美国国会图书馆馆长在位28年的启示

2015/6/13   点击数:3578

[作者] 竹帛斋主

[单位] 中山大学资讯管理学院

[摘要] 斋主昨天转发了《美国国会图书馆通讯》关于James H. Billington将于2016年1月退休的消息,今天再转贴Billington在美国国会图书馆担任28年馆长的主要成就年表,以飨读者。

[关键词]  美国国会图书馆 馆长 28年 启示



斋主昨天转发了《美国国会图书馆通讯》关于James H. Billington将于2016年1月退休的消息,今天再转贴Billington在美国国会图书馆担任28年馆长的主要成就年表,以飨读者。

斋主有幸两次受邀进入Billington的馆长办公室,最礼遇的一次是2000年美国国会图书馆200周年馆庆,馆长办公室室外的阳台上还专门准备了咖啡点心。那次馆庆邀请了近70个国家图书馆的馆长,整个国会图书馆闭馆,圆形阅览室只供与会者自由参观,另一侧的主楼豪华大厅则设为宴会厅,斋主可能是世界上极少在美国国会图书馆入门大厅享受过豪华盛宴的图书馆人。在正式的会议上,斋主是大会的三个主旨报告嘉宾之一,排在第二个发言,题目是《图书馆史对于国家图书馆馆长的意义》,我不知道负责会议日程安排的John Cole 博士,美国国会图书馆史和阅读推广权威,为什么挑选我做主旨发言,因为斋主那时年不过40,还是个典型的愣头青,既不是国家图书馆馆长,也不是世界顶尖的图书馆学人,虽然斋主与John有忘年之交。后来,John告诉斋主:在美国国会图书馆200周年庆典大会上选择一位年轻的图书馆史专家告诉世界各国的国家图书馆馆长图书馆史的重要性和做馆长必须懂得图书馆史,这是传承各国文化和文明和做好国家图书馆馆长的必需。今天回想起来,斋主那时也的确太张狂,只准备了发言提纲,而没有准备文稿,完全是脱口秀。如果是放在今天的话,肯定不会如此。斋主说这段故事颇有几分吹牛皮的味道,就此打住。

话说回来,Billington在位28年,这在世界图书馆史上是少有的,这虽然与美国国会图书馆的退休制度有关,但是仍然值得我们深思。美国哈佛大学哈佛燕京图书馆是西方最大的东亚图书馆,自1929年创办迄今只有三任馆长,首任馆长裘开明任职38年,第二任馆长吴文津任职32年,第三任馆长(现任馆长)郑炯文任职也接近18年了。这就是世界顶级图书馆的一个传统,一个值得我们深思的传统。

中国现在时兴馆长轮岗,不仅任期短,而且轮岗都是乱轮,轮去轮来,轮得馆长越来越不懂图书馆,更遑论图书馆史和文化传承,这是莫大的时代悲哀和图书馆悲哀。斋主一直坚持认为:图书馆是个专业单位,图书馆员,特别是图书馆馆长是专业技术职位,绝对不是行政职位!专业技术职位就应该是专业技术人员担任,就不应该依照行政管理人员制度轮岗,或者频繁更换。个中的原因只有一个:专业技术的特殊要求。斋主有句不太有名的名言:看一个图书馆的好坏,只要看看这个图书馆有没有馆长的任期超过十年就知道了,虽然有的未必就是好图书馆,但是没有的绝对不是好图书馆!

参考阅读:

News from the Library of Congress

Contact: Gayle Osterberg (202) 707-0020

June 10, 2015

Timeline of Select Milestones and Related Background

1987: James H. Billington sworn into office

1987: Early in his tenure, Billington requested an audit of the Library by the General Accounting Office (GAO), which found a number of deficiencies in its financial management system. Billington took immediate action to correct those deficiencies, and subsequently set up an annual independent audit, which have produced unqualified ("clean") opinions for the last 19 years.

1987: Established the first Office of the Inspector General at the Library of Congress to ensure regular independent review of Library operations.

1988: Congress passed the National Film Preservation Act of 1988, requiring the Librarian of Congress to annually select 25 "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" films to be preserved. To date, 650 films have been added to the registry. The Library’s vast moving-image collection, as of 2015, includes 1.3 million items.

1990: Launch of the American Memory project, an effort to distribute primary-source materials to educators via CD-ROM. This began the aggressive effort by the Library under Billington’s leadership to move into the digital space, expanding access to collections beyond Washington. The CD-ROM program ended in 1994, but resulted in a proposal to Congress for a five-year National Digital Library program and the beginning of the Library’s vast presence online.

1990: The Library’s new James Madison Council convened its first meeting on January 25, 1990. These private-sector individuals collectively are the Library’s lead donor group. Since its approval by the Joint Committee on the Library of Congress on October 7, 1988, the group has helped the Library share its unparalleled resources with the nation and around the world. Billington created the Library’s first Development Office in 1987 to work with the Council.

Early 1990s: The Congressional Research Service conducted training programs for more than 2,200 staff and members of parliaments as part of the Frost-Solomon Special Task Force on the Development of Parliamentary Institutions in Central and Eastern Europe as a catalyst for democratic reform at the end of the Cold War.

