Contact: Cara Schillinger
Director of Membership, Marketing, and Communications
CHICAGO, August 3, 2015 — The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) today
submitted a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama recommending he nominate a
visionary leader with a deep commitment to preserving cultural memory as the new
Librarian of Congress to replace Dr. James H. Billington, who is retiring from the
position effective January 1, 2016.
The Librarian of Congress heads the Library of Congress, recognized as the United
States’ de facto national library and the largest library in the world. The librarian also
oversees the U.S. Copyright Office, Law Library of Congress, and several other service
and support units.
Dr. Billington, the 13th Librarian of Congress, has served in the role for 28 years, after
being appointed to the position by former President Ronald Reagan in 1987.
AALL’s letter asks President Obama, during his search for the next Librarian of
Congress, to consider qualified candidates, including law librarians, who will provide
strong leadership on issues affecting libraries in the digital age — such as preservation
of and permanent public access to born-digital and digitized materials.
AALL believes the next Librarian of Congress should have a transformative vision of a
strong, responsive, and modern Library of Congress for the 21st century and beyond;
possess a sophisticated understanding of how technology can improve library
operations and promote access and preservation; and display a commitment to
transparency, public participation, and collaboration.