent increase over the fiscal year 1999 model. Of that amount, $71.2 million is for the Congressional Research Service.
So we will hear a specific defense of those numbers from this panel.
Senator Feinstein, do you have any opening comments?
Senator FEINSTEIN. I would ask to put those in the record, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to the hearing.
Senator BENNETT. Without objection, it will be in the record. [The statement follows:]
PREPARED STATEMENT OF SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN Mr. Chairman, I join you in welcoming our witnesses here today. This is the third of our hearings on the fiscal year 2000 budget, and we have a very heavy agenda this morning starting with the distinguished Librarian of Congress, Dr. Billington, who will testify along with his colleagues, Mr. Dan Mulhollan, the Director of the Congressional Research Service, and Ms. Marybeth Peters, the Register of Copyrights. The Library of Congress performs very valuable and important functions, not only for the Legislative Branch in that it is Congress' library—a vast storehouse of materials and information that we use in the Congress—but it is also the world's largest and most comprehensive library. And, yet, the budget of the Library of Congress is very well managed. I note from materials that you provided, Dr. Billington, that the Library has experienced a decline of 13 percent in full-time equivalent positions (FTE's) since 1992. We look forward to receiving your testimony.
Following the Library, I also look forward to welcoming Mr. David Walker, the Comptroller General of the United States, who is appearing before the subcommittee for the first time since his confirmation in November of last year. I note that Mr. Walker is assuming the comptrollership from a very distinguished predecessor, Mr. Bowsher, who successfully negotiated a 25 percent, congressionally-mandated funding reduction over a two-year period, 1995–1997. I note that since 1992, the FTE level at the General Accounting Office has decreased by 39 percent. So, also look forward to receiving the testimony of the Comptroller General.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, on this busy morning, I join you in receiving the testimony on this year's budget of the Government Printing Office from the Public Printer, Mike DiMario. GPO, as well, has been required to undertake cuts in its budget in recent years, and I welcome the testimony of Mr. DiMario in support of his budget request. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator BENNETT. Dr. Billington, we welcome you. We are glad you are recovered from yesterday's indisposition. We are delighted to have you here.
OPENING REMARKS BY DR. JAMES H. BILLINGTON Dr. BILLINGTON. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me first present my colleagues. This is the Deputy Librarian, General Donald Scott. With me also are Winston Tabb, the Associate Librarian for Library Services; Rubens Medina, Law Librarian, Linda Washington, Director of Integrated Support Services, Kenneth Lopez, Director of Security, Herbert Becker, Director of Information Technology Services, Marybeth Peters, the Register of_Copyrights, Daniel P. Mulhollan, Director of the Congressional Research Service, Frank Kurt Cylke, Director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Ben Benitez, Acting Director of Human Resources Services, John Webster, Director of Financial Services, and Kathy Williams, Budget Officer.
Senator BENNETT. You probably should not have done that because my businessman's brain is immediately adding up the tab. (Laughter.)
We welcome you all.
I appreciate having the opportunity to appear before this subcommittee and thank you for your continued support now and over
Let me briefly highlight a few points from my full statement, already submitted.
LIBRARY'S MISSION The Library of Congress is a totally unique institution with its national mission to serve the Congress and to facilitate the creative use of the world's knowledge for the good of our Nation.
Fiscal year 2000 is a milestone year for the Library, which will be 200 years old on April 24, 2000. It is the oldest Federal cultural institution and the largest and most diverse collection of knowledge ever assembled in one place.
By creating it, sustaining it, and using it, and by mandating it to serve other libraries and the Nation, as well as the Congress, the Congress of the United States has been, quite simply, the greatest patron of libraries in world history.
The world of libraries is rapidly changing in the electronic age, and the Library of Congress is both leading and embracing this change in order to sustain its central role in America's unique system of providing free public access to knowledge.
The Library is now not only offering access here on Capitol Hill to objects containing knowledge, but also has become a leading provider of free electronic information for citizens in every State functioning 24 hours per day, receiving 3.5 million electronic transctions every working day.
We are in the midst of a dramatic transition from just receiving, processing, and serving primarily artifactual materials—this is to say, paper books and serials, films and tapes—to also receiving and serving the rapidly increasing number of materials that are available only in digital form.
This chart (indicating) illustrates this dual function, with physical objects only on this side (indicating) and digital objects that are available everywhere throughout the Nation.
LIBRARY'S CHALLENGES We have embraced the leadership challenge of blending the rapidly emerging electronic network with the still expanding traditional book culture. The world's production of books increased more than 6 percent last year, even as this electronic explosion was occurring.
