Library Launches First Blog

Posted April 24, 2007 at 4:21pm

An institution credited for its preservation of literature’s most historic works, the Library of Congress is embracing an ever-growing trend in new media by launching its first-ever blog today.

According to Kevin Novak, the Library’s director of Web services, discussions within the Library’s Internet Operations Group last summer led to the eventual concept for the blog, which is at www.loc.gov/blog. Novak said the Library also will begin podcasting in the next few months, adding, “the blog is just one more take in order to communicate out to a very diverse and changing public.”

While there is not yet a set format for the blog, Matt Raymond, communications director for the Library, hopes it will allow an open forum for “a dialogue beyond just the broad strokes.”

Those involved in the discussion on the blog will likely range from experts within the Library to anyone in the general public who wishes to post a comment regarding a specific topic. The goal, according to Raymond, is to “try and get content out in as user-friendly a way as possible and at the same time … highlight some of the online exhibitions that are already out there.”

Raymond said the blog is a necessary step to move into the future.

“Even though the Library is a historic 207-year-old institution, to stay relevant we have to adapt with new technologies and new media,” Raymond said.

Guy Lamolinara, spokesman for the Library, added that the blog is a way to embrace an ever-growing group of cyber visitors to the Library.

“We know that … the vast majority of people who ‘visit the Library’ do it virtually,” Lamolinara said. “We want to reach them in as many ways as we possibly can.”

Raymond considers the forum to be an “online docent” and is excited about its potential to engage readers.

“I want it to be as conversational as possible,” Raymond said. “I definitely want that kind of feedback because I think, as a blogger, that’s how you grow, that’s how you think of things in new ways, is a thoughtful dialogue.”