Library of Congress Magazine (LCM), Vol. 1 No. 2: November-December 2012 Page: 28
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ON A SUNNY SEPTEMBER SATURDAY, Speaker of the House
John Boehner led the G8 Presiding Officers group across the
Capitol grounds to a lunch meeting in the Library's Jefferson
Building. The group consisted of his counterparts from
European and other countries, and included the speaker of the
Canadian House of Commons, the president of the National
Assembly of France, the president of the German Bundestag,
the speaker ofJapan's Diet, the first deputy chair of the
Russian State Duma and the speaker of the British House of
All gathered in the Members Room-designated as the
Library's reading room for House members when the building
opened in 1897-to continue their weekend-long discussions
on economic, fiscal and security challenges. In a few days,
Congress would return from the summer break and the
political conventions for two weeks before recessing for the
While the House and Senate were concentrating on wrapping
up the work of the 112th Congress, many in the Library were
already focusing on the 113th Congress that would convene
in January. Analysts in the Congressional Research Service
(CRS) were identifying the key legislative and policy issues
they felt would be on the Congressional agenda next session,
so that research and reports would be ready when needed
by Members and Congressional staff. The Law Library was
anticipating the foreign law research for which their experts
would be called upon. Attorneys and policy experts in the U.S.
Copyright Office were working with the House and Senate
Judiciary Committees on the anticipated agenda for copyright
policy in the next Congress.
All of this aims to align the unparalleled expertise of the
Library with the Congressional legislative agenda-which
could change significantly after the elections, depending on the
majority party in either chamber.
The sheer number of issues Library experts are preparing
for-more than 160 policy areas in CRS alone-shows the
prescience of Thomas Jefferson's words to the Congress in 1815
when offering the Congress his comprehensive personal library
as a replacement for the Library of Congress collection recently
burned by the British: "There is, in fact, no subject to which a
Member might not have occasion to refer."
Once the new Congress is elected, CRS will also host a three-
day seminar for new Members and provide hundreds of new
staff extensive briefings on Congressional procedure.
When the new Congress convenes, the Library will be prepared
to do what it did for the Congress about to adjourn: directly
assist every single Member of the House and Senate in their
legislative work. While we continue to provide a unique array
of services to the American people and serve as a resource to
the world, we are still, very much, the library of the Congress.
Robert Dizard Jr. is the Deputy Librarian of Congress.
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Office of Communications, Library of Congress. Library of Congress Magazine (LCM), Vol. 1 No. 2: November-December 2012, periodical, November 2012; Washington, D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc133017/m1/30/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .