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LINKS TO THE WORLD CONTINUED
Dr. BILLINGTON. Training scores of Third World officials in international copyright law and the protection of “intellectual property" as a basis for free markets. This is the pirating program, which is a major economic problem.
Bringing millions of foreign items to the Library for American researchers in science, technology and other fields.
EASTERN EUROPE ASSISTANCE
Congress, through its Library, has led the world this year in supporting parliaments in the accelerating democratization process of Eastern Europe. At the request of the Speaker, the Congress' effort has been augmented by the Library, with the Congressional Research Service spearheading practical assistance to Poland, Hungary, and the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, and recently added Bulgaria to the countries assisted.
This aid includes both materials and training to create a parliamentary research capability to the Baltic nations, and we are discussing such aid with the Russian Government.
In all of this, we have been helped by the House Information System staff, with the encouragement of the House Administration Committee.
Mr. Fazio. What about some of the other states other than the Baltic states?
Dr. BILLINGTON. Yes, we are proceeding by degrees.
Mr. Fazio. It would be inevitable that we get to Byelorus and Ukraine.
Dr. BILLINGTON. We are moving, for instance, into the Baltics, and that is pretty well along.
We have established a program of cooperation—we are talking with the Russians about that, and it is, I think, very likely we will talk to some of the other republics. As you know, this comes from AID-appropriated money.
We have gone beyond that, using private funds with some of the most recent arrangements. We have also established a program of cooperation, which is really unprecedented in history, with those who control the vast archives under the new Russian Government, which is the largest repository of unused human information for the 21st century.
RUSSIAN EXHIBITION And we have been offered an unprecedented opportunity to present for the first time anywhere an exhibition at the Library this summer of hitherto secret internal documents of the Soviet Union, of the whole history of the Soviet period.
Mr. Fazio. We will be going from the Vatican to the KGB in one
Dr. BilliNGTON. We think there will be some interesting exhibits, Mr. Chairman, to celebrate the return of that wonderful Jefferson Building to broader usage, which this committee has presided
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY INFORMATION SERVICES To enhance our national competitiveness, we also seek $800,000, which is only 2.7 percent of our requested budget increase, to start the Library on the road to providing the Congress and the productive private sector and the research community with scientific and business information on a more efficient and broader basis.
With these funds, the Library will establish a National Center for Science and Technology Information Services, including an automated reference service, a kind of worldwide electronic yellow pages for publications and data.
This would make it possible, for instance, for a researcher in San Jose to find out instantly from the Library what data bases or recent studies or other local body of information can help him or her discover new technology for manufacturing computers or dealing with the hazards of genetic engineering.
In this way, we would complement the work being done by the National Library of Medicine and the National Agricultural Library, which have been superb catalysts for American leadership in their specialized fields.
Mr. Fazio. Are they separate entities?
Dr. BILLINGTON. Yes, sir. They have been in particular not just traditional libraries, but efficient delivery systems of scientific information in a specialized field. There are so many other scientific and technical fields that are economically important to the country, and since we collect in all of these fields, our Center will fulfill unmet needs.
Mr. Fazio. No other entity ever grew up to take care of these needs?
Dr. BILLINGTON. No other entity ever has. It is efficient to have all those things together since they overlap.
So, we think that having a unified service for the whole scientific and technical field
NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL LIBRARY Mr. Fazio. I don't want to get too diverted, but it strikes me that the agricultural sciences were somehow able to get together and support this industry without any outside entity having to come in and do it. Somebody must have provided funds at one point.
Obviously, some people are farsighted. I am not saying we shouldn't be. I am glad we are filling a role that is unmet. It is surprising the very important high-tech industries of this country have not had this sort of entity created for their own benefit.
Dr. BILLINGTON. Actually, they haven't been inactive—what we found in this lengthy survey is that a great many other libraries, in particular, many special libraries have all kinds of specialized data bases.
We are going to provide a central switchboard where you get plugged into wherever the resources are.
I think the reason the Agricultural Library was established is interesting, but it reflects that is where the economy is. The act was originally designed to provide on-the-spot agriculture training, but it reflected almost a preindustrial mode of thought that has been
Our agricultural productivity is feeding much of the world, and there is no reason why similar kinds of mobilization of information resources can't produce similar productive outcomes.
