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Dr. BOORSTIN. We appreciate the opportunity to show you this slide show which was made in-house but there is a film of it now which has been made available at low cost to other groups. It is possible, Mr. Chairman, if you and the committee thought it appropriate, that this might be shown over the House TV network.
Mr. Fazio. I think it would be a great idea to show it several times, with appropriate notice. We might better understand what you are doing
STATEMENT OF THE LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS Dr. BOORSTIN. I will read my statement in slightly abridged form and submit the rest for the record.
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, in preparing for these hearings on the Library of Congress 1982 budget requests, I have been struck by the need to place our national library in perspective. The film you have just seen contributes to that end and is a good overview. As you know, all great civilizations have established great libraries-mostly collected by and for the aristocratic classes. But our United States, through the peoples' representatives, has created a national library for the Congress and for all the people. The Library of Congress is much more than a national collection of books, manuscripts, motion pictures, prints and photographs, maps, music, and other items. It is the center of research on public policy for the Congress. It is the nation's-even the world's-greatest single resource of the knowledge and information which makes progress possible and which advances a more effective, more economical relation among our private and our public institutions.
Through an unparalleled staff of research scholars, linguists, subject and cataloging experts, the Library of Congress has become the center for information from the world's greatest collection to every library in this country. We have accomplished this through an elaborate network of private and public bibliographic utilities. The Library of Congress is the agent for carrying out through copyright the constitutional mandate "to promote science and the useful arts” by encouraging and protecting the artistic and literary works of our creative citizens. We have developed a copyright system both nationally and internationally that will provide the greatest encouragement and the greatest protection for the property rights of American authors, composers, performers, and artists.
The Library of Congress is the center for distributing reading materials to our blind and physically handicapped citizens through a model cooperative program with State and local governments. The Library of Congress is the center for distributing scholarly information in science and the humanities, and on the laws of all other nations drawing from all languages. The Library of Congress is, in a word, the citadel of knowledge for free people everywhere, and an exemplar of the faith in freedom and in the free interchange of knowledge which has made American civilization and which is more necessary today than ever before.
In sum, the Library of Congress in its 180-year history, has become a scholarly resource unique in the history of the world. Its collections have been enriched through purchase, copyright deposits, exchange, and generous gifts from public-spirited private citizens. Knowledge, unlike other resources, is non-depletable and increases only by diffusion. Knowledge is the commodity of the Library of Congress. Unless knowledge grows and literature flourishes the Republic will stagnate. A growing Republic needs a growing and flourishing library. This Library must continue to keep pace with the progress of technology and with American enterprise.
Recognizing the responsibility of Congress to curb excessive increases in the Federal budget, we at the Library of Congress have looked hard and long at requests for increases in 1982. The request before you today for a total of $197,611,000, together with the requested level of $11,500,000 from dedicated receipts, is, we believe, justifiable.
This represents an increase of $10,978,000 or 5.5 percent over the amount actually expected to be available to the Library in 1981 after application of the two percent set-aside mandated by the House-passed Legislative Appropriation Bill of 1981. Most of this increase, $6,351,158, is for inflationary costs and other mandatory changes in the budget level. The balance of $4,626,842 represents those limited growing workload increases which are essential for efficient service. They are requested only because they represent mandatory changes, are essential to providing adequate public service, or offer opportunities to preserve the collections in order to avoid higher costs in the future.
We are operating today within tight financial and staffing margins. Budget cuts over the last three fiscal years have resulted in significant, continuing base reductions. The cumulative annual effect has been a cut in staff of 139 positions and a reduction in funding of $16 million. Increases allowed during this period have only partially compensated for inflation and other mandatory costs.
The effect of these cuts and the absence of increases to cover new workloads have not been entirely negative. We have found some less expensive ways to perform some services and we have discovered opportunities to achieve substantial savings with the application of new automated techniques. We have made a concerted effort to improve productivity and there is a document supporting that which we have submitted.
