THE CENTER FOR THE BOOK IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
The Planning Year
John Y. Cole
Washington : The Library, 1978
Introduction ..................................................................... 1
The Planning Meetings ....................................................... 5
Potential Activities, October 20, 1977 ............................... 5
The International Flow of Books, February 23, 1978 .......... 13
Organizational Structure, March 23, 1978 ........................ 17
The History of Books and Printing, April 13-14, 1978 ......... 21
Advisors and Library of Congress Staff members who
Public Law 95-129 ..................................................... 33
The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress was established by an Act of Congress, Public Law 95-129, signed by President Carter on October 13, 1977. With this law the Congress affirmed its belief in "the importance of the printed word and the book" and recognized the need for continued study and development of the written record as "central to our understanding of ourselves and our world." President Carter approved the legislation as "a continuing indication" of his "commitment to scholarly research and the development of public interest in books and reading."
The new law was one result of a review of the Library's activities initiated by Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin. In early 1977 an advisory group noted that even though the entire function of the Library of Congress obvi- ously related to the role of the book in American culture, it would be useful to create a new body specifically designed to increase appreciation of the book. Librarian Boorstin enthusiastically agreed, as did Representative Lucien N. Nedzi of Michigan and Senator Howard Cannon of Nevada, the Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, of the Joint Committee on the Library and the cosponsors of the legislation. At the planning meeting held shortly after approval of P.L. 95-129, The Librarian described the purpose of the new Center: "to organize, focus, and dramatize our nation's interest and attention on the book, to marshal the nation's support-spiritual, physical, and fiscal- for the book."
The Center for the Book hopes to serve as a catalyst in the book world, working through and with other organizations to stimulate interest in the book, to explore issues related to the crucial role of the printed word in our culture, to encourage reading, and to encourage research about books and about reading. The Center's goal is to bring together-in spirit and in action- authors, publishers, booksellers, librarians, educators, scholars, critics, and, above all, readers who are concerned about the role of the book in our society. Its activities will be carried out in the spirit of the Charter of the Book, set forth in 1972 during International Book Year. The Charter's ten principles are:
Everyone has the right to read.1
A sound publishing industry is essential to national development.
To support these ideals and its own objectives, the Center is developing a national advisory structure and a variety of seminar, research, publication, exhibit, and audiovisual programs. All of the Center's activities are being planned in collaboration with other organizations and Library of Congress offices.
The Library's comprehensive collections and the diverse skills of its special- ists will greatly enrich the Center's endeavors. In turn, the Center will en- hance the Library's established programs and provide a new internal focus for many of its activities. The varied nature of the Library's activities will enable it to enlist the cooperation of a wide range of organizations, many of which (e.g., the communications industry, educational groups, and government agencies) rarely consider themselves part of the book community. Represen- tatives from many of these organizations are being invited to serve on the Center's National Advisory Board which is headed by George C. McGhee, former ambassador to Turkey and The Federal Republic of Germany and former chairman of the board of the Saturday Review. Within the Library of Congress itself, the Center will remain small. It will rely, when appropriate, on the staffs of various divisions, on organizations outside the Library, and on volunteers.
Proposals for specific seminars, programs, and research projects are wel- come. The interests of the Center for the Book encompass a broad range of subjects, including the educational and cultural role of the book; the history of books and printing; the future of the book, especially as it relates to new technologies and other media; the international flow of books and the contri- bution of the book to international understanding; authorship and writing; the publishing, design, and production of books; the distribution, access, and use of books and printed materials; reading; literacy; and the role and influ- ence of the institutions of the book world.
The Center for the Book is privately funded. We are grateful to Mrs. Charles W. Engelhard, Jr. and McGraw-Hill, Inc. for supporting the Center's initial activities, especially the four planning meetings summarized in this pamphlet. Many of the worthwhile ideas proposed during these meetings can be under-2
taken only with help-ideas, effort, and money-from individuals and organi- zations outside the Library of Congress. The Center appreciates the aid it has received from other organizations through the cooperative sponsorship of several of the events listed in the chronology that follows. Finally, we acknowledge the help of many individuals who have taken time from their busy schedules to assist in our mutual effort to, in Dr. Boorstin's words, "make this age, this nation, and this place a staging ground for a Renaissance of the Book."
THE PLANNING YEAR-AND BEYOND
|October 13||President Carter signs P.L. 95-129, establishing the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.|
|October 20||Planning meeting: potential activities of the Center for the Book.|
|February 14||Illustrated talk about British and Continental book bindings by Mirjam Foot, Assistant Keeper, Rare Book Collections, The British Library.|
|February 23||Planning meeting: the international flow of books.|
|March 23||Planning meeting: the organizational structure of the Center for the Book.|
|April 13||Illustrated talk by San Francisco book designer Adrian Wilson about the research and discoveries that led to the publication of his The Making of the Nuremberg Chronicle (1977)|
|April 13-14||Planning meeting: the history of books and printing.|
|April 26-27||National seminar on "Television, the Book, and the Class- room," cosponsored with the U.S. Office of Education. Morti- mer J. Adler and Frank Stanton are the featured speakers.|
|June 26||(Chicago) Reception for Chicago authors, cosponsored with the American Library Association during its annual conven- tion.|
|October 10||Program on "The Book in Mexico."|
|October 23||Illustrated talks by John Dreyfus and Hans Schmoller on "Four Masters of Twentieth Century Printing."|
|November 13||Lecture by author Jill Paton Walsh, commemorating National Children's Book Week.|
|March 12-13||Program on children's books and reading.|
|April 25-26||National seminar on "The Textbook in American Education," cosponsored with the U.S. National Institute of Education.|
|June||(Dallas) Reception for Texas authors, cosponsored with the American Library Association during its annual convention.|
Forty-three individuals from various parts of the United States met in the Whittall Pavilion on October 20 to help the Library plan the activities of its new Center for the Book. President Carter signed P.L. 95-129, creating the Center, on October 13, 1977. The Center's purpose is to stimu- late interest in the role of the book in society, to study the history and future prospects of the book, and to promote books and reading.
Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin opened the day-long October 20 meeting by introducing Representative Lucien N. Nedzi chairman of the Joint Committee on the Library and cosponsor of the bill to create the Center. The other cosponsor, Senator Howard Cannon, was represented by William Cochrane, staff director of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. The Librarian also introduced John Y. Cole, Office of Plan- ning and Development, who will be in charge of the Center. In his opening remarks The Librarian described why the Center was needed and why it should be at the Library of Congress.
You may wonder why the Library of Congress, which, of all places on earth, is a center for the book should now become a place for the estab- lishing of the Center for the Book. It is to organize, focus, and dramatize our nation's interest and attention on the book, to marshal the nation's support-spiritual, physical, andfiscal-for the book. The Times call for it. Why? Because this is a multimedia, electronic, media-ridden, annual-model age.
