Reading-Room Plan at Library of Congress Will Hurt Service, Critics Say

Reading-Room Plan at Library of Congress Will Hurt Service, Critics Say 1

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Under a controversial plan, subject-specific reading rooms would be integrated into a "centralized service point" located in and around the famous Main Reading Room in the Library of Congress's Jefferson Building.

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close Reading-Room Plan at Library of Congress Will Hurt Service, Critics Say 1

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Under a controversial plan, subject-specific reading rooms would be integrated into a "centralized service point" located in and around the famous Main Reading Room in the Library of Congress's Jefferson Building.

A plan to consolidate several reading rooms at the Library of Congress and offer "one-stop shopping" to patrons in search of information has rattled some library staff members, who worry that it will undercut specialized reference services and expertise. But a top administrator said the plan would not affect service and was part of the library's efforts to keep up with trends among researchers, who increasingly work online and across disciplines.

Roberta I. Shaffer, associate