Last week, the Library of Congress (LC), U.S. Congress, and Government Printing Office (GPO) launched the new beta Congress.gov, which combines Congress’s internal LIS system with THOMAS and will eventually replace both systems. In the LC press release Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said, “The new, more robust platform reaffirms for the 21st century Congress’s vision of a vital legislative information resource for all Americans,” calling the new site a reflection of “the Library’s commitment to Congress’s goal to open the legislative process to the American people and promote an informed democracy.”
There are several great new features on Congress.gov, including the homepage’s “Current Legislative Activities” feature which provides a snapshot of all that’s happening in the House and Senate. Unlike THOMAS, the new site also gives users with the ability to simultaneously search all content across all available years, with some files dating from the 93rd congress.
Still, there are areas for improvement in the new platform and while the site is in beta, it’s important that the Library hear feedback from legal researchers. We’ve already heard from a few law librarians that they would like to see an “advanced search” feature and easier-to-find links to authenticated bills and laws on FDsys.
What do you think of the site? What features would you like to see?
As many of you know, law librarians were critical in helping GPO develop FDsys; now it’s your opportunity to help the Library improve Congress.gov. As you explore Congress.gov, share your feedback with the Government Relations Office. We’ll collect your responses and share them with the Library. Let us know!