Congressional Research Service

Library of Congress Tees Up Strategic Changes
Inspector general says institution has not followed through on previous plans

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said the institution would do a better job planning and executing as a knowledge base. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Library of Congress is looking into the future and is on track to release a five-year strategic plan in October. The agency, which has struggled with management and planning in the past, updated lawmakers on their progress on Wednesday.

The library will embark on a mission to focus on its users and providing improved services for the 1.8 million people who visit the library in person and more than 300 million digital users each year.

Critics Pan Plan to Publish Congressional Research
Transparency advocates say thousands of documents would be left off website

The Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building is pictured from the observation area at the top of Capitol Dome. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Government transparency advocates were thrilled last spring when Congress ordered its in-house think tank to publicly release its reports.

Now, groups that lobbied for years to end the secrecy surrounding the Congressional Research Service say the website scheduled to launch in September would leave out crucial documents and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars more than it should.

New Calls for Public Access to Secret Congressional Reports
Privacy policy at Congressional Research Service full of holes, critics say

New Jersey Rep. Leonard Lance introduced a bill with Illinois Rep. Mike Quigley that would require reports from the Congressional Research Service to be made public. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The secrecy surrounding Congress’ in-house think tank came under fire again Wednesday, with transparency advocates on and off the Hill renewing calls for free public access to its in-depth policy briefs. 

Rep. Leonard Lance, a New Jersey Republican, and Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat, reintroduced a bill the same day that would require all the reports produced by the Congressional Research Service to be published on a government website.