January 20, 2022

If Federal Government Shutdown Happens All Library of Congress Web Sites and Resources Will Be Taken Offline, Buildings Closed

UPDATE 2: If Shutdown Happens GPO WILL Update FDSys With With Congressional and Federal Register Info ONLY

UPDATE: Additional Coverage from Library Journal

An advisory post on the Library of Congress web site says that IF a temporary federal government shutdown takes place beginning on October 1st, all LC building will close, all events cancelled, and all of the the library’s many online services and research tools will be taken down.

In other words, LC’s become physically and electronically inaccessible to just about everyone both in the Washington D.C. region and around the world.

In LC’s Words:

In the event of a temporary shutdown of the federal government, beginning Tuesday, October 1, all Library of Congress buildings will close to the public and researchers. All public events will be cancelled and web sites will be inaccessible.

We will update this post if/when we learn more.

Additional Coverage

“Library of Congress and FTC will take their sites offline if gov’t shuts down” (via Ars Technica)

Gayle Osterberg, director of communications for the Library of Congress, explained that “funds to operate websites in general are not available” and later added that “visitors to the site or those who follow a link to an internal page from a search engine result, for example, would see a simple splash page explaining the current status of the federal government.”

“Many of the services offered through our websites, such as reference services and cataloging queries, require staffing,” Osterberg told Ars by e-mail. “Those activities and corresponding expenditures are not allowed in the event of a shutdown.”

The Ars article also has info about what several other government agencies are planning to do if a shutdown takes place.


About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.