We have tried to increase service throughout the Library without increased resources. Automation has enabled the existing staff for the "Handbook of Latin American Studies" to accomplish a workload increase of 50 percent. The Congressional Research Service has handled a nine percent increase in Congressional requests with existing staff through a series of innovative techniques, one of which was to provide prepared packets of materials in anticipation of requests.
As a result of this subcommittee's direction to evaluate cost savings using contract cleaning in the Madison Building, we have made such a contract at substantial savings with, at the present time, no adverse effects on Library operations. Also we are proud of the efforts of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped to reduce the cost of machines and talking books and to manage more effectively the inventories of the books and the machines to use them.
Reductions in the purchase of books for the collections have been managed by improving development of more narrow selection criteria. But these have reduced our resources for the nation's present and future needs. We have adopted a more aggressive program of requiring deposit of copyright materials thus avoiding having to purchase this material.
But we have reached the limit as to how much we can cut back on talking books for the blind and physically handicapped. Any further reduction in the book purchase program would still further impair the quality of the service and the collections in general. I do not believe that we can absorb any growing workloads within existing resources.
The Library should and will be run at the highest level of efficiency, but without additional resources, despite our best efforts, our services to the nation will deteriorate along with a decrease in our knowledge resources and in our services to Congress.
As a practical matter, I believe that the Library has exhausted its flexibility to deal with large unfunded needs or further base reductions.
Because of the reduced appropriation, a supplemental is urgently needed for the increased pay costs effective October 1, 1980. Any new pay raise which may go into effect on October 1, 1981, will request full appropriation in fiscal 1982.
I would like to turn to research services now, Mr. Chairman.
The first priority of the 1982 request must be additional staff to serve the Congress and the public. The value of the Library's collections and the return on its substantial investment can be realized only if material can be found and delivered to readers. The Congress has provided a great new facility in the Madison Building but we can realize a return on that investment, and it was a large investment, only if we can provide the staff to make effective use of it. Funds for the full year equivalent of 25 additional deck attendants are needed to provide timely services throughout the reading rooms. Thirty-two indefinite positions are needed for three years to produce an inventory of the collections, locating lost and misshelved volumes, and avoiding the risk of duplicative purchases and redundant services. This will save us money in the long run. These two efforts will combine to make more efficient use of the resources of the Library and, with the move to the Madison Building, this is the opportune time to do this.
The Madison Building has features which allow greater access to the Library's special collections. It gives us an opportunity to provide greatly enhanced service. We are pleased to report that the return of the Geography and Map Division to Capitol Hill, into splendid new quarters—this is only within recent months-has resulted in an increase of readership of 65 percent. This is quite impressive and it begins to justify the expenditure on the Madison Building. We are requesting eight permanent positions to serve users of the Performing Arts Reading Room and to open the wealth of audiovisual materials, including the music and motion picture collections, to Congress, other government agencies, researchers, and the public.
Four new positions are requested to provide minimum service to the Law Library collections in the Madison Building, Mr. Chairman.
PRESERVATION OF MOTION PICTURES
A second priority repeats last year's request for urgent preservation measures, failing which, unique motion picture resources will be lost to the Congress and the nation for all time. Additional staff, supplies, and equipment are needed to increase the hours of operation at the film conversion laboratory at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. These collections have become less and less physicaly stable and more apt to self-destruct with every passing year. Therefore the speedy conversion of motion picture collections now on highly combustible nitrate film to safety base film is urgent.
The only existing copies of these films, a unique national treasure, are in the possession of the Library of Congress. At a time when we need to reinforce pride in our heritage, we must not deplete our national heritage as developers of motion pictures, the great democratic art. At the present funded conversion rate, the rate of preserving the films is particularly slow. Unless we speed the process, we will lose a portion of the collections before the entire stock is transferred to safety film. The request for 18 indefinite jobs, and $801,700 in supplies, services, and equipment would allow completion of the conversion process in seven years.
