Library of Congress, Center for Education
“…to foster a free and informed society by building, preserving and providing resources for human creativity, wisdom and achievement.”
Partial Mission of the Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the United States’ federal cultural institution that serves as the research arm of Congress. Created to supply knowledge to members of the House of Congress, the largest library in the world has always been the ultimate “go to” location for researchers of all types. Invigorated by growing numbers of visitors to its historic Jefferson Building, the Library has developed numerous initiatives and opportunities to make its resources accessible to the “lay” public. The Library provides access to its collection of millions of photographs, maps, recordings, and of course, books, through an extensive website which supports various opportunities to engage with the collections, and developing unsurpassed educational resources that bring teachers and students closer to the incredible collections and offer opportunities to understand the meaning and the significance of America’s experience and memory. The Library of Congress is investing in improving and expanding access to its collections and knowledge resources with a diverse array of onsite and online programs and services aimed at the American public, in addition to its traditional users – members of Congress and scholars. In 2007, the Library completed its 2008- 2013 Strategic Plan outlining broad strategies to realize comprehensive goals addressing Content, Customers, Outreach, Organization, and Workforce. Guided by the Strategic Plan and inspired by the success and innovation of the multimedia Library of Congress Experience (LCE) which allows visitors of all ages to “experience” Thomas Jefferson’s Library and significant major collections, the Library began to explore the idea of creating a state-of-the-art, hands-on Center for Education.
Lord Cultural Resources was engaged to work with the Library's Office of Strategic Initiatives to develop the concept for an innovative Center for Education to expand content, improve customer access to, and increase awareness of, the value and utility of the Library. The resulting Center, utilizes multiple station interactivessuch as touch-screens monitors, real-time classroom-to-classroom technology, and object-based learning initiatives to engage teachers and students in the use of primary sources; and orient teachers and students to the Library’s collections and resources. The Center also leverages its technology resources – video and digital gaming – to facilitate the interdisciplinary concept of PLAY, one of the ways that children learn about themselves, their environment and their community.