Library of Congress to host virtual public forum on updates to legislative data services

The Library of Congress will host a virtual public form on federal legislative information services on September 2, 2021, starting at 1PM ET. RSVP here. This is the second — and last — forum required of the Library by House Legislative Branch Appropriators “to facilitate public input into the Library’s legislative information services and how they could be improved,” although we hope it is not the last. The Library was required to invite the public to the event and to summarize the comments and evaluate implementation of the suggestions in a report to be provided to appropriators.  

The Library is expected to make a presentation on recent enhancements to, including upgrading the alert system for tracking bills and improvements to the user experience of the Congressional Record search results. The Government Publishing Office will present at the virtual forum, covering improvements they made to make congressional legislative data more accessible. 

The Library recently declined, at a recent Bulk Data Task Force meeting, to release or summarize its recommendations to appropriators regarding public suggestions made at last years’ forum; we summarized the proceedings here. Civil society had submitted a series of recommendations on September 4, 2020 to the Library on how it could improve its legislative information services — many of those recommendations continue to be relevant.

Much like last year’s public forum, the forum is a listening session, where they state “we want to hear from you about your legislative information needs and how we can better serve them.” The public forum is an opportunity for the staff of the Library of Congress to identify new ways to meet public needs. 

This is an opportunity for the Library of Congress to strengthen its relationship with users of legislative data, including but not limited to users of, users of its data, and those who wish to see improvements to how the Library provides legislative information to various stakeholders.