This might be of interest to our social studies folks......scroll down for
info on an online national library as well.
>SENATORS GO LOOKING FOR E-IDEAS
>Senators Fred D. Thompson (R-Tenn) and Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Conn) of
>the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee unveiled a Web site yesterday
>through which citizens can post comments and suggestions that will be
>considered for use in legislation the committee hopes to introduce later
>this year. The Web site is available at http://gov_affairs.senate.gov.
>[Source: Washington Post (A29), AUTHOR: Ben White]
>Check the committee's Web site at the e-government page and under
>Citizen's Services, Online National Library, there may be comments in
>Excerpted from committee page http://gov_affairs.senate.gov
>"Online National Library
>Imagine being able to sit down at your home computer and, at your
>convenience, take a virtual tour of Yosemite National Park, or
>browse through the Smithsonian Institution's vast array of cultural
>artifacts, or conduct research at the Library of Congress on a topic of
>your choice. Information technology offers that prospect–of an online
>national library–as a reality in the not-too-distant future. The
>National Science Foundation (NSF) has already received funding to begin
>work on the math, science, engineering, and technology
>education portion of this library, and will be working with the
>Smithsonian, the National Park Service, and the Institute for Museum and
>Library Services to provide online public access to an ever-growing
>database of photos, historical documents, and other information.
>This proposal would build on existing efforts in several ways. First,
>the proposal would authorize expansion of the existing NSF
>initiatives to include educational resources in the arts and humanities.
>Second, it would direct NSF and the Library of Congress to ensure
>that their parallel ongoing efforts are functionally integrated from a
>user's perspective (i.e., that research in this online national library
>would automatically draw data from both sources). And finally, the
>proposal would ask that, as the library becomes fully functional, the
>application would be made available as "share ware" to state, local, and
>tribal organizations, which could create their own local libraries
>as supplements to the larger whole.
>WHAT DO YOU THINK?
>What are the pros and cons of creating this "online national library"?
>Would legislation be helpful in advancing existing efforts? Are
>their similar proposals that should be considered in other areas?
Judith K. Graves
National Digital Library Program
Library of Congress
101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20540-1320
[log in to unmask] (V)202/707-2562 (F) 202/252-3173