New Online: A Redesigned Portal for Librarians and Archivists

This is a guest post by Elizabeth Fulford, a librarian in the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access (ABA) Directorate, and Susan Morris, special assistant to the ABA director.

The Library of Congress provides many resources to support information professionals worldwide. To streamline access to that content, we’ve redesigned our portal for librarians and archivists.

The new portal highlights the standard library functions of acquisitions, bibliographic access, preservation and public service, providing an overview of these activities at the Library and links to a wealth of content and documentation in each area. A new banner on the opening page features each of the four library functions and offers access to our most popular online catalogs and quick links to content for library professionals: the Library of Congress Classification Outline, BIBFRAME and MARC21.

Archives and manuscript collections encompass a wide variety of material types and subjects throughout the Library. With an emphasis on archival description—the dual process of cataloging for the LC Online Catalog and producing finding aids—this landing page focuses on the Encoded Archival Description (EAD) standard, easy access to a large body of finding aids for manuscript collections and a link to the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections.

A special section dedicated to resources for subject catalogers provides descriptions and pointers to controlled vocabularies and thesauruses used to categorize diverse library materials and collections in all formats. Free PDFs of Library of Congress subject headings documentation and access to literally hundreds of downloadable vocabularies and ontologies through are provided.

Also of interest to information professionals are the pages highlighting the many products and services the Library offers to librarians, including cataloging-related tools and resources, online reference support, duplication services, disaster-recovery resources and interlibrary loan.

Special outreach programs and festivals appear on the reading and literacy page. From the Center for the Book to the National Book Festival, these programs provide resources and support for teachers, authors, poets and reading enthusiasts worldwide.

The Library also acts as the “maintenance agency” for a large number of resource description, digital library, and metadata standards used by libraries, museums and many other organizations that organize and describe large bodies of materials. The revised standards landing page acts as a portal to over 20 standards and protocols the Library maintains.

A formerly separate site, the Library of Congress at the American Library Association (ALA), is now a part of the new portal. The Library offers presentations, demonstrations and consultations at its pavilion on the exhibit floor of every ALA conference—the annual ALA midwinter meeting and the ALA annual conference each summer. In addition, many Library managers and program staff make presentations at events during the ALA conferences. The ALA section of the portal provides information about the Library’s participation and schedules for presentations at the Library’s exhibit pavilion and conference meetings, as well as the semiannual “update” document that outlines the Library’s accomplishments and initiatives of interest to the library community.

We hope the redesigned portal helps you find the information you need as quickly as possible. Please let us know what you think in the comments section of this post!

Pic of the Week: Library and Military Service Academies Collaborate on Collections Access

The Library of Congress and the U.S. military service academies signed a cooperative agreement this week to provide researchers with enhanced access to the institutions’ collections and grow representation of service members in the Library’s collections—including the Veterans History Project. The three-year agreement, which took effect on September 18, provides greater access for Library researchers […]

Uncovering the Story of Cats in the Biodiversity Heritage Library

This post is by Madison Arnold-Scerbo, a 2017 summer intern with the Junior Fellows Program. She is a student of history and museum studies at Haverford College. Her Junior Fellows project in the Science, Technology and Business Division combined many of her interests—the history of science, exhibition curation, library science and cats! Rodent catchers, lab […]

Inquiring Minds: The Unheralded Story of the Card Catalog

The library card catalog was one of the most versatile and durable technologies in history—a veritable road map for navigating a “wilderness of books”—says Peter Devereaux of the Library’s Publishing Office. His new book on the subject, “The Card Catalog: Books, Cards and Literary Treasures,” explores the history of this once-revolutionary system and celebrates literary […]

New Book: Card Catalog’s History

A new book exploring the history of the card catalog—that venerated chest of small drawers that contained the known universe—has been published by the Library of Congress in association with Chronicle Books. The lavishly illustrated volume tells the story of libraries’ organizing approaches from the layout of papyrus scrolls at the Library of Alexandria, to […]

Literacy: Libraries Without Borders

(The following is a guest post by Guy Lamolinara, communications officer in the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.) You have probably heard about the aid organization Doctors Without Borders. But do you know about Libraries Without Borders? Libraries Without Borders provides a different type of aid: Since 2007, the organization has […]

Literacy Awards: Thomas Jefferson Would Have Approved

(The following is a guest post by Guy Lamolinara, communications officer in the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.) Thomas Jefferson, the Library of Congress’s spiritual founder, wrote about the pursuit of happiness. “I like to think that literacy is fundamental to that pursuit. So many doors are closed to those who […]

Pic of the Week: Saturdays at the Young Readers Center

The Young Readers Center in the Library of Congress hosted a series of events Jan. 28 to celebrate its new Saturday hours of operation, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The center, which opened in October 2009, will offer more young people and their families the opportunity to experience the wonders and resources of the nation’s library. “It […]

Stephen King Joins Library in Announcing Applications for the 2017 Literacy Awards

Award-winning author and literacy advocate Stephen King helped the Library of Congress today launch its call for nominations for the 2017 Library of Congress Literacy Awards. The annual awards support organizations working to promote literacy, both in the United States and worldwide, and are made possible through the generosity of David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and […]