The Place is here. This institution has a greater vested interest in the book than any other place on earth. For us, the book is not only a vested interest but a vested idea. Because we at the Library of Congress collect knowledge and entertainment resources in all media-in film and on tape, on phonograph records and on motion pictures, in manuscript, from radio and television, on maps-as well as in books, and we have the5
world's great collections in these media; because we are the greatest copyright deposit in al formats; because we collect in all languages (468 at the last count!), because we have been doing this for 177 years, and will go on for more centuries. Because of all this, we know, better than anyone else, the dangers of the book being stifled, drowned, suffocated, buried, obscured, mislaid, misunderstood, ununderstood, unread-both from neglect andfrom the rising level of the increasing flood. Because we do serve the Congress, whose interests know no bounds, because we serve all libraries, scholars of all sorts and conditions, teachers, readers, quasi- readers, semi-readers, and even, we suspect non-readers.
As the national library of a great free republic, we have a special duty and a special interest to see that books do not go unread, that they are read by all ages and conditions, that books are not buried in their own excess, under their own dross, not lost from neglect nor obscured from us by specious alternatives and synthetic substitutes. As the national library of the most technologically advanced nation on earth, we have a special duty, too, to see that the book is the useful, illuminating servant of all other technologies, and that all other technologies become the effective, illuminating acolytes of the book.
The Library of Congress is our mission headquarters, but we hope and expect to train and encourage missionaries all over our nation. Unlike some other missions, this mission is explosively ecumenical. No other mission can be more ecumenical. For the book is the most conservative and the most liberal, the most traditional and the most revolutionary of media, the most atheistical and the most reverential, the most retrospec- tive, and the most futuristic. It is our duty to keep that mission energeti- cally alive. The book is the reservoir of all the ideas that we have forgotten, and will be the reservoir for ideas still unborn.
Today we are here, encouraged by our Congress and our President, hosted by the greatest library on earth, to find ways to fill the special needs of our time and our nation, to seize the opportunities I have suggested, to find new opportunities, and to keep ourselves ready for still newer opportunities. Here we shape plans for a grand national effort to make all our people eager, avid, understanding, critical readers. To make this age, this nation, and this place the staging ground for a Renaissance of the Book.
Several individuals were invited to speak about what they would like to see the Center for the Book do-its potential in their respective areas of interest. Their talks, organized around several aspects of the book, provided the frame- work for the day's discussion.
Robert Wedgeworth described the long-standing interest of the American Library Association (ALA) in promoting books and reading, including a new6
ALA-sponsored book review column that now appears in over 700 U.S. news- papers. Since television is the most important influence on our culture today, he urged the Center to find ways that television could be used to improve and encourage reading skills. It also should be used to promote the book itself. For example, the Center should work with the television networks, or per- haps with public television, to develop a major television series about the role the book has played and is playing in our society.
The next speaker, Theodore Waller, addressed the questions of literacy and the development of lifetime reading habits, expressing his feeling that both topics should be of prime concern to the Center. Several aspects were in need of study, but especially reading motivation in young people and literacy maintenance among adults. As the Center pursues its goal of helping America become more of a reading nation, it should build on the experiences of groups such as the American Book Publishers Council's Committee on Read- ing Development and the National Book Committee.
The purposes of Reading is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF) were described by Mrs. Robert McNamara and Ruth Graves. RIF, a national organization that makes inexpensive books available to children, gives most of its books away. In her comments Miss Graves urged the Center for the Book to take full advantage of regional pride and good will; for example, the proposed festival of the book should not be confined to Washington, D.C. She also suggested the application of many of the programs of the Library's Division for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (DBPH) to wider purposes. One example would be the use of recordings from DBPH's talking books program on radio. The book also should be promoted through public service advertisements on both radio and television. Another possibility was the publication and distri- bution of annotated reading lists. The Center also should find a way to make use of experience being gained by the "courses by newspaper" programs now underway.
Jaroslav Pelikan expressed his hope that the Center would make a contribu- tion to the scholarly study of scholarly writing. He mentioned three topics needing attention: the editing of texts, translations and translating, and the writing of non-fiction. The last subject, the process of creating a scholarly work of non-fiction, was an especially fertile area for exploration.
Author John Hersey applauded the creation of the Center but added a word of caution about governmental zeal for the arts. He did feel, however, that this declared intention on the part of the Library of Congress to find new ways to support the book would be welcomed by authors. The ceremo- nial aspect of such activity should not be neglected; for example, the consul- tantship in poetry was "just right," and additional consultantships should be established. He urged the Center to concentrate a limited number of projects, commenting that a rifle-rather than a shotgun-approach would be best.
The need to entice more readers to more books in all parts of the United7
States was stressed by William McPherson. The Center should encourage people to read and never lose sight of the general reader who, after all, is probably the most important person in the entire process. Mr. McPherson suggested that the Center explore ways to raise the level of book reviewing, to encourage more and better reviewing of a greater number of books.
Librarian Boorstin next asked participants for their comments and for additional ideas about what the Center might do with regard to the reading and creating of books. Clare Boothe Luce talked about the need to make the book more visible, noting for example that there was rarely any suggestion on network television that anyone ever read. As a partial remedy, she felt the Center might encourage the networks to make books a natural part of the background or decor of more television programs. Also, newspaper editors should encourage readers to write letters describing, in 250 words or less, books they have recently read and enjoyed. Such letters should appear regu- larly on the editorial or "op-ed" page.
Matthew Hodgson raised the possibility of the Center for the Book sponsor- ing literary prizes, or at least studying the need and purpose of such prizes, pointing out that the National Book Awards seemed to be in "a state of disarray." Marcus Cohn pointed out that a substantial increase had been recommended for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). He felt the Center should immediately begin discussions with PBS officials to see how at least a portion of those funds might be used to promote books and reading. It was likely that PBS would be receptive.
George C. McGhee reflected on the need to see that books are available at a reasonable price while still keeping competition alive. Since books prices are so high, he suggested the formation of new kinds of lending arrangements-in hotels and airports, for example. Perhaps the Center could encourage these new arrangements. Walter Davis felt that the Center and the AFL-CIO Depart- ment of Education might work together to encourage home libraries, reviving an earlier AFL-CIO project. Stephen Garrett hoped the Center, in its efforts to encourage reading, would offer concrete suggestions about how to find time to read. Another goal should be to make reading more "socially accept- able and desirable."
Ernest Boyer called for the Center to involve schools in its concern about books, the media, and reading. A first step could be the cosponsorship, with the Office of Education, of a seminar on "The Book, Television, and the Classroom." Leeds Barroll described the state histories project recently funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. He cited it as an example of a program where content, in this case the history of a particular state, stimulated an interest in reading, and cautioned the Center against promoting reading simply because "reading is good." Paul Brandwein sug- gested that the Center look into the process whereby non-reading activities, e.g., music, art, drama, and photography, lead to reading. He also commented8
on the benefits and the dangers of "pre-digested culture" or "compact deliv- ery systems of the culture" as represented by most textbooks.
