LC Labs Letter: July 2020

July 2020


A Monthly Roundup of News and Thoughts from the Library of Congress Labs Team

Our Projects 

Introducing the 2020 Staff Innovators!

LC Labs is thrilled to welcome Kathleen O’Neill and Chad Conrady aboard our team for the next four months as the 2020 Staff Innovators. Their project Born Digital Access Now! will explore methods for providing access to born digital materials in the Manuscript Division and prototype select tools on a digital workstation. They’re working on this project as part of an internal rotational pilot program called the Staff Innovator detail, which gives staff a chance to channel their creativity into carrying out a project of their own design to address a particular challenge or opportunity at the Library of Congress.

This interview with Kathleen and Chad on the Signal blog kicks off a Signal summer series featuring behind-the-scenes interviews with current Library staff, those moving into new positions, and new arrivals such as Junior Fellows, interns, and permanent staff who recently joined the Library. Stay tuned for more stories about the background, experience, and interests of the people that support the Library of Congress in providing enduring access to digital collections and stewarding its digital transformation.

Machine Learning + Libraries: A Report on the State of the Field

Hot off the digital press! Our latest report, “Machine Learning + Libraries: A Report on the State of the Field” is now up on Authored by Ryan Cordell, an Associate Professor of English at Northeastern, the report examines a range of machine learning applications with relevance to library work and “aims to overview the field’s major questions, cautions, and opportunities, and to advance a set of practical recommendations for cultural heritage institutions seeking to undertake ML experiments.” Check out the whole report and related experiments on

It’s not too late! Share your thoughts about the Signal Blog

We wanted to hear from readers of the Signal Blog! We’ve gotten lots of good feedback so far and decided to extend the deadline to give more people a chance to respond. So whether you’re a long-time reader or you’ve just recently subscribed for updates, tell us what you think! To share your thoughts, please fill out our survey by August 1, 2020.



Interactive Maps, Oral Histories, LC for Robots, and More! 2020 Library of Congress Junior Fellows Explored the Library’s Collections, Data, and Access

Each summer, the Library of Congress welcomes a cohort of Junior Fellows to its Summer Intern Program.  The 10-week paid fellowship allows undergraduate and graduate students to embark on special projects with in Library collections and services, while learning about work in a large cultural heritage organization.  This year, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, […]

10 Weeks of Digital Content Management at a Distance: An Interview with Junior Fellow Randi Proescholdt

Every year the Library of Congress brings on a cohort of junior fellows to help expand access and use of collections. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic this program shifted to be entirely virtual in 2020. We are thrilled to have Randi Proescholdt, a graduate student from the University of Illinois’ School of Information Science, […]

LC LABS LETTER: A Special Edition from the Library of Congress Labs Team

Special Edition: Contracting opportunities!! This time-sensitive message about open procurements comes between our normal monthly updates. Please share widely share with any lists, people, or groups who might be interested! Note: Federal hiring and procurement rules prohibit us from answering questions about open opportunities – please use the contact info provided in the listing. Current Opportunities […]

Machine Learning + Libraries: A Report on the State of the Field

Digital collections in libraries are vast—and growing, as we continue to digitize cultural heritage materials and acquire new born digital collections.  At the same time, the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence has grown exponentially.  At LC Labs, we explore how technology can help fulfill the Library of Congress’s vision that “all Americans are […]

Finding By the People Transcriptions in the Library’s Digital Collections

Today’s guest post is from Dr. Victoria Van Hyning, who served as a By the People Community Manager at the Library from 2018-2020. Starting in Fall 2020, she will be an Assistant Professor of Library Innovation at the University of Maryland iSchool, where she will continue her research on crowdsourcing, outreach, and inclusion.   The […]