Finding a Librarian of Congress for the Digital Age

ThomasJeffersonBuildingLOCAfter nearly 28 years of service, Librarian of Congress James Hadley Billington announced his retirement on June 10, 2015, which becomes effective on Jan. 1, 2016. President Barack Obama is tasked with finding a replacement, who will then need to be confirmed by the Senate. The Library of Congress (LC) currently consists of three separate entities: the library itself (which includes the Office of the Librarian, the Library Services department, the Office of Strategic Initiatives, the Law Library of Congress, and the Office of Support Operations), the Congressional Research Service (CRS), and the U.S. Copyright Office.There is no doubt that Billington is a scholar of the highest order. As Maria Pallante, the register of copyrights and director of the Copyright Office, shares, “Jim Billington is a talented intellectual. I have always found him to be genuinely motivated by both people and ideas, interested in discussing not only his own scholarly interests but also the intellectual and professional expertise of others.” During the early years of his tenure, Billington certainly had several successes, as a timeline of his career milestones illustrates, but the advent of the World Wide Web (and the technological advances it provided to society) were just not in his wheelhouse. Simply put, he doesn’t use email—he prefers to take messages via fax.

Full Story: Finding a Librarian of Congress for the Digital Age