On the next Librarian of Congress

The Copyright Alliance recently sent the following letter to President Obama describing the qualities the next Librarian of Congress would ideally possess.

Dear Mr. President:

Creators care deeply about the Library of Congress and its future. They are the authors of the national cultural, historic, and scientific treasures that the Librarian of Congress is tasked with preserving. The Copyright Alliance is composed of creators from all artistic disciplines and includes membership organizations and associations, unions, companies, and guilds, representing millions of creative individuals in the United States. Historically, our members have cooperated with the Library and have collaborated on technical issues such as film and sound recording preservation. Thus, the choice of a new Librarian is one of great importance to the Copyright Alliance and the members we represent.

The choice of a new Librarian is an opportunity to define our de facto national library for the 21st century. The ideal candidate does not necessarily have to be a librarian or from the academic world but should have their own scholarly interests in order to help understand the importance of authorship. The individual should be appreciative and supportive of the value of authorship to our culture and the laws that protect that authorship. In addition, the ideal candidate would support modernization of the Copyright Office so it can more effectively and efficiently administer those laws.

The ideal candidate would also have demonstrated good administration and management skills by running an important institution. The Library is a collaborative institution that currently has upwards of six thousand employees engaged in diverse areas of work. It also increasingly deploys technology as part of its mission. The Librarian need not be an expert in each of those areas, but does need to be able to manage people and organizational resources strategically.

We thank you for consideration of our thoughts and welcome any further opportunity to engage in this historic appointment.


Terry Hart
Acting CEO Copyright Alliance

photo credit: jemaerca/iStock/thinkstock

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