Dan Lacy discussed ways in which the Center for the Book could have a lasting influence on the book, reading, and American culture. In addition to its concern about book publishing and selling, the Center must become involved with the educational process, the media, and especially with those organizations already exerting great influence on the shaping of our society. This list would include agencies such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the newly established National Center for the Humanities. The Center's most useful function might be as a catalyst in bringing these and other organizations together. If it is successful, it soon will develop its own standing as a public interest organiza- tion dedicated to enhancing the role of the book in our society.
Robert Hale commented on the need for continued cooperation between librarians and booksellers. He endorsed the Center's stated purpose of helping "awaken our nation to the world of books," and two of the ideas discussed earlier-the festival of the book and raising the level of book reviewing. The Center, however, should put a top priority on sponsoring programs or semi- nars about children's books, for the United States was far behind many European nations in developing children's book programs. He felt that a strong central force with a truly national emphasis was needed, and hoped the Center might be that force.
Arthur Brody addressed the problem of making more books available to the public and hoped the Center could study some of the obvious problems and inefficiencies in the present system of book distribution. He also looked to the Center to encourage the idea that books should be available in locations besides libraries and bookstores. For example, certain savings banks now have circulating libraries. The Center should stimulate other "unorthodox" means of book distribution.
G. Thomas Tanselle reminded the audience that the Center for the Book was to have a scholarly side as well. He outlined several ways it might stimu- late the study of the history of books and printing, focusing on the topics of analytical bibliography and scholarly editing. The Center could encourage textual studies, prepare or encourage the compilation of analytical bibliogra- phies, serve as a clearinghouse for techniques of bibliographical knowledge, promote higher bibliographical standards, publicize the importance of retain- ing duplicate copies of books for historical study, and encourage libraries to retain bibliographical oddities for further study. It could publish useful guides and bibliographies and perform certain coordinating functions, e.g., bringing together various chronological imprint catalogs.
Terry Belanger supplemented Mr. Tanselle's remarks. He also questioned9
how far the Center could or should go in attempting to stimulate reading and mentioned some of the differences between the book as a medium and the book as a physical object. The study of the history of the book is by its very nature an interdisciplinary study, and the Center could be a useful stimulus and resource to scholars engaged in historical studies.
Following the last group of prepared remarks, Librarian Boorstin asked individual participants for their comments and for additional ideas. Kay Sex- ton hoped the Center could help break down the barriers that exist between the book world (an "awesome" yet "cloistered" world) and the general pub- lic. Stanley Marcus made several observations about the antiquated marketing methods used in the book industry, emphasizing that books were in competi- tion with two factors: disposal income and time. He felt further study into book distribution and marketing methods would be useful; children's books, for example, could be made much more attractive. The importance of budget- ing time, especially time to read, cannot be overestimated. Perhaps the schools could somehow assist in teaching children its importance.
Hendrick Edelman expressed his hope that the Center might pay special attention to the sociology of reading and to the international aspects of books and reading. One important topic is the role of the book in aiding and abetting cultural pluralism. Nearly everything published commercially in this country reflects the Anglo-American point of view, even though some of the richest library collections are in foreign languages. The distribution of foreign language books in this country is a major problem even though certain organi- zations such as the American Bible Society have been successful. The tech- niques of such organizations should be studied.
Townsend Hoopes reinforced several of the ideas expressed earlier, in par- ticular, the need for the Center to establish its priorities and begin doing a few things well before the agenda is expanded. The idea of having a festival of the book in Washington and simultaneous festivals in other parts of the nation is a good one. The Center also should consider the role it might play in honoring outstanding books and authors. While the Center may wish to avoid bestowing any awards, it could provide the occasion and setting for awards given by others. Finally, as Ted Waller has suggested, the Center may want to distribute reading lists to libraries and other organizations around the country on a continuing, timely basis.
Arthur Coons explained his view that the Center should support projects that recognized the role of the book as the principal vehicle of our cultural heritage. Since statistics show that 60% of the people in this country do not read books, the subject of reading motivation is of prime importance.
Susan Wagner expressed surprise at the evangelical tone of many of the previous comments and hoped the Center would not overlook topics such as relationship between the law and the communications process, and the role of copyright.10
Leo Albert emphasized the need to encourage competent translations; in fact the whole subject of translation deserves attention.
Librarian Boorstin focused the luncheon discussion on four topics: tele- vision and the book, book reviewing, book distribution, and book awards. Some of the ideas emerging from the discussion were:
Television and the book
Major communications corporations, e.g., Xerox and IBM, should be asked to help sponsor television programs about the book and, at a later date, about the Center itself.
Suggestions for further reading might be included as part of the "credits" portion at the conclusion of many television programs.
Television executives and other representatives of the broadcast media should be included at future Center for the Book gatherings.
The potential of cable television should not be ignored.
Novelizations on television attract a wide audience and many publica- tions related to those programs are now being sold. Perhaps the Center could expand on this idea, stimulating the publication of a variety of print materials to accompany television programs.
The Center should work with the Advertising Council, perhaps in cooper- ation with the American Library Association and other groups.
The creative use of television in schools needs further exploration and support.
Newspaper editors should be contacted to discuss the need for more and improved book reviews in newspapers; a first step would be a speech by The Librarian before the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
The Center should support the ALA program of syndicated book reviews.
The schools should encourage more book reviewing by students.
The Center should provide 3-6 month fellowships for book reviewers, bring them to the Library of Congress to "refuel," hold seminars, and do what they can to raise the level of book reviewing.
Attention should also be paid to improving the level of discussion about books. Perhaps the Center can find a way to assist the informal book discussion clubs that exist throughout the nation.
The Center should encourage the distribution of books in bus stations as well as airports, in factory lunchrooms as well as in hotels.
Lending books is good, but pride of ownership also is important- especially to children.
The Center should find a formal way to support Reading is Fundamental, Inc.
Dr. Boorstin explained why the Library is reluctant to become involved in giving prizes for anything, including book awards-it is "fraught with great dangers," both political and practical. Furthermore, in his opinion, prizes and awards were of questionable value. One alternative, however, would be to honor all persons given prizes by others. This could be done, for example, during the proposed festival of the book. In fact, it would help stimulate interest in the festival and help focus attention on the Library of Congress-and other libraries-as cultural centers.
The potential of FM radio for promoting books and reading is enormous.
The Center should address the subject of authorship, perhaps through a seminar on "the condition of authorship" that would explore the role of the author in our society.
The Center must enlist the support of national associations and not just those already involved-it should include business, fraternal, university, religious, and other associations in its efforts. In other words, organiza- tions that have rarely before considered themselves part of the book community should be invited to participate.
The Center might help establish reading "standards" for young people.
In cooperation with the Association of American Publishers, on February 23, 1978, the Center for the Book sponsored a meeting in the Whittall Pavil- ion to explore issues related to the international flow of books. A second purpose of the meeting, attended by Library of Congress staff members and 26 individuals representing government agencies, library groups, and the pub- lishing industry, was to discuss ways in which the Center for the Book might serve as a useful catalyst in the area of international book and library pro- grams. The meeting was one in a series of planning sessions intended to help the Center develop its program in each of its areas of interest.