1992: Security of the collections became a critical problem in 1992, when Library staff discovered that significant materials housed in the traditionally open stacks had been stolen or mutilated. Immediately, Billington ordered the stacks to be closed overnight to everyone, and established a Collections Security Oversight Committee that continues to ensure that the Library’s invaluable collections are protected. Magnetic card-readers are used to access the book decks and all readers must obtain free reader-registration cards to access the reading rooms, where the use of materials is carefully monitored.

1995: THOMAS.gov debuted in time for the start of the 104th Congress. The Library built the original system in just three weeks, responding to a request from Congress on December 15, 1994. The inaugural system featured full text of House and Senate bills from the 103rd Congress, a directory of congressional committees and Members of Congress, weekly floor schedules for the House and a schedule of daily committee hearings.

1995: The Congressional Record and Index, Bill Summary and status files, and House and Senate bills from the 104th Congress were added to THOMAS.gov. Updates to the system occurred periodically for nearly 20 years, until transition to a new system, Congress.gov, began in 2012.

1995: Established web-based access to CRS products and services for members and congressional staff, including fact sheet and digital briefing books presenting multidisciplinary analyses of issues.

1996: The Library launched an online educational portal to help teachers and students discover and use important digitized artifacts from its collections. The Librarian’s pioneering efforts in digitization had a dramatic impact on the nation’s K-12 educators. Recognizing early on that the burgeoning World Wide Web would make the Library’s treasures available to classrooms worldwide, he launched an educational-outreach program designed to support teachers and students unlock the educational potential of these unique historical artifacts. Through its online educational portal, social media and onsite national training programs in the art of teaching with primary sources for librarians and teachers, the Library has reached tens of thousands of educators, touching every state of the union and every congressional district.

1997: Renovation of the Thomas Jefferson Building concluded ahead of the Library’s bicentennial, and the restoration of the fire-ravaged collection of founding father Thomas Jefferson’s library, through a worldwide rare-book search, allowed all but a few of his books to be put on permanent display starting in 2008.

2000: The John W. Kluge Center was established through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge to attract to Washington the best minds in the scholarly world, facilitate their access to the Library’s vast collection of the world’s knowledge, and engage them in conversation with Members of Congress and other public figures. By its 15th anniversary in 2015, the Kluge Center had hosted more than 600 scholars in an array of disciplines, and created a community of advanced residential scholarship within the Library’s flagship Jefferson Building.

2000: In conjunction with the Kluge Center’s founding, established the John W. Kluge Prize for lifetime achievement in the study of humanity, a Nobel-level prize.

2000: Congress established the Veterans History Project (PL 106-380) to collect, preserve and make accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans from World War I to the present day so that future generations may hear directly from veterans about the realities of war. VHP celebrates its 15th anniversary in 2015.

2000: Billington founded the annual National Book Festival with Laura Bush to celebrate reading and promote literacy. During its lifetime the festival has welcomed more than 1 million guests and more than 1,000 authors to the annual event.

2000: Under the terms of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, the Librarian, with advice from the Library’s National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB), was tasked with annually selecting 25 recordings that are "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." To date, 425 recordings have been placed on the registry.

2000: Living Legend Award was established on the occasion of the Library’s bicentennial to honor artists, activists, filmmakers, physicians, entertainers, sports figures and public servants who have made significant contributions to America's diverse cultural, scientific and social heritage.

Early 2000s: Adapting to the continuing digital revolution and the opportunities it afforded, CRS undertook initiatives that improved access to CRS experts, refined and expanded the content of its website, created new types of products and services and upgraded its technical infrastructure. Over the decade, the number of CRS titles available to Congress grew from 3,800 in fiscal year 2000 to 6,700 in fiscal year 2010. Briefings, consultations and congressional testimony by CRS staff more than doubled.

2001: Mass deacidification was established as a preservation-program activity of the Library, extending the life of millions of collection items for hundreds of years. The Library to date has deacidified almost 4 million volumes and 12 million manuscript sheets.

2002: First of 13 planned state-of-the-art collections storage modules opened at Fort Meade, designed with environmental controls, security and safety systems and maximum storage capacity. When Billington took office in 1987, the Library buildings on Capitol Hill were running out of space for the collections. He obtained approval from Congress in 1993 to build the first module, which opened in

2002. To date, four of those buildings have been completed, housing more than 4 million trackable items from the general and special format collections. Funding for Module 5 construction was included in FY14 Architect of the Capitol budget and funding for design of Modules 6 and 7 was approved in the FY15 AOC budget.

2003: Waldsemüller map, "America’s birth certificate," was acquired by the Library. It is the only known copy of the 1507 world map by Martin Waldsemüller, the first document to use the name "America," was purchased with a combination of appropriated and privately donated funds. The Library’s collections have nearly doubled since Dr. Billington took office in 1987, from 85.5 million items to more than 160 million items in fiscal year 2014.