Mr. Fazio. What was the other entity?
Dr. BILLINGTON. National Library of Medicine. Of course, the distinction between us is that NLM collects in the field of clinical medicine. But again, there is a lot of theoretical biological research with important economic implications that isn't definable in terms of clinical medicine. We have a lot of scientific capabilities and information beyond the scope of NLM's collections.
Our foreign international collection is immense. Science is very international, so I think we can play an important role. And we can benefit from those already existing models, which are separate entities of NLM and NAL.
Mr. Fazio. There are also networks of other existing data bases out there. It is not a central institution?
Dr. BILLINGTON. Yes, it is more a central institution.
Dr. BILLINGTON. Yes. We have a central collection which supplements the other research libraries in the world, but we see ourselves operating as part of a network rather than trying to be a total delivery system.
We can already deliver things in terms of interlibrary loan or fax, but we are not going to set up a total delivery system as the National Library of Medicine does.
FEE SERVICE AUTHORIZATION
Mr. Fazio. How are those institutions supported? Are they independently funded?
Dr. BILLINGTON. Yes, their specialized document delivery systems are basically fee service offerings. Any future activity of the Library in this area is related, of course, to the whole question of getting modernized authority, which the Library of Congress doesn't now have, since our legislation in this area dates back to 1902.
This doesn't necessarily come before this committee, but we will be discussing it to get authorization for our fee service.
Mr. Fazio. That brings up some interesting questions here. You obviously don't want to limit the dissemination of information. For example, you want some remotely located inventor to have access to this data. At the same time, you have major corporations who stand to benefit, who could be of help to us in providing some of the wherewithal and hopefully cooperating in the dissemination of the information that they glean, although there are trade secrets and other things involved here.
I guess there is a discussion we may want to have at some point about how these entities are funded.
Dr. BILLINGTON. There is direct Federal funding for the National Agricultural Library and the National Library of Medicine. Mr. Fazio. An annual appropriation?
Dr. BILLINGTON. Yes. We are asking, for the first time, for some start-up money so we can start the delivery service. We have identified a target group, the engineering community, and we are going
sources locally on line, and then to develop a kind of national network, if this appropriation is authorized.
We don't foresee a very large annual subsidy, but there will be some funding needed, and we think that one part of it-certainly the part that involves dealing with the productive private sector, there should be some kind of return.
I would stress that charging fees is not new-we have always charged fees of a pretty bare-bones nature for catalog cards, for example, but we do need modern legislation not as a major revenue generator, but simply to expand the service possibilities of the institution without compromising any of the customary free services.
People will still be able to make inquiries and use the collections, but what we are talking about is a customized search service, and we think it is tirne to expand the service. It is not to generate revenues.
Mr. Fazio. Reinvesting.
Dr. BILLINGTON. And it is also an equity question, because when you have a productive private sector benefiting from customized information delivery, it ought to be able to pay some of the costs, rather than the general taxpayer.
Mr. Fazio. Sure.
Dr. BILLINGTON. But I would stress this, we are not going to compromise our traditional free services, which we have itemized on this map and told you about.
SAVINGS TO THE NATION
What we save the Nation through the cataloging service alone, in semi-invisible subsidy for cataloging, is greater than the entire appropriation we are asking for this year. Mr. Fazio. That is a good point.
Dr. BILLINGTON. It is a fairly in ortant subsidy. It would be noticed if we had to cut it back.
This science and technology initiative-a very modest investment, will also help CRS staff as well as the broader scientific and business community to find the information they need in key areas at relatively low costs.
This particular effort, is designed to make the Library's resources available to more Americans and will complement and reinforce other efforts already underway throughout the Nation in schools, libraries, businesses and research institutions.
Our objective is to get more organized information and knowl. edge out to more people at less expense, and to use the local institutions, the already existing network of institutions around the country, to reinforce them and to be a kind of “vitamin enrichment.'
For instance, our American Memory project, which makes unique Library collections available in electronic formats, is now being tested in 44 schools and libraries across the country.
LC DIRECT, which delivers the Library's complete card catalog online to remote locations, is also being pilot tested in 27 State libraries. The science and technology initiative will bring other assets of the Library on line to enhance American learning and