But we are also receiving and serving this material in digital form in order to better serve the Congress and the Nation.
We have two key current overriding initiatives for meeting our strategic objectives, as illustrated here (indicating): providing massive digital access to information and, at the same time, streamlining and reengineering our handling of access to books and other traditional containers of knowledge.
The three initiatives for which we are requesting added funding in this budget year are those that clearly help us meet both of these key objectives, that is to say, both the digital objective and the reengineering of traditional functions—the global legal network, the Electronic Copyright Office, and the electronic resources for storing so that we can retrieve digital collections. These contribute to both of these overriding objectives.
While we have been the national leader in digitizing major archival collections for free educational use throughout the country, now we must develop an electronic repository of hardware and software for efficient storage and retrieval of digital materials originating elsewhere so that we can answer the questions that will come from the Congress and from the Nation about materials only available in those forms.
Our ultimate goals are, again, as illustrated in this chart (indicating), are to provide usable knowledge in all formats that support the Congress and democratic government as well as memory and information resources for all Americans, especially for young people for educational purposes in their local communities, and, finally, to provide seamless one-step knowledge navigation in a secure electronic environment.
So that is our future, as we see it, and our Digital Futures Task Force is now at work to draw up a blueprint for the electronic part of the Library's future.
The Bicentennial Year-next year of the Library will be a decisive time for developing integrated, automated systems and for initiating staff succession programs in order to sustain and enhance the Library's critical role as a trusted knowledge navigator for Congress and the Nation.
The proposed fiscal year 2000 budget supports the Library's mission and strategic plan which chart our course into an increasingly electronic future.
Libraries being a link in this human chain that connects what happened yesterday and what is recorded almost exclusively in book and traditional form with what might take place tomorrow, they must not only include but also bring together traditional and digitized materials.
BUDGET REQUEST The Library's budget request totals $383.7 million in net appropriations and $33.1 million in authority to use receipts, representing a net increase of 5.5 percent, or $20 million, over fiscal
Most of this increase-83 percent, in fact, or $16.6 million-is needed simply to fund mandatory pay raises driven largely by the January 2000 pay raise of 4.4 percent and unavoidable price level increases. The other $3.4 million of the $20 million total increase is needed to meet critical growing workload increases net of program decreases, which are also considerable this year.
The Library has 591 fewer actual FTEs than in 1992. We are doing a great deal more work. Moreover, we must hire and begin mentoring skilled professionals to replace our very large number of expected retirees. About 45 percent of our staff will be eligible to retire by the year 2004.
The Library will be severely strained in the years ahead by the need for large-scale personnel training and replacement in what are often one-of-a-kind jobs. The Library will be further stretched by its necessary commitment both to sustain traditional services and to effect our transition into the electronic world.
So we ask the committee's support so that the Library may head into the 21st Century with both expanded digital holdings and with the systems in place to maximize service for the Congress and to all Americans in their local communities.
Mr. Chairman, each of you has a packet of materials providing further information about the Library. My colleagues and I will welcome any questions that you may ask.
[The statements follow:
PREPARED STATEMENT OF JAMES H. BILLINGTON Fiscal year 2000 is a milestone year for the Library of Congress—a Year of Great Celebration and Transition. On April 24, 2000, the Library will be 200 years old, the oldest Federal cultural institution in the country. By creating and sustaining the world's largest and most diverse collection of knowledge and mandating it to serve other libraries and the nation, the Congress of the United States has been quite simply the greatest patron of libraries in history.
The Congress has continued to support the Library's traditional services as well as its new leadership role in delivering free electronic information to the nation. The Library's Internet site now receives more than three million electronic transactions every working day. This phenomenal usage nearly doubles that of the previous year.
The Library's mission is to make its resources available and useful to the Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity. To fulfill this mission, the Library has amassed an unparalleled collection of more than 115 million items, a superbly knowledgeable staff, and cost-effective networks for gathering the world's knowledge for the nation's good.
People and institutions in the information world are facing historic challenges. The world of librarians and libraries is rapidly changing, and the Library of Congress is both leading and embracing change to sustain its role as a trusted knowledge navigator and pathfinder for America's unique system of providing free public access to usable information. We are making the transition from a model of receiving, processing, and serving primarily artifactual materials (e.g., paper books and serials, films and tapes) to a model of also receiving, processing, and serving the rapidly increasing number of materials available only in digital form (see attachment #1). We are also making the transition from a model of primarily serving peo