Library of Congress – Descriptive Cataloging – Introduction

Library of Congress – Introduction

 The Library of Congress is made up of three buildings:  Jefferson (left), Adams (center) and the Madison (right)

The Library of Congress (LC) is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. The library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; it also maintains a conservation center in Culpeper, Virginia.  The library’s functions are overseen by the Librarian of Congress, and its buildings are maintained by the Architect of the Capitol. The Library of Congress is one of the largest libraries in the world.  Its “collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, and include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages. – From Wikipedia.

My main Peace Corps assignment in Malaysia between 1963 and 1965, was with the University of Malaya Library.  Staff there, like others throughout the world, hold LC with great awe and respect.  With great pride, the staff told me about a Malaysian who worked there at LC.  More on this person later.

On my return to the US in 1965, I was hired to be the Head of the Cataloging Department at Washington University in St. Louis.

I worked directly under Steve Salmon, the Assistant Director.  He liked my work.

In 1966, Steve left to go to the Library of Congress where he held an important job in the Processing Services Department.  In 1967 Steve let me know about the vacancy for the Assistant Chief of the Descriptive Cataloging Division.  I applied and was hired.  Thus, I began many years of promotions to increasingly responsible positions until I became the Assistant Librarian of Congress for Processing Services

First, I was Assistant Chief and later Chief of the Descriptive Cataloging Division (1967-1972).  I then moved and then became the Chief of the Serial Record Division (1972-1975), after which I was promoted to be the Assistant Director of Processing Services for Cataloging 1975-1976), and lastly, I was promoted to be the Assistant Librarian of Congress for Processing Services (1976-1983).  I then became the Director of the National Agricultural Library (1983-1994).

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