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Center for American Progress

YES WE SCAN: John Podesta Calls on President Obama to Create a Digital Library of Congress
Press Release

YES WE SCAN: John Podesta Calls on President Obama to Create a Digital Library of Congress

Washington, D.C. — Today, locked in the basement of government entities like the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and the National Library of Medicine, are untold reams of valuable and important public information. To truly unlock the power of the Internet, we need to make these important materials freely available online.

In response to the inadequacies of current efforts to digitize federal holdings, CAP Chairman John Podesta and Internet pioneer Carl Malmud recently wrote President Barack Obama asking him to appoint a commission to create a digital Library of Congress:

When Thomas Jefferson donated his books to create the cornerstone of the Library of Congress, his library contained a wealth of useful information, from an extensive collection on the law to books on agriculture, chemistry, surgery, and medicine. With this contribution, Jefferson saw to it that the government of the United States would play a central role in the increase and diffusion of knowledge.

It is time now for us to lay the cornerstone for our own era, to anchor our digital age with the vast holdings of our government so that we may promote the useful arts and the progress of science. We ask your help to achieve this 21st century dream, making the vast resources of our federal government available to all on the global Internet, making access to knowledge a right for all Americans and a defining contribution for our future.

The Center for American Progress has also submitted a petition through the White House website encouraging the administration to formulate a national digitization strategy. Visit the Yes We Scan website to learn more.

The following experts are available for comment on this topic:

  • John Podesta, Chair and Counselor
  • Carl Malmud, Founder, public.resource.org
  • Judd Legum, VP for Communications and New Media

To speak with experts, please contact:

PRINT: Madeline Meth at [email protected] or 202.741.6277

TV: Lindsay Hamilton at [email protected] or 202.483.2675

RADIO: Anne Shoup at [email protected] or 202.481.7146