The Library of Congress, in collaboration with the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and the Government Printing Office, is operating a new public beta site for accessing free, fact-based legislative information called Congress.gov.
The new website features platform mobility, comprehensive information retrieval and user-friendly presentation. Congress.gov eventually will replace the public THOMAS system and the congressional Legislative Information System (LIS) that are currently in use. The Library launched THOMAS, named for President Thomas Jefferson, in 1995 as a bipartisan initiative of Congress. It averages 10 million visits each year.
Using best practices for retrieving and displaying information, the refined, user-friendly Congress.gov system will make finding legislative information more intuitive, comprehensive and accessible than the existing system. Congress.gov connects the information with a title and url more readily identified by all constituencies.
The Library is releasing Congress.gov as a beta site to enable a period of time for collecting user feedback and refining functionality while other content is incorporated. Other data, such as the Congressional Record, committee reports, nominations, treaties and communications, will be incorporated over time in a planned, prioritized order. The Library anticipates Congress.gov will operate as a beta site for approximately one year as that work is completed. During that time, both THOMAS and LIS will continue to operate as usual.
For starting on a path to make legislative information more accessible, the Library of Congress’ beta site for Congress.govis Government Video’s Website of the Week.
Click here to access the website.