Leo Albert opened the meeting by calling attention to several new develop- ments relevant to the promotion of the book internationally, namely the forthcoming merger of the State Department's Bureau of Cultural Affairs with the U.S.I.A. to form the International Communications Agency, the establishment of the Center for the Book, the Belgrade Conference on the Helsinki Accords, and an 11-point program of cooperation between U.S. and Soviet publishers. Within this context, he listed several obstacles hindering the international flow of information that should be of concern to the assembled group and to the Center for the Book, including problems related to literacy, reading motivation, access to and distribution of books, censorship by foreign governments, the unwillingness of many countries to subscribe to the Beirut and Florence Agreements, currency convertibility, and international copy- right.
Daniel J. Boorstin, The Librarian of Congress, welcomed the group and commented on several of the topics mentioned by Leo Albert. The Librarian stressed the importance of two topics that had particular relevance to the activities and collections of the Library of Congress: currency convertibility and translation. He also addressed the potential role of the Center in the area of international book and library programs. His major point was that the Center, in its international role, would not function as or replace the Govern-13
ment Advisory Committee on International Book and Library Programs (GAC), which existed from 1962 until 1977. The Center is an informal, voluntary organization that will have no official government role, advisory or otherwise. It will be project-oriented and hopes, by and large, to serve as a catalyst in stimulating other organizations to carry out those projects. It should serve as a forum for the discussion of important issues in the inter- national book world, but naturally must remain non-partisan and non- commercial. There was no doubt as to the objective of the Center's involvement in international book matters, however; it was to strive to improve the free flow of books across national boundaries.
John Y. Cole, Executive Director of the Center, supplemented the Librar- ian's remarks and described the seminars and other programs being planned. Each of these might have an international aspect and additional suggestions were welcome-especially proposals for cooperation between the Center and any of the organizations represented at the meeting.
Frank McGowan provided the group with an overview of the international role now being played by the Library of Congress. He noted that the Library now has overseas offices throughout the world. Their primary function is to acquire and catalog books and other materials from the country in which they are located. The activities of these offices plus the Library's exchange agreements with institutions throughout the world, have made the Library of Congress an international as well as national library. Millions of foreign items are acquired each year and 65% of the Library's book collection is in a language other than English. Barbara Ringer brought the group up to date about developments in international copyright, stressing the need for the United States to join the Berne convention and so strengthen its visibility in UNESCO. She also discussed the double-taxation problem; current develop- ments in UNESCO, particularly the International Copyright Information Cen- ter; and technological problems, especially with regard to cable television and videotaping. She felt the Center should become involved with UNESCO's book and information programs as soon as possible.
Sam Wise reported on developments at the current Belgrade Conference, noting that the role of the book was not a major topic. Moreover, there appeared to be a stalemate of sorts on those proposals that had been made concerning the promotion of books and book sales. The next meeting will be in Madrid in 1980. Robert Baensch described the exchange between U.S. and Russian publishers inaugurated in September 1976 and the 11 recommenda- tions made in November 1977 by the Association of American Publishers to facilitate book trade and the exchange of translation rights between the United States and the U.S.S.R. Yale Richmond talked about the various exchange programs now being sponsored by the State Department, including the one month scholar-in-residence program, and exchanges of library offi- cials, actors, and theater specialists, and children's librarians.
Harold Schneidman outlined the proposed functions of the new Interna- tional Communications Agency, to be created in April 1978 by the merger of14
the State Department's Bureau of Cultural Affairs and the United States Information Agency. He felt the Center for the Book could play a useful role if it energetically encouraged the use of the book in particular and print media in general in enhancing U.S. international cultural relations. To do so, it would have to work closely with the International Communications Agency, other government agencies, and the private sector. Leo Albert en- dorsed the need for a formal communications system between the State Department and the private sector, and proposed the creation of an American counterpart to the British Book Development Council, possibly called the American Media Council, to assist in these matters. The creation of such a Council should be considered an agenda item for the Center for the Book. He also recommended that the Center, in collaboration with others, sponsor an inventory of U.S. international book and library programs, both govern- mental and private, and that members of the assembled group continue to work to develop a convertibility program that will be acceptable to the Con- gress.
The discussions of the desired role of the Center for the Book in the international area continued. Martin Levin felt the Center should consider hiring a full-time staff person to coordinate its international activities. It was suggested that this person produce a newsletter containing information about translation rights, forthcoming international meetings and publications, etc. Richard Griffiths suggested that soft currency in foreign countries might be used to train translators and editors in those countries. Robert Frase dis- cussed the need to move the Florence Protocol Agreement to the U.S. Senate for consideration-and to persuade Canada to join the agreement. Jean Lowrie expressed the need to involve librarians at all levels in international exchanges.
Robert Bernstein recommended the Center as the appropriate sponsor for a proposed annual "Books from America" exhibit to be shown in foreign coun- tries. The books, donated by American publishers, would be representative of the year's publications about American civilization.
Carol Owens summarized the discussions and added several ideas. She endorsed the proposed role of the Center as a catalyst and the notion that it have one staff person to coordinate international activities. The value of information exchange among people in the international book world cannot be overestimated, but an occasional newsletter can serve this purpose admira- bly. Large, representative meetings should be directed at discussions of spe- cific themes. The Center should be issue-oriented, with specific projects (and seminars) developing from concern with the issues. Within the broad frame- work of the flow of books to and from the U.S., the following general topics need attention: translation, language training, development of library science and the training of librarians in foreign countries, publishing in foreign coun- tries, universal acceptance of and adherence to domestic and international copyright laws, free flow of books within countries and across national boundaries, access to and distribution of books, and exchanges of people in15
the book world. The first order of business would be, as suggested by Leo Albert, an inventory of what is being done and by whom. This compilation would also help identify specific needs and further identify the individuals and organizations most interested in and capable of filling these needs.
The meeting concluded with agreement to appoint a small committee repre- sentative of the assembled group, with appropriate additions, to work with the Center in shaping its role and program with regard to international book matters.16
Twenty individuals representing the book and educational communities met in the Whittall Pavilion on March 23 for the second general planning meeting to discuss the development of the Library's new Center for the Book. The first meeting, held on October 20, 1977, solicited ideas about potential Center for the Book activities. This meeting focused on the question of the Center's organizational structure.
Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin welcomed the participants. He announced that George C. McGhee, former U.S. ambassador to Turkey and to the Federal Republic of Germany, and former chairman of the board of Saturday Review, would serve as chairman of the Center's National Advisory Board. The Librarian next reminded his audience of the Center's general purpose: to provide a national focal point for stimulating interest in all aspects of the book. Working with and through other organizations, the Center will strive to enhance appreciation of the role of the book in our society and to encourage reading and the use of books. He emphasized that the Center will not compete with or replace any existing organization; indeed, it seeks to develop worthwhile cooperative projects with many other groups. It will be a voluntary organization, just as the book itself "is the most volun- tary of media."
