Monday, April 14, 2008


Kathy Dempsey's article in Information Today ("The Library of Congress Delivers a Whole New Experience), does a brave job of describing the new Library of Congress Experience website, which to me is indescribably confusing. My advice is to banish any thought of navigation and just click on links and let them take you where they may - there are plenty of nice and interesting things to see at LC (and don't be discouraged if some links just take you back to where you came from). The Inside the Experience page itemizes the various exhibits that make up the LOC experience, and they look very attractive indeed. But only one of the items - labeled "now open" - links to anything. Two others read "available in April 2008" and 4 others are "scheduled to open in April 2008" (any difference?). One of them (MyLOC, available in April 2008) is demonstrably open (I stumbled upon it via another page), but no link from this page. I spent some time keyword-searching the site to see if some of the other exhibits might also secretly be open, but gave up after a while. There are apparently two new sites, then, The Library of Congress Experience, and MyLOC. Curiously, it's the latter site that sports the "Library of Congress Experience Video", perhaps one of the most annoying video presentations ever made. Scholarly custodians of the library's treasures talk about their particular favorites with the Miami Vice (or something) soundtrack blaring LOUDLY in the background. The presentation - which would be interesting were it not for the music and the hell-bent effort by scholars to avoid sounding scholarly - commences and concludes with 7 or 8 of them extolling the virtues of LC in the every-other-word locution of Huey, Louie and Dewey. (Huey) "This is a place that houses more fantastic (Louie) and inspiring ideas (Dewey) than have ever been assembled (HueyII) in one location. There are billions of words (LouieII) and hundreds of languages," etc. etc. You get the idea. At the end they all bark "Check it out!" God help us all.

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