Library of Congress. Charles A. Goodrum

The Library of Congress

Charles A. Goodrum. Praeger: 1974.

Although one might expect a very dry text — this is, after all, a history and explanation of the Library of Congress — this book is actually quite fascinating and full of good information. The sheer size of the LC, the enormity of their tasks from cataloging to writing speeches for members of Congress to research to preservation, is truly awe-inspiring.

When this book was written, the LC was disappointed with what computers were able to do; or, rather, with what they were not able to do. So, the reliance on an incredibly complex card catalog continued. I would love to see how the LC operates now that it is most assuredly computerized.

It is also interesting to realize that the LC is really meant for the Congress — and that although it by defaul fulfills the role of a National Library, it is not meant to be one.