Report: “Preservationists Say Library of Congress Makeover Plan is ‘Vandalism'”
From The Washington Post:
A proposed change to the ornate Main Reading Room at the Library of Congress that critics say would remove the symbolic and functional heart of the 1897 Beaux-Arts masterpiece has landed the library on the D.C. Preservation League’s 2022 list of Most Endangered Places.
The Library of Congress plans to remove the mahogany librarian’s desk that rises some 16 feet in the middle of this spectacular, first-floor room and replace it with a circular window in the floor that will offer a view of its decorative dome to visitors looking up from the floor below.
When the D.C. Preservation League announced the listing last month, it described the alternation as ill-advised and unnecessary and said it would “desecrate the Reading Room’s character and function.” It asked Congress and the Architect of the Capitol, the federal agency responsible for the Capitol complex, to stop it.
Principal Deputy Librarian of Congress Mark Sweeney called the project a “game changer” that is critical to the library’s future. The D.C. Preservation League’s posting about the plan has several errors, he added, including the idea that the library is turning away from its central function as a place for scholarship.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.