Many essential jobs within the Library do not require a library degree, and those positions range from administrative professionals and support staff, information technology professionals, drivers who transport books and other materials, to workers who maintain our buildings and grounds, and security officers who keep patrons and staff free from harm.
James Madison of Virginia is credited with the idea of creating a congressional library, first making such a proposition in 1783. The Library of Congress was established on April 24, 1800, when President John Adams signed an act of Congress, which also provided for the transfer of the seat of government from Philadelphia to the new capital city of Washington. Part of the legislation appropriated $5,000 \"for the purchase of such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress ... and for fitting up a suitable apartment for containing them.\" Books were ordered from London, and the collection consisted of 740 books and three maps, which were housed in the new United States Capitol.
During Mumford's administration, the last significant public debate occurred about the Library of Congress's role as both a legislative and national library. Asked by Joint Library Committee chairman Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI) to assess operations and make recommendations, Douglas Bryant of Harvard University Library proposed several institutional reforms. These included expanding national activities and services and various organizational changes, all of which would emphasize the library's federal role rather than its legislative role. Bryant suggested changing the name of the Library of Congress, a recommendation rebuked by Mumford as \"unspeakable violence to tradition.\" The debate continued within the library community for some time. The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 renewed emphasis for the library on its legislative roles, requiring a greater focus on research for Congress and congressional committees, and renaming the Legislative Reference Service as the Congressional Research Service.
Since 1988, the library has administered the National Film Preservation Board. Established by congressional mandate, it selects twenty-five American films annually for preservation and inclusion in the National Film Registry, a collection of American films, for which the Library of Congress accepts nominations each year. There also exists a National Recording Registry administered by the National Recording Preservation Board that serves a similar purpose, albeit for music and sound recordings.
Onsite access to the Library of Congress has been increased. Billington gained an underground connection between the new U.S. Capitol Visitors Center and the library in 2008 in order to increase both congressional usage and public tours of the library's Thomas Jefferson Building. 153554b96e