2007: The Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia, opened. Billington garnered both congressional and private-sector support for the construction. The Packard Humanities Institute paid for the construction valued at more than $150 million (the largest private gift ever made to the Library), and Congress added $82.1 million to support operations. The 45-acre site was officially turned over to the Library in August 2007, allowing the Library’s then-5.7 million moving image and recorded sound collections to be brought together in one place for the first time.

2007: The Gershwin Prize for Popular Song was established to celebrate the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in song composition.

2007: With the launch of its first blog in April 2007, the Library of Congress became a pioneer among federal agencies in social media. This was followed in 2008 with the establishment by the photo-sharing service Flickr and the Library of the Flickr Commons, Under Dr. Billington’s leadership, the Library became an institutional presence on Facebook, iTunesU, Pinterest, RSS, Twitter and YouTube, using multiple feeds on the new media channels to extend access to its varied collections to huge and appreciative new audiences.

2008: The Copyright Office announced availability of online copyright registration system, eCO, which enabled authors to file an application and payment online. The Copyright Office also introduced a streamlined form, and the online system allowed for online status tracking, faster processing time and the ability to upload certain categories of deposits directly as electronic files.

2008: The Library of Congress Congressional Caucus was launched (January 2008) to draw attention to the Library’s knowledgeable curators and unparalleled collections to encourage wider use of these resources.

2008: The completion of the tunnel connecting the Library and the U.S. Capitol (and the subsequent opening of the Capitol Visitor Center in December 2008) provided the impetus for the Library’s increased public outreach campaign. The Library now welcomes approximately 1.5 million visitors each year.

2008: Library launches FLICKR pilot. Sharing of the Library’s photographic resources leads to identification of previously unknown images of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg.

2008: Established the Fiction Prize (later the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction) to recognize distinguished writers of fiction.

2009: Launch by the Library of Congress of the World Digital Library (WDL) with the support of the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), and includes partnerships with many libraries, archives, museums, educational institutions, and international organizations from around the world. The WDL, first proposed by Billington, now makes available on the internet free, and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from the Library of Congress and its 181 partners in 81 countries.

2009: The Young Readers Center opens in the Thomas Jefferson Building (Oct. 23, 2009) to give young people a place to read and be read to.

2009: The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped makes the transition from analog cassettes to state-of-the art digital talking books.

2010: The first release of RDA (Resource Description and Access), a new cataloging standard for the digital age, took place in June 2010. The Library has taken the lead on the development, testing and implementation of the standard, as well as training in its use. (See 2013)

2010: Renovation of preservation, research and testing labs with state-of-the-art analytical equipment.

2010: The Library of Congress, with private-sector support, brought facsimiles of its top treasures and information about its resources and collections to 90 sites in states across the Midwest and South through the Gateway to Knowledge project between September 2010 and September 2011.

2011: The Library launched the National Jukebox (May 10, 2011), providing streaming online access to more than 10,000 out-of-print music and spoken word recordings produced in the U.S. between 1901 and 1925.

2011: The Library of Congress started a bibliographic-frame?work initiative (BIBFRAME), a plan for evolu?tion to the future model, not only for the Library of Congress but also for the institutions that depend on bibliographic data shared by the Library with its partners.

2012: Congress.gov (beta-site) launched (See also 1995 – THOMAS and 2014 – Congress.gov transitions from beta)

2012: The Library re-launched its magazine, renamed the Library of Congress Magazine (LCM).

2013: NLS launched its Braille and Audio Reading Download (BARD) mobile app, which makes it possible for registered patrons to download audio and Braille books to their mobile devices, free of charge through the Apple App Store.

2013: March 31, 2013, marked the na?tionwide implementation of RDA: Resource Description & Access, a new cataloging standard designed to better meet the demands of the digital age. RDA replaces the Anglo-Ameri?can Cataloging Rules, second edition, a standard used by libraries throughout the English-speaking world since 1981. The new standard offers bet?ter tools to describe digital and non-print resources, streaming videos, sound recordings in various formats and e-books.

2013: On Constitution Day, Sept. 19, 2013, the Library, in cooperation with the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration and the Government Printing office, launched a new app and web publication that makes "The Constitution Annotated" available on mobile apps. The release coincides with the 100th anniversary of the printed edition of "The Constitution and the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation."

2013: The Library’s Literacy Awards were conferred for the first time in fall 2013 to recognize and support outstanding achievements in the field of literacy, both in the United States and abroad.

2014: The Congressional Research Service celebrates 100 years of support to the nation’s lawmakers.

2014: On Sept. 26, 2014, Congress.gov officially transitioned from a beta site to its permanent role as the official site for free federal legislative information from the U.S. Congress and related agencies. The site replaced the nearly 20-year-old THOMAS.gov system for public use and the Legislative Information System used by Congress. The site provides Member profiles; bill status, summary and text from the 103rd through the current Congresses; the Congressional Record; committee reports; direct links from bills to cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office; legislative process videos; committee profile pages; and historic documents and metadata reaching back to the 93rd Congress.

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PR 15-105

06/10/15

ISSN 0731-3527

原文连接:http://blog.sina.com.cn/s/blog_4978019f0102vtxg.html