Friday, June 21, 2013

Library of Congress' plan threatens access to its comic books

ComicsDC has learned that the Library of Congress Associate Librarian Roberta I. Shaffer has proposed closing several reading rooms, and consolidating their functions in the main Jefferson building. For some departments, this would make sense, but for the Newspapers, Government Documents & Current Periodicals (aka 'Serials') department, it would seem to cause more problems than it would solve.
The current pull time for a comic book is slightly over 15 minutes - this would undoubtedly go at least to an hour. That would mean a significant loss of a researcher's time, spent wasted in waiting. Also, the main reading room has no real security, or ways to oversee a user. When a damaged Action Comics #1 sells for $175,000, that's a concern.
The Library has come late to the world of comic book studies, and it would be a shame to see them implementing a plan like this.

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