News From Our Blog

If your kids are writing a book report for school, these tips from can help.

First Emoji Book in the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress recently added its first all emoji book to its collection, “Emoji Dick” by Fred Benenson which is a retelling of “Moby Dick.”

Emoji translation of 'Call me Ishmael.'

Emoji are the little symbols like smiley faces and hearts that you may have seen used in text messages or on social media.

Benenson funded his book through a Kickstarter campaign and then had thousands of people translate one sentence of Moby Dick into emoji.

Michael Neubert, a recommending officer for the Library of Congress’ collections, said, “There is, in the literal sense, no other book in the Library’s collections like it. What is striking for the Library’s collections about this work is that it takes a known classic of literature and converts it to a construct of our modern way of communicating, making possible an investigation of the question, ‘is it still a literary classic when written in a kind of smart phone based pidgin language?’”

Learn more about the Library’s acquisition of “Emoji Dick.”

Share Your Thoughts on the Books That Shaped America

The Library of Congress recently launched a new exhibition about Books That Shaped America. It features influential books that were written by Americans, such as:

  • Catch-22
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • The Great Gatsby
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Little Women
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Currently, there are 88 books on the list and the Library of Congress hopes you will select the ones that you think shaped America and touched your life the most. They also want you to nominate books that you think are important, but aren’t on the list.

View the list of books that shaped America and then take the survey to share your thoughts.

Four Reasons to Visit Your Local Library This Summer

You don’t have to be outdoors to have a fun summer. In fact, some of the most gratifying and enriching activities might happen within the four walls of one of our country’s 123,000 public libraries.

It’s easy to see why. Libraries offer an easy, accessible and low cost way to read books and magazines, watch videos and learn about new worlds in several languages, and enjoy a wide range of cultural events such as concerts and art exhibitions.

To receive all the benefits of a public library, you need a library card, which you can get for free at your local branch. So if you’re thinking of what to do this summer, consider these four reasons why you should visit a public library. You might be surprised!

1) Digital books. Libraries have adapted to changes in technology, and today many offer e-books which you can borrow for a certain time free of charge. You can check out e-books the same way as you do regular books, except you need an electronic device (e-reader). Some libraries even lend out e-book readers—check with your local library to see if an electronic reader is available for use. Besides print and digital books, you can also download audio books, music and videos at some libraries. Since many libraries have their own websites, you can access many of their services online from the comfort of your home.

2) Information in many languages. Generally speaking, public libraries have books in several languages. Be sure to check out the vast collections of books, magazines and music in languages other than English for adults and children. Some libraries even offer language classes or tutors for students which is especially useful for those who plan to attend summer school. You can also find books and CDs to improve English speaking and writing skills. Who would’ve thought that libraries could be a great place to learn another language!

3) Programs and events for the whole family. You don’t have to read a book to experience art and culture at your library. Many public libraries sponsor and organize different types of programs and cultural events, such as concerts, and photography and film exhibitions. Lots of libraries offer special summer programs for people of all ages, including computer classes, storytelling for children, fun and educational games, as well has reading activities, and more.

4) Specialized resources. For many people, the Internet is not a luxury but a necessity. Public libraries often have a computer room for people who do not have computers or Internet access at home – or for those who just want to browse the web in a relaxed atmosphere where they can concentrate. Libraries also have highly skilled professionals that can help you find what you’re looking for or recommend books and resources for practically anything – including the answer to the question “how long does summer last?”

Libraries offer many more services, including bookmobiles, computer classes and job search databases. To find a public library near you use the government’s public library locator.

Asked by Anonymous

Does the library of congress top librarian have a list of recomended reading list?

The current Librarian of Congress is Dr. James Billington. He was sworn in as Librarian of Congress on September 14, 1987 and is the 13th person to hold the position since the Library was established in 1800. Dr. Billington does not have a public reading list available on the Library of Congress website.

However, the Library of Congress’ site does have booklists available for kids, teens, and adults. Find books to spark the imagination and transport you to new and exciting places at