March 30th, 2009
09:39 AM ET
8 years ago

Library of Congress to step up use of social networking sites

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Library of Congress is joining the governmental social networking craze.

The world's largest library has announced plans to use YouTube and iTunes to publish some of its vast collections to the Internet. The online move is possible because the General Services Administration, the agency responsible for managing the federal government's assets and purchasing, recently reached agreements with YouTube, Flickr, Vimeo, and blip.tv that allow the Library of Congress and other agencies to use the sites while meeting the government's legal requirements.

"The Library of Congress launched the first U.S. agency-wide blog two years ago and continued its pioneering social-media role with initiatives such as the immensely successful Flickr pilot project," Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said in a statement announcing the new online initiatives. "We have long seen the value of such interaction with the public to help achieve our missions, and these agreements remove many of the impediments to making our unparalleled content more useful to many more people."

The material that will be available on YouTube and iTunes includes century-old films from the Thomas Edison studio, first-person accounts of life in slavery, behind-the-scenes looks at the library's expansive holdings, and book talks with contemporary authors. The online roll-out is set to begin in the next few weeks.


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