AUTOMATION OF CATALOGING DATA
As I mentioend earlier, the Library of Congress has been producing automated cataloging information for use within the Library and for other libraries since 1968. Beginning January 1, 1981, our conventional card catalogs have been frozen and future cataloging records will be available to the public in machine readable form. It is our intention to eliminate the necessity of manual filing in the public catalogs of all but Chinese, Japanese, and Korean materials. We are actually working on the possibility of putting them into the computer too but it will take some time. Because of the exorbitant expense, the decision was made not to key in pre-1968 records. Now an unusual opportunity has been offered us. A private publisher in cooperation with the Library of Congress is in the process of producing a title book catalog of the Library of Congress shelflist of the entire cataloged collections for sale to the public. By paying this firm to augment the pre-1968 records, they can simultaneously make it available to us in machine readable form at a small fraction of what it would cost us to input into our system. This is a unique opportunity that will greatly enhance our automated catalog and improve our service to readers and other libraries. It is an investment for the future at a significant economy.
Within recent years Congress has enacted numerous laws related to unionization of Federal employees, equal opportunity, and merit employment. The Library of Congress cannot properly meet the requirements of these laws and the ever-increasing burden of employee litigation without six additional positions in the Personnel and Labor Relations Office and two paralegal positions in the Office of General Counsel. We are requesting $50,000 to allow for contracting for investigative services for equal employment opportunity complaints in order to reduce the backlog and the time lag in the handling of cases.
To avoid accepting the non-essential materials and to avoid the costs for cataloging, service, and storage, we request two positions for the Collections Development Office.
Because of the necessity to meet safety requirements in the Madison Building to protect employees, the public, and our collections, we need a minimum of 13 additional Special Police positions.
My prepared remarks address certain technical matters Mr. Chairman which I will not read to you at the moment but we will be happy to answer questions about them. Those are on page eight and the top of page nine of my statement. I would like to note that we are requesting these funds for all library functions and activities except certain costs of buildings we occupy which are covered in the budget of the Architect of the Capitol. I wish to give my strong endorsement to the Architect's estimates for these purposes in 1982, particularly as regards funding for renovation of the Jefferson Building and the Adams Building. We plan to appear in support of these estimates when the Architect is heard.
In conclusion, the request before you is our collective judgment of the minimum needed to maintain the Library of Congress as a vigorous, efficient, and productive institution. More than ever the American people need the resources of knowledge and of this great Library. Only through preserving the treasures of our civilization, by making available the traditional wisdom of the American people, and by diffusing the most current increases in knowledge can we find solutions to the myriad problems that face our nation today. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
[The statement follows:)
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS-STATEMENT OF THE LIBRARIAN OF CONGRESS Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: In preparing for these hearings on the Library of Congress' 1982 budget requests, I have been struck by the need to place our national library in perspective. As you know, all great civilizations have established great libraries-mostly collected by and for the aristocratic classes. But our United States, through the peoples' representatives, has created a national library for the Congress and for all the people. The Library of Congress is much more than a national collection of books, manuscripts, motion pictures, prints and photographs, maps, music, and other items. It is the center of research on public policy for the Congress. It is the nation's--even the world's-greatest single resource of the knowledge and information which makes progress possible and which advances a more effective, more economical relation among our private and our public institutions.
Through an unparalled staff of research scholars, linguists, subject and cataloging experts, the Library of Congress has become the center for information from the world's greatest collection to every library in this country. We have accomplished this through an elaborate network of private and public bibliographic utilities. The Library of Congress is the agent for carrying out through copyright the constitutional mandate “to promote science and the useful arts" by encouraging and protecting the artistic and literary works of our creative citizens. We have developed a copyright system both nationally and internationally that will provide the greatest encouragement and the greatest protection for the property rights of American authors, composer, performers, and artists.
The Library of Congress is the center for distributing reading materials to our blind and physically handicapped citizens through a model cooperative program