Resolution on FY 1998 Appropriations for the Library of Congress

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Endorsed by the AALL Executive Board, March 1, 1997

WHEREAS, The U.S. Congress has recognized that libraries are primary points of access for the American public to participate in the information age, and that the Library of Congress serves as the world's largest library and our Nation's de facto national library; and

WHEREAS, The Library of Congress plays an important and unique role in acquiring, cataloging and preserving its comprehensive collections so that our national heritage will be preserved permanently for future generations; and

WHEREAS, The Library of Congress has successfully taken advantage of new technologies to enhance access to information for all citizens through important electronic initiatives, including the National Digital Library, the THOMAS system of legislative information, and the Global Legal Information Network (GLIN); and

WHEREAS, The Library of Congress is expanding its international and foreign language collections at a time when our Nation seeks to compete more efficiently in the global marketplace; and

WHEREAS, The Law Library of Congress, our de facto national law library, serves Congress and provides national leadership and service to the legal research community, including through GLIN, an international cooperative program in which participating countries provide electronic access to their laws and regulations in exchange for access to the primary legal resources of other member nations; and

WHEREAS, The Library of Congress has submitted a budget request of $387.6 million for FY 1998, including the authority to obligate another $30.4 million in receipts, to maintain current programs and to expand its digital projects; and

WHEREAS, This request would fund mandatory increases for the Library's electronic initiatives including the National Digital Library, which is developing a database of historical Congressional primary materials, and the Global Legal Information Network, which currently includes eleven countries but has an additional eleven country memberships pending; and,

WHEREAS, This request would also fund the first-year development of an Integrated Library System (ILS) to produce greater efficiency and productivity by integrating key library functions; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the American Association of Law Libraries urge Congress to fund fully the Library of Congress appropriations request for FY 1998 in order to ensure that the Library has sufficient resources to effectively fulfill its mission; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the American Association of Law Libraries urge Congress to support fully the Library's electronic initiatives including the National Digital Library, the Global Legal Information Network and the Integrated Library System; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the American Association of Law Libraries commend the Library of Congress and its Law Library for exploring the full potential of digital libraries through the development of GLIN and the digitization of historical legal materials; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the American Association of Law Libraries transmit a copy of this resolution to Members of the House and Senate Legislative Appropriations Subcommittees, to other appropriate congressional committees, to the Librarian of Congress and the Law Librarian.