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Library in the News: October 2016 Edition

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The month of October continued to see the arrival of Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in the news.

Featured on the cover of Library Journal, Hayden sat down with the magazine to outline her vision for the Library.

Her underlying agenda, noted reporter Meredith Schwartz, is to “make LC the library of the American people, as well as of Congress, and to use a combination of in person events and expanded digital access to accomplish it.”

CNN joined the new Librarian during her first few days in office, where she toured the Library’s map collection, checked out digital preservation equipment and lead story time at the Young Readers Center.

“As a history major, to be part of making history was humbling, exciting and it also made me think, if I can make history, anybody can make history,” Hayden said.

Hayden also spoke with the Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU about the varied audiences she serves as new Librarian, technology’s role in the institution and her love of books.

Speaking of the Librarian, Hayden was on hand Oct. 10 during the Library’s semi-annual Main Reading Room open house. Not only was her participation a special treat for visitors, she also officially opened the Librarian’s Ceremonial Office in the Thomas Jefferson for regular public viewing – the first time in history. Tayla Burney from the Kojo Nnamdi Show stopped by to check out one of the most notable items in the Library’s collections – the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets on the night he died – that was discovered in the ceremonial office in 1975.

The New York Times featured the ceremonial office as one of the “Seats of Power” in an Oct. 27 feature.

“I think I could write a book or two if I used an office like this,” Hayden said. “There would be more scholarly output in an office like this. It also makes you think about human creativity and artistic ability. We don’t always have that kind of beautiful, beautiful, beautiful work anymore.”

Also covering the open house was The Washington Post and Federal News Radio.

In addition, the Library’s Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Preservation hosted its first-ever open house on the same day. Local newspaper the Culpeper Star-Exponent covered the event.

“A wooden hand-held camera used to film World War I, the original camera negative for Walt Disney’s ‘Snow White,’ the only known print of the 1910 Thomas Edison Studio production of ‘Frankenstein,’ and show business materials donated by legendary comedian Jerry Lewis were among items on display,” wrote reporter Allison Brody Champion.

The Packard Campus is regularly in the news, largely for its film preservation work and the fact that the building was once a nuclear bunker during the Cold War.

“Now, it’s a one-stop shop for all things regarding film preservation and restoration, with miles of shelves stacked with film reels to the ceilings, all sorts of machines that can repair film, process film, and print film, and any sort of video player you can imagine to play any sort of format that ever existed,” wrote Casey Chan for Gizmodo.

And, for an interesting spin on the Library’s collections, how about taking a course from Carl Sagan? The Library has recently digitized materials for two of his courses, including a 1965 Planetary Science Course and a 1986 course in Critical Thinking in Science and Non-Science Context. Nerdist took a look, calling the problem sets of the “celestial godfather” “no joke.”

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