NYT – As Works Flood In, Nation’s Library Treads Water

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 5, 2013

New York Times, Jennifer Steinhauer: “Just as military contractors, air traffic controllers and federal workers are coping with the grim results of a partisan impasse over the federal deficit, the Library of Congress, whose services range from copyrighting written works — whether famous novels or poems scribbled on napkins — to the collection, preservation and digitalization of millions of books, photographs, maps and other materials, faces deep cuts that threaten its historic mission. Of the $85 billion in federal cuts for the current fiscal year, known as sequestration, half will come from military spending, and half from domestic programs like health care, research, education and the library. The library’s budget for the year has declined to $598.4 million, a 4 percent cut that is likely to slow its digitalization effort and has already caused copyright applications to back up. The worry spreads far beyond Washington because the Library of Congress — founded in 1800, burned and pillaged by the British in 1814 and replaced by Thomas Jefferson’s personal library — is home to an unrivaled history of the nation’s wars, presidencies, culture and place in the world.”

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