John Y. Cole, the Center's Executive Director, reported on developments since the October 1977 planning meeting. He emphasized the need to involve authors, publishers, booksellers, librarians, educators, scholars, critics, and readers in all of the Center's endeavors and outlined the first steps that have been taken toward developing such broad-based support. Each of the pro- grams now underway is an experiment; new ideas are always welcome.
1. Invitational seminars. A national seminar on "Television, the Book, and the Classroom," cosponsored with the U.S. Office of Education, will be held at the Library on April 26-27, 1978. It, like a second seminar on
"Children's Reading and Books: A Transatlantic Perspective," to be held on March 12-13, 1979, will bring together recognized national experts to discuss and define pertinent issues and identify topics in need of research.
2. Specialized planning meetings. On February 23, 1978, in cooperation with the Association of American Publishers, the Center hosted a gather- ing of 30 persons interested in the international flow of books. On April 13-14, 1978, it will bring together at the Library 12 scholars and pub- lishers interested in the history of books and printing. The purpose of such meetings is to exchange views about pertinent issues and to make recommendations about ways in which the Center might serve as a useful catalyst within various specialized fields.
3. Specialized programs. On February 14, 1978, the Center, in cooperation with the Library's Rare Book and Special Collections Division, spon- sored an illustrated talk on bookbinding by a prominent visitor from the British Library. On October 10, 1978, in cooperation with the Library's Latin American, Spanish, and Portuguese Division, it will sponsor a program on "The Book in Mexico." The latter is the first in a series of programs about the role of the book in various foreign cultures.
4. Receptions and other ceremonial events. In Chicago, on June 26, 1978, in cooperation with the American Library Association and perhaps other groups, the Center will sponsor a reception honoring authors of the Chicago area. In April 1979 the Center might join with the San Francisco Public Library in several events honoring that institution's centennial.
In response to a question from Arthur Brody, Mr. Cole explained that the proceedings of all the invitational seminars will be published. It is also likely that many of the specialized programs will result in publications. A mailing list is being established to keep all interested parties informed about the Center's activities.
George C. McGhee, chairman of the National Advisory Board, called for a discussion of the organizational proposal distributed prior to the meeting. He listed several questions to be settled, including the names, sizes, and responsi- bilities of the various groups contemplated. He felt it was essential that involvement with the Center be considered an honor-but not an "honorary position" in the sense that no work was required. He explained that "mem- bers" of the Center would be expected to serve as "windows" between the Center and their respective corners of the book community and to partici- pate, when appropriate, in the Center's programs. No dues will be imposed upon participants, nor is fund-raising the principal reason for constituting the Board of Advisors. The Center will be project-oriented and it is expected that18
interested individuals and organizations will join with the Center to support specific projects or programs. The Center itself will remain small, relying on the Library of Congress for a certain degree of administrative support, on volunteers, and on existing organizations.
Mr. McGhee singled out another question for discussion: to what extent should the Center for the Book become a "mass" organization? Was the Smithsonian Associate organization a parallel? In response to the latter ques- tion, Dr. Boorstin thought not, but Ann Heidbreder Eastman suggested the name "Reader" as one that might be considered for members of the larger organization if one developed. Barbara Tuchman thought this concept had appeal. In discussing nomenclature, Arthur Brody was not enthusiastic about the proposed name of "Companions." Simon Michael Bessie felt this term should be reserved for individuals singled out by the Center for their special contributions to the book community.
The discussion resulted in general (but not unanimous) agreement on sev- eral points. The National Advisory Board will consist of approximately 80 persons chosen primarily because of their devotion to the book. The Librar- ian of Congress will issue the invitations, which will be for three-year, renew- able terms of office. Approximately half of the invitations will go to members-at-large and the rest to persons who represent organizations inter- ested in the Center and its activities. The first meeting will be held in late September or early October. A Steering Committee, also headed by Mr. McGhee, will provide guidance regarding the Center's functions and priorities.
The development of a precise statement of purpose for the Center will be an early responsibility of the Steering Committee. It also will establish the various membership committees. Eventually the Center plans to create, in addition to a finance/administration committee, membership committees reflecting the following areas of concern: history of books and printing; the future of the book, which will include the impact and uses of technology and other media; authorship and writing; publishing and bookselling; libraries and book use; reading and literacy, which will include children's books and read- ing; and the international flow of books. The committee structure will be kept informal and flexible. For example, if there is no immediate interest, formation of a committee will be postponed. As projects develop, interested individuals and organizations will be brought together. As Dr. Boorstin stressed, the Center should become a place of opportunity, a place where new and varied interests can combine to find new and varied ways to promote books and reading.
Many potential projects for the Center and its committees were discussed. Martin Levin saw two important needs the Center might fulfill: improved communication about significant problems faced by various segments of the book community, e.g., international book activities; and recognition of indi- viduals who have made significant contributions to the book community-a contribution toward stemming the tide toward depersonalization throughout the industry. Leo Albert mentioned a project that was needed in each of the19
Center's areas of interest: an inventory of book programs now being spon- sored by both the government and the private sector. John Putnam felt it would be useful for the Center to review the Charter of the Book, which was promulgated during International Book Year. Margaret McNamara and Dorothy Shields pointed out the potential usefulness of public service adver- tising for the Center and its programs. In a similar vein, George McGhee pointed out potential uses of the Advertising Council.
Barbara Ringer expressed her belief that the Center should be represented at UNESCO meetings concerned with national and international book pro- grams. Leo Albert and Harold Schneidman enlightened the group about a particular UNESCO matter. They pointed out that the "new world informa- tion order" now being formulated by the UNESCO Advisory Group on World Communication Problems, could conceivably restrict the free flow of books and information among the nations of the world. The question was posed: what role, if any, should the Center for the Book play in response to this possible development?
Ann Heidbreder Eastman felt the subject of reading development was especially appropriate for the Center's consideration. She referred to the 1951 conference on reading development sponsored by the American Book Publishers Council and hoped the Center might support a similar meeting focused, perhaps, on adult reading habits. Roysce Smith suggested the Center sponsor a panel at the 1979 convention of the American Booksellers Associa- tion on this or a related topic. In fact the Association might use the subject of reading habits, or perhaps literacy, as a general convention theme.
Robert Frase suggested that the Center, working through the Oral History Association, encourage an "oral history of the book world" that would inter- view publishers, librarians, booksellers, etc. The tape recordings would be deposited in the Library. John Putnam mentioned the need for a newsletter. Mary Lethbridge explained the nature of the Library of Congress Information Bulletin and Quarterly Journal and proposed that the Information Bulletin publish Center for the Book supplements until a regular Center publication is established.20
Fifteen librarians, scholars, publishers, collectors and editors from various parts of the United States met in the Wilson Room on April 13 and 14 to discuss contributions the Library's new Center for the Book might make to the study of books and printing. This gathering was the fourth in a series of Center for the Book planning meetings. Specialists from the Library of Con- gress staff joined the outside experts for the discussion.
Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin opened the meeting by stressing the need to remind our citizens of the great influence the book has had on the development of our civilization. It is one of our greatest resources-and both a triumph of technology and a work of art. Its uniqueness must be recognized and preserved. The bibliophilic side of the study of the book is important and naturally must be encouraged, but the social history of the book-its fundamental relationship to the rise of our democratic society- must be explored as well. The Center for the Book will serve as a catalyst in the world of books, reaching out to enhance appreciation of the book, to encourage its use, and to stimulate the reading habit. The Center will work closely with other groups that have related concerns; it will not compete with any other organization for support.
John Y. Cole, the Center's Executive Director, sketched the general pur- poses of the Center and its major areas of interest which include, in addition to the history of books and printing, the book and other media, the inter- national flow of books, authorship and writing, publishing and bookselling, libraries and book use, and reading and literacy.
Members of the advisory group briefly summarized their major concerns. Ruth Mortimer recalled the needs and ambitions of her students and hoped the Center might serve a general educational purpose, especially in the history of printing. David Godine feels the Center should try to reach people who do not read or buy books, which appears to be about 60% of the American21
population. This should be done through specific, focused projects. In addi- tion the Center should provide information about publications and current exhibits of special interest. Joyce Wilson reminded the group of the impor- tance of children's books to the endeavor. She and Adrian Wilson also felt it was essential to encourage historical research and better book design. The Center's potential function as a coordinator and facilitator of historical proj- ects was mentioned by Elizabeth Harris. John Bidwell thought the Center might serve as a coordinator and stimulus in the relatively new field of 19th-century printing and paper history.
Sandra Kirshenbaum would like the Center to serve as an educational medi- um, treating the book and its related parts as a whole and demonstrating how the book traditions of the past are being expressed in our contemporary culture. She underscored a contradiction in need of further study: even though fewer people appear to be reading, there is an explosion of interest in many aspects of our book heritage-especially in the book arts.
Robert Nikirk expressed his conviction that we somehow must give school- children a greater opportunity to appreciate quality in the book crafts. Another useful function of the Center would be the identification of organi- zations in the book world that need help. The Center should also identify scholarly needs and support the development of scholarly tools useful to the field.
James Wells spoke about the importance of improving the quality of teach- ing in the area of the history of books and printing. In addition, there is a dearth of interesting, informed books at the popular level. Moreover, some- one should be encouraging the translation of significant foreign works about the history of the book. J. M. Edelstein voiced his hope that bibliophilic topics would not be ignored as the Center accented the social and intellectual aspect of the book's contribution to society. There are many useful contribu- tions that might be made in the field of bibliography.
William Todd cautioned the Center to avoid "dull scholasticism"; it will not inspire anything if it becomes overly scholastic. It should send out "cultural missionaries" to promote the book in the spirit of the Chautauqua move- ment. Another idea is for it to award, or encourage the awarding, of beauti- fully designed books to children and others as prizes. Terry Belanger stated his belief that the Center's most useful function would be to serve as a "switching post" for information and ideas.
Leonard Schlosser described his view of history as an ongoing continuum and the importance of continually viewing the book within this perspective, always relating it to other media and technologies. The Center should not overestimate or be overly influenced by current trends, especially in the craft movement. Thomas Tanselle noted that the subject of editing had not been mentioned. It is an especially fruitful topic for study because editing and the editor provide a connection between the physical book and the contents of the book.22
The advisors agreed that the Center should act as a coordinator and perhaps "consultant" with regard to fellowships, giving advice and information but probably not offering its own fellowships. The pressing need is to identify research tasks and opportunities and then make that information more widely available. James Wells mentioned the desirability of greater support for indi- vidual dissertations; Ruth Mortimer suggested the possibility of apprentice- ships. Thomas Tanselle hoped the Center would urge others, including the Library of Congress itself, to undertake large but important projects such as putting entries now in the National Union Catalog into other formats that would be useful to researchers and bibliographers, e.g., arrangement by pub- lisher or imprint date. Such rearrangements can be done by computer once the Library agrees the effort is worthwhile. David Godine and William Todd urged the Center to proselytize on behalf of the book to new and different audiences. Mr. Todd advocated a "resident bibliophile" who would spend much of his or her six-month term of office making public appearances around the country on behalf of the Center and its programs.
John Y. Cole explained that in performing its educational function the Center will work closely with the Library's exhibits and publications pro- grams. Both activities, under the leadership of Carol Nemeyer, the new Asso- ciate Librarian for National Programs, are being refocused and, in all probability, expanded. Because of these changes and the recent arrival of new Exhibits and Publications Officers, we now have a unique opportunity to develop innovative programs that will help bring the Library of Congress and its resources to the nation in many new ways. Next, Michael Carrigan, the new Exhibits Officer, outlined some of his plans and asked for ideas.
Robert Nikirk stressed the importance of encouraging high standards for exhibits; John Bidwell seconded the notion. James Wells questioned the idea of "permanent" exhibits, pointing out that most of them quickly become stale. He also felt that traveling exhibits should be sent to institutions other than libraries. Alan Fern, director of the Library's Research Department, underscored the need to expand the audience, using the Library's materials to support other organizations in our common effort "to increase consciousness of the history of books and printing." William Todd offered the idea of a "book of the day" exhibit which would celebrate anniversaries of significant or especially interesting works. The labels or written materials prepared to accompany the "book of the day" exhibit could be shared with institutions around the country and the world. Robert Nikirk and Terry Belanger would like to see more market research performed to learn what types of exhibits libraries wanted; William Todd and Leonard Schlosser disagreed, championing a leadership role for the Center and the Library of Congress in traveling exhibit programs.
Leonard Schlosser cautioned against becoming "too rarified" in exhibit presentations and programs. There is a vacuum to be filled with regard to major, authoritative book exhibits such as the former AIGA exhibit. Can the23
Center bring other organizations together to accomplish this kind of broad, general purpose that serves the entire book world? Sandra Kirshenbaum advo- cated an exhibit that demonstrated the various parts of the book and how they are put together. Such an exhibit would help the Center meet one of its major educational goals: increasing appreciation for books and for excellence in book making. Leonard Schlosser agreed, but warned that the Library should be wary of putting its imprimatur on anything that did not meet the highest standards.
Dana Pratt, the Library's new Publishing Officer, tempted the audience with a description of the Library's publishing possibilities, comparing the institution's collections to the holdings of a "marvelous candy store." Daniel J. Boorstin addressed the necessity of "awakening people to the beauty of a well-designed book," deploring in particular the design of certain American history textbooks. Everyone agreed that the Library of Congress should con- tinue to exhort the Government Printing Office to improve the design and the general quality of its publications. Sandra Kirshenbaum asked if the Library might assist other institutions by publishing or co-publishing their exhibit catalogs. It was agreed that for the present the Library of Congress needs to concentrate on its own program, but that. the Center might perform a clear- inghouse function with regard to information about book and book arts exhibits.
The Librarian returned to the problem of finding specific ways "to awaken readers to the fact that they are reading something that has been designed." Might not the Center encourage publication of a "primer of book design" that would include references to all kinds of books including paperbacks? The impetus in this direction probably will not come from the private sector. Several persons pointed out that development of such a primer might be coordinated with the creation of exhibits or publications drawing attention to the different elements and processes that go into the making of a book.
