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Thank You for Attending the 2021 Congress.gov Virtual Public Forum!

On September 2, 2021, 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 and provide a forum to learn more about how we can better serve your legislative information needs.

The Library’s Digital Strategy Director Kate Zwaard served as moderator. Chief Information Officer Bud Barton kicked things off by providing a welcome and highlighted the importance of access to legislative information for the process of self governance. Congress.gov Product Owner Andrew Weber provided an overview of the Congress.gov enhancements from the past year, followed by a question and answer period.

After Andrew’s presentation, I provided information on the addition of historical content to the site in the form of the Bound Congressional Record and the United States Statutes at Large. The Library’s Chief of Design Natalie Buda Smith and Fred Simonton, the senior user experience designer, then discussed recent accessibility improvements that have been made to Congress.gov. Web Archiving Lead Abbie Grotke discussed the process of nominating and archiving legislative branch websites and providing access to those archived sites from Congress.gov. After this, Margaret Wood, a senior legal reference librarian in the Law Library, highlighted plans to migrate the Library’s Century of Lawmaking site, which had commenced in July with the migration of over 30,000 historical bills and resolutions, dating from 1799-1873, to Congress.gov.

Jay Sweany, the chief of the Law Library’s Digital Resources Division, and Suzanne Ebanues, a supervisory management analyst at the Government Publishing Office (GPO), discussed the Law Library’s collaboration with the Government Publishing Office to digitize, catalog, and provide metadata for 16,000 volumes of the United States Serial Set and make them accessible through the Library of Congress website, Congress.gov, and GovInfo.

Jay also revealed the first release of this project will be available through the Library of Congress website on September 28th, and we will highlight this release on In Custodia Legis. Lisa LaPlant, a GPO program manager, covered how GPO will provide access to the Serial Set through their GovInfo site. Lisa also discussed their work with XPub, an XML based composition system, and USLM, the U.S. Legislative Markup XML schema.

Finally, Congress.gov Subject Matter Expert Kimberly Ferguson highlighted the Congress.gov Legislative Process Videos and Glossary as a tool for learning about the legislative process and provided a guided tour of the Congress.gov’s new searchable Help Center.

After the presentations, we held an hour-long listening session to hear your feedback about how we can continue to improve Congress.gov. Library of Congress Director of IT Design and Development Jim Karamanis closed out the Forum by emphasizing how vital your feedback is to the development of Congress.gov and thanked Chief Information Officer Bud Barton, who was retiring the week after the Forum was held, for his dedication and years of service to the Library. 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:

Congress.gov September 2021 New, Tip and Top, Part 1

We celebrated the beginning of meteorological fall with our Congress.gov Public Forum on September 2, 2021. The forum opened with a recap by Andrew of the enhancements to Congress.gov since last fall. We will be posting a recording of this forum in the near future. In the meantime, our release today includes historical content in […]

Congress.gov August 2021 New, Tip, and Top

At the end of July, Andrew shared the enhancements from the last Congress.gov release, which included adding Key Word In Context (KWIC) search results for the Bound Congressional Record and new customization options for bill alerts. With this month’s release, a link to the treaty errata tab from the overview section on treaty detail pages […]

New Browse, Updated Bill Alerts, and More: Congress.gov New, Tip, and Top for July 2021

Earlier this month, Margaret shared the exciting news that we added bills and resolutions from 1799-1873 to Congress.gov. There was also a press release to highlight this new feature of content from Century of Lawmaking. We previously added Key Word in Context (KWIC) to Legislative Text on the Quick Search Form. With today’s release we […]

Congress.gov July 2021 Release: the Addition of 30,000 Bills and Resolutions from 1799-1873

I enjoy commemorating anniversary dates for all sorts of events both on the wider historic stage and with respect to the Library. Yesterday, July 5, 2021, was the fifth anniversary of the retirement of our former legislative website THOMAS. This might sound like a sad anniversary, but THOMAS was replaced by Congress.gov into which we […]

Congress.gov June 2021 New, Tip, and Top

In May, Andrew highlighted the addition of the Statutes at Large from the 82nd – 92nd Congresses (1951-1972) to Congress.gov. He also mentioned that these laws did not yet have titles listed in Congress.gov, and that the titles would be added in a future release. With this release, the Congress.gov team has added the titles […]

Congress.gov May 2021 New, Tip and Top

Last month, Robert publicized the addition of historic materials to Congress.gov, including the bound Congressional Record going back to 1951 and the Statutes at Large back to 1973. This month, we are very happy to be introducing a citation tool for Congress.gov users. Over the years, many of our patrons have asked for citation information […]

Explore Congressional Reactions to Historic Events on Congress.gov

The Congress.gov team has received feedback requesting that we add content from prior congresses to the Congressional Record and public law text collections. We are pleased to announce that we have made substantial progress on this request. The Bound Congressional Record collection now goes back to the 82nd Congress (1951-1953) and the full text of […]