On September 21, 2022, the Library of Congress, in collaboration with our data partners, held a Congress.gov Virtual Public Forum to provide updates on the enhancements made to Congress.gov over the past year as well as providing an opportunity to learn more about how we can better serve your legislative information needs.
Judith Conklin, the Library of Congress chief information officer, and Jim Karamanis, the director of IT Design and Development for the Library of Congress Office of the Chief Information Officer, welcomed everyone to the forum. I then provided some highlights of recent Congress.gov enhancements. Margaret Wood, a senior legal reference librarian, provided an overview of the new Congress.gov API.
Kimberly Ferguson, a Congress.gov subject matter expert, moderated a panel discussion with Congress.gov data partners from the Senate, House of Representatives, the Government Publishing Office (GPO), and the Law Library of Congress which provided an overview of the Congress.gov ecosystem and discussed enhancements implemented by the respective offices that improved access to congressional data. This panel included Kirsten Gullickson, director in the Legislative Computer Systems in the United States House of Representatives; Arin Shapiro, the director of web technology for the Office of the Secretary of the Senate; Jon Quandt, who is a deputy program manager for GovInfo in the GPO; and Jennifer Gonzalez, a senior legal information specialist at the Law Library of Congress. The panel then took questions from the audience.
Jeanne Dennis, senior counsel, Legal Programs and Initiatives, of the American Law Division of the Congressional Research Service discussed enhancements that have been made to the Constitution Annotated site, which is linked to from the Congress.gov homepage. The site provides summaries of U.S. constitutional provisions and the leading U.S. Supreme Court decisions that interpret them, and more.
Ann Futrell, senior adviser in the Budget Analysis Division, and Deborah Kilroe, Director of Communications from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) discussed recent enhancements that improve transparency and accessibility for CBO cost estimates.
Kimberly Ferguson then introduced a panel discussion on data standards for congressional documents. This panel included Kirsten Gullickson, Matt Landgraf, lead program planner from the GPO, and John Pollock, director in the LIS Project Office for the Office of the Secretary of the Senate. Mike Newman, a technical coordinator from the Office of the Chief Information Officer in the Library of Congress, provided a look back at the Library of Congress’ first legislative information website, THOMAS, and discussed how improved data standards and the enhancements provided by Congress.gov have improved access to legislative information since THOMAS debuted back in 1995.
After the presentations concluded, the panelists held a listening session to learn about how we can better serve your legislative information needs.
If you did not get a chance to attend the Public Forum, you can submit your feedback here.
You can watch a recording of the Public Forum here:
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