John Y. Cole asked for advice about how the Center might most effectively communicate with the book world and others outside our rather specialized world. Should it establish its own newsletter? Its own journal? Should the LC Information Bulletin and Quarterly Journal be its primary vehicles of com- munication? Dana Pratt and other LC staff members provided background information about the Library's publications projects. There was agreement that the Library and the Center had to make certain basic decisions about the Center's functions before a separate newsletter is published. When developed, as it probably should be, this newsletter should emphasize the Center's unique perspective-and unique catalytic function-within the book commu- nity. A consensus also developed about the Quarterly Journal: it desperately24
needs redesigning but its somewhat eclectic nature is ratier appealing-and accurately reflects the nature of the institution it represents!
Robert Nikirk reiterated his concern about outreach. Exhibits and many other Library of Congress activities have little meaning unless they are shared with others outside the institution. Those administering both the exhibits and publications programs must bear this in mind. Sandra Kirshenbaum asked if the Library or the Center might support certain publication projects origi- nating elsewhere but thus far unpublished. Messrs. Nikirk, Schlosser, Godine, and Belanger objected to any suggestion that the Center might compete with commercial publishers. Others quickly responded that perhaps the proper role for the Center was facilitating the publication of worthwhile manuscripts. Others suggested that in addition to this role, the Center would perform a useful function if it could identify and publicize possible funding sources for all book-related proposals, whether or not publication was a goal.
Terry Belanger identified several types of national registries that the Center might appropriately support. James Wells noted the desirability of analyzing journal articles in the book field. John Y. Cole pointed out that the Library's MARC office already was producing, for internal use, a "monthly awareness service" covering books and other publications in library and information science. Perhaps the Center should sponsor wider coverage and distribution of this service. Thomas Tanselle felt that, in addition to the clearinghouse func- tion, the Center should stimulate new, original bibliographical works, both outside and inside the Library. Moreover, it should do what it can to encour- age the cataloging of the Library's specialized research collections, such as those in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, the Copyright Office, and the Prints and Photographs Division. Such efforts are of wide- spread interest to the field and should be given priority.
Elizabeth Eisenstein, joining the group for the first time, sketched her major concerns. She explained that her view was that of a cultural and intel- lectual historian. This led her to her first point: was not the Center's name too constrictive? Was it not in fact concerned with more than just the book and with all of "print culture?" Through conferences and seminars, the Cen- ter should encourage a sharper definition of the problems we face because of the proliferation of printed materials. Our present "economy of abundance" has altered the traditional roles of the book and the printed word in our society. There are many dimensions of this development that the Center might explore, including its impact on the history of libraries, data collection, book production, book distribution, and book consumption. Specific topics could be illuminated by exhibits and graphic displays using maps, charts, and statistical data. Case studies might include "encyclopedias through the ages," pornography, printing as publicity, missionary movements (how many lan- guages is the Bible translated into each year?), translations movements, and "the reading public in the media age." Other themes worth pursuing are25
textbooks and their role in society, music printing, and children's books as a genre.
There was a discussion about the possibility of the Center maintaining a "research-in-progress" file for the area of the history of books and printing. Tom Tanselle pointed out that certain publications already perform this func- tion; moreover, he felt a continuing list of "things that need to be done" would be more useful. Others proposed that the Center index or abstract the various book and printing newsletters already in existence.
William Matheson, Chief of the Library's Rare Book and Special Collections Division, spoke of his experiences in organizing the first four Engelhard lec- tures on the book. The advisors endorsed the Library's recent decision to use funds donated by Mrs. Charles W. Engelhard to support informal talks by specialists instead of the previous formal lectures. The informal talks have become part of the Center's program.
Sandra Kirshenbaum proposed that the Center encourage, or perhaps spon- sor, a traveling corps of speakers. Elizabeth Eisenstein endorsed the idea of popular talks about book-related subjects and recommended talks for elemen- tary and secondary school children. Exhibits for young audiences would be a desirable contribution. School teachers are another important audience. The group vetoed any suggestion that the Library or the Center have a biblio- graphic press or give practical demonstrations on such a press. The Smith- sonian Institution is performing this function and doing an excellent job.
Everyone agreed that the Center should have a "physical presence" within the Library once the move to the new Madison building makes more space available. For the first time the book community, including librarians, pub- lishers, booksellers, authors, and scholars, will have a place to meet and socialize within the Library of Congress. It was suggested that this meeting area be connected to a reading room of basic books and periodicals about all subjects of interest to the Center.
John Y. Cole explained the rationale behind the Center's planning meetings and the events it has scheduled thus far. He discussed the Center's role as both a forum and a catalyst, pointing up the need to develop the widest possible support within and outside the book community. The Center itself will remain small, relying on volunteer help, on other organizations, and, when appropriate, on the staffs of various Library of Congress divisions. It will make every effort to enrich the Library's programs and hopes to provide a new internal focus and stimulus for many Library activities.
Leonard Schlosser talked about the difficulty of enlisting the appropriate persons from the book manufacturing industry in the Center's endeavors. And he volunteered to help. He also stressed the relative insignificance of the book publishing and manufacturing business when compared to the industry as a whole and echoed others who had advised the Center to incorporate the "print media" within its scope of interest. Where, he asked, is the line of demarcation between books, magazines, newspapers, audiovisual materials, etc.? Much book publishing today is in fact "non-book."26
David Godine made several points about the Center and its audiences- potential and actual. He felt too much effort is being spent "preaching to the converted." The most important audience is outside the relatively narrow, academically-oriented book lovers represented at this meeting. How do we reach those who have not been converted? How can the Center involve the "non-book" organizations that already reach these audiences. Many of these organizations are capable of providing extensive and free publicity. Finally, how can the Center develop the support within the Library of Congress that will give it impetus and direction? Without such internal support it will undoubtedly fail.
Alan Fern responded to Mr. Godine and concluded the session. He outlined the opportunities the Center had to stimulate the Library of Congress itself, especially in focusing and coordinating certain cultural events and in strength- ening the Library's research and scholarly activities. The Library of Congress is now trying to mobilize its scholarly staff to serve a national clientele of book people, researchers, and scholars. The Center for the Book will play an important role in this effort, as will Dr. Boorstin's proposed Council of Schol- ars. But in order to succeed, the Library must have the support and the ideas of each person in the room.27
Leo N. Albert
Chairman of the Board
Charles J. Andersen
American Council on Education
Robert F. Asleson
R. R. Bowker Company
Robert E. Baensch
Harper & Row Publishers, Inc.
Public Information Office
American Library Association
National Endowment for the
School of Library Service
Columbia University in the
City of New York
Chairman of the Board
President & Chief Executive Officer
Simon Michael Bessie
Senior Vice President
Harper & Row Publishers, Inc.
School of Printing
Rochester Institute of Technology
Ernest L. Boyer
U.S. Commissioner of Education
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.
Chairman of the Board
Bro-Dart Publishing Company
Richard H. Brown
Director of Research and Education
The Newberry Library
Cohn and Marks
Director, Washington Office
American Library Association
Arthur G. Coons, Jr.
Director, Department of Education
Ann Heidbreder Eastman
Women's National Book Association,
Cornell University Libraries
J. M. Edelstein
National Gallery of Art
Elizabeth L. Eisenstein
Professor, Department of History
University of Michigan
Associate Assistant Administrator
Bureau for Development Support
Agency for International
Department of State
Senior Vice President
B. Dalton, Bookseller
Ray W. Frantz, Jr.
University of Virginia Library
The J. Paul Getty Museum
David R. Godine
The Godine Press, Inc.
National Executive Director
Reading is Fundamental, Inc.
Vice President for Planning
McGraw-Hill International Book
John L. Hafenrichter
Acting Chief-Documentation and
Bureau for Development Support
Agency for International
Department of State
Robert D. Hale
Hathaway House Bookshop
Elizabeth M. Harris
Curator, Graphic Arts Collection
Museum of Science and Technology
The Authors League of America
Matthew N. Hodgson
The University of North Carolina
Association of American Publishers,
Executive Assistant to the
U.S. Commissioner of Education
Yale University Press
Editor and Publisher
Senior Vice President
Litton Educational Publishing
Martin P. Levin
Vice President, President, Book
U.S. Department of Commerce
Jean E. Lowrie
School of Librarianship
Western Michigan University
Clare Boothe Luce
author and former Ambassador
George C. McGhee
former Ambassador to Turkey and to
the Federal Republic of Germany
former Chairman of the Board
Chairman of the Board
Reading is Fundamental, Inc.
Editor, Book World
The Washington Post
Joan D. Manley
Chairman of the Board
Time-Life Books, Inc.
Curator, Rare Book Room
Smith College Library
National Education Association
The Grolier Club
Carol M. Owens
Special Assistant to the Assistant
Secretary for Educational and
Department of State
Robert L. Payton
Exxon Education Foundation
Dean, Graduate School
John B. Putnam
Association of American University
Yale W. Richmond
Office of Eastern European Programs
Department of State
Carol A. Risher
Staff Director, Copyright
Association of American Publishers
Leonard B. Schlosser
Lindenmeyr Paper Corporation
Harold F. Schneidman
Acting Associate Director (Planning
and Program Direction)
Director of Public Relations
B. Dalton, Bookseller
Department of Education
Datus C. Smith, Jr.
The Asia Society
G. Roysce Smith
American Booksellers Association
G. Thomas Tanselle
Department of English
University of Wisconsin
William B. Todd
Editor, Papers of the Bibliographical
Society of America
University of Texas
author and historian
Samuel S. Vaughan
Doubleday & Company
Grolier Educational Corporation
American Library Association
James M. Wells
The Newberry Library
book designer and printer
The Commission on Security and
Cooperation in Europe
Erik Barnouw, Consultant to the Library of Congress in the History of Film
Daniel J. Boorstin, The Librarian of Congress
Michael Carrigan, Exhibits Officer
John Y. Cole, Executive Director, Center for the Book
Alan Fern, Director, Research Department
John Finzi, Assistant Director for Library Resources, Research Department
Lewis Flacks, Special Legal Assistant to the Register of Copyrights
Robert Frase, Assistant Executive Director/Economist, National Commission
on New Technological Uses of Copyrighted Works (CONTU)
Mary Lethbridge, Information Officer
Frank McGowan, Assistant Director (Acquisitions and Overseas Operations),
William Matheson, Chief, Rare Book and Special Collections Division
Carol A. Nemeyer, Associate Librarian for National Programs
Dana Pratt, Director of Publishing
Barbara Ringer, Register of Copyrights
William J. Welsh, Deputy Librarian of Congress32
|91 STAT. 1151|
Public Law 95-129
To provide for the establishment of a Center for the Book in the Library of
Oct 13, 1977
|Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the|
United States of America in Congress assembled,
DECLARATION OF FINDINGS AND PURPOSE
SECTION 1. The Congress hereby finds and declares-
(1) that the Congress of the United States on April 24, 1800,
established for itself a library of the Congress;
(2) that in 1815, the Congress purchased the personal library
of the third President of the United States which contained mate-
rials on every science known to man and described such a collec-
tion as a "substratum of a great national library";
(3) that the Congress of the United States in recognition of
the importance of printing and its impact on America purchased
the Gutenberg Bible in 1930 for the Nation for placement in the
Library of Congress;
(4) that the Congress of the United States has through statute
and appropriations made this library accessible to any member of
(5) that this collection of books and other library materials has
now become one of the greatest libraries in civilization;
(6) that the book and the printed word have had the most
profound influence on American civilization and learning and
have been the very foundation on which our democratic principles
have survived through our two hundred-year history;
(7) that in the year 1977, the Congress of the United States
assembled hereby declares its reaffirmation of the importance of
the printed word and the book and recognizes the importance of
a Center for the Book to the continued study and development
of written record as central to our understanding of ourselves-
and our world.
It is therefore the purpose of this Act to establish a Center for the
Book in the Library of Congress to provide a program for the investi-
gation of the transmission of human knowledge and to heighten public
interest in the role of books and printing in the diffusion of this
SEC. 2. As used in this Act-
|2 USC 172.|
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CENTER
SEC. 3. There is hereby established in the Library of Congress a
|2 USC 173.|
|91 STAT. 1152||PUBLIC LAW 95-129-OCT. 13, 1977|
|FUNCTION OF THE CENTER|
2 USC 174.
| SEC. 4. The Librarian through the Center shall stimulate public|
interest and research in the role of the book in the diffusion of knowl-
edge through such activities as a visiting scholar program accompanied
by lectures, exhibits, publications, and any other related activities.
|2 USC 175.||SEC. 5. The Librarian of Congress, in carrying out the Center's functions, is authorized to-|
|Regulations.||(1) prescribe such regulations as he deems necessary;|
(2) receive money and other property donated, bequeathed, or
devised for the purposes of the Center, and to use, sell, or otherwise
dispose of such property for the purposes of carrying out the
Center's functions, without reference to Federal disposal statutes;
(3) accept and utilize the services of voluntary and noncompen-
sated personnel and reimburse them for travel expenses, including
per diem, as authorized by section 5703 of title 5, United States
Approved October 13, 1977.
HOUSE REPORT No. 95-491 accompanying H.R. 6214 (Comm. on House Administra-
SENATE REPORT No. 95-315 (Comm. on Rules and Administration).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 123 (1977):
July 12, considered and passed Senate.
Sept. 26, considered and passed House, amended, in lieu of H.R. 6214.
Sept. 30, Senate agreed to House amendments.
This online version of the print publication The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress : the planning year by John Y. Cole, Executive Director. Washington : The Library, 1978. was produced under the auspices of the Bibliographic Enrichment Advisory Team (BEAT) of the Library of Congress as part of the BeCites+ Project in August 2003
| The Library of Congress >>
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August 13, 2003