CIA Library

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The CIA Library

The CIA Library is a library available only to Central Intelligence Agency personnel, contains approximately 125,000 books and archives of about 1,700 periodicals.[1][2] Many of its information resources are available via its Digital Library, which include CD-ROMs and web-based resources.

History[edit]

The library was created in 1947.[3] During the Hungarian Revolution, the CIA librarian reviewed tapes of broadcasts by Radio Free Europe two other Hungarian speakers who worked for the agency, and provided answers to questions posed by the Agency's International Organization Division.[4][5] In later years, names of two librarians would be revealed: Alexander Toth who worked as a librarian in the 1950s, and Evelyn C. Chen, who received a masters degree in library science from Columbia University, working as a librarian from 1961 to 1972.[6][7]

In 1994, Harold Weisberg told CIA Director R. James Woolsey that a librarian that used to work at Hood College had once worked for the Agency as a librarian.[8]

In February 1997, three librarians working at the institution spoke to Information Outlook, a publication of the Special Libraries Association (SLA), noted the importance of the library in disseminating information to employees, even with a small staff, and how the library organizes its materials.[3]

Peggy Tuten, chief of the CIA library from 1999 to 2006, revealed in 2020 that staff at the library were some of the first users of the internet, in 1999, at the Agency.[9] She also noted that in 2001 the library moved from being part of the Directorate of Intelligence to under the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, a subdivision of the Agency's Directorate of Science and Technology, annoying staff. Tuten also noted that following 9/11, the library was renovated as the Agency began to hire new staff, and that she left the library in 2006 to join the Open Source Center of the Director of National Intelligence. In later years she recruited students in library schools to join the Agency for their careers.

In August 2000, Kimberley W. Condas of library was awarded the 2000 International Special Librarians Day (ISLD) Award, which is given to a member, or members, of the SLA who use the International Special Librarians Day to "promote their own libraries and the profession."[10] Condas chaired a committee which promoted ISLD to Agency employees, with more than 500 attending the event.

In May 2007, it was reported that the Agency was looking for "trained, innovative, customer-service oriented librarians" who knew East Asian, Chinese, and Arabic, and had various library skills.[11]

In March 2016 it was reported that the Agency was hiring a librarian, with a salary of "$50,864 to $118,069 a year," which would serve as embedded "information experts" within the Agency.[12] The job notice also stated that librarians play an important part in "intelligence gathering and managing CIA materials."

In a April 2019 Twitter thread, the Agency said they had full-time librarians, with library cards only available to those with security clearances.[13] An accompanying blog post said that the library might appear like modern public libraries, but has a mostly declassified collection, even with DVDs of "spy movies and documentaries," and noted that some librarians are even recruited by other parts of the Agency due to their research and information science skills.[14]

In April 2020, the Agency promoted the library's resources during National Library Week, noting the roles of libraries at the CIA, sharing declassified and unclassified resources about the Agency.[15] American Libraries, the flagship magazine of the American Library Association, entitled a post "Find the CIA Library at your place," quoting and linking to the Agency's post.[16]

In May 2021, an unnamed gay librarian, who worked for the library, was shown in a recruitment video for the Agency.[17][18]

Collections[edit]

The Library maintains three collections: Reference, Circulating, and Historical Intelligence. New material for these collections is selected around current intelligence objectives and priorities.[1]

The reference collection includes core research tools such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, commercial directories, atlases, diplomatic lists, and foreign and domestic phone books.[19] CD-ROMs and extensive commercial database services round out the collection.[1][20] At one time, the CREST, otherwise known as the Central Intelligence Agency's Freedom of Information Act Electronic Reading Room, was under the library, along with other historical publications, and current ones like The World Factbook.[21][22] In 1994, the collection was described as a "centralized library reference file," with documents retained in paper and microform.[23]

The circulating collection consists of monographs, newspapers, and journals. Many information resources, such as CD-ROMs and web-based resources, are available to customers via the Digital Library.[1] The library also participates in inter-library loans of circulating items with other domestic libraries.[1][24]

The Historical Intelligence Collection is primarily an open-source library dedicated to the collection, retention, and exploitation of material dealing with the intelligence profession. Currently there are over 25,000 books and an extensive collection of press clippings on that subject.[1][25] This likely includes documents which detail the "CIA's role in Indochina during the Vietnam War," and about the launching of Sputnik.[26][27]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "CIA Library". Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on March 18, 2021. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  2. ^ Hamilton, John (2007). CIA: Defending the Nation. Minnesota: ABDO Publishing Company. p. 14. ISBN 1617847232.
  3. ^ a b Wright, Susan L. (February 1, 1997). "50 Years of Silent Service: Inside the CIA Library". Information Outlook. Special Libraries Association. 1 (2): 33–35. Archived from the original on May 20, 2018. Retrieved August 14, 2021. Also available here
  4. ^ "Memorandum from the CIA Librarian to the Chief of the International Organizations Division, 'Personal Comments on RFE Broadcasting to Hungary, 24 October-4 November 1956' [Approved for Release, March 2007]," January 10, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, CIA Mandatory Declassification Review, MORI #1426220. Obtained and contributed to CWIHP by A. Ross Johnson. Cited in his book 'Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty,' Ch3 n82. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/208858
  5. ^ "CIA Librarian, 'Report on a Review of Radio Free Europe Broadcasts Beamed to Hungary, from 24 October to 4 November 1956' [Approved for Release, March 2007]," January 14, 1957, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, CIA Mandatory Declassification Review, MORI #1426219. Obtained and contributed to CWIHP by A. Ross Johnson. Cited in his book 'Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty,' Ch3 n82. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115004
  6. ^ Baker, Nicholson (2002). "Original Keepsakes". Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper. New York City: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 40. ISBN 1400033047.
  7. ^ "Obituaries: Evelyn C. Chen CIA Librarian". Washington Post. February 20, 2004. Archived from the original on August 27, 2017. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  8. ^ Harold, Weisberg (October 17, 1994). "CIA Matters" (PDF). Letter to R. James Woolsey. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  9. ^ Tuten, Peggy (2020). "What's a Librarian Do at the CIA?". In Mickolus, Edward (ed.). More Stories from Langley: Another Glimpse inside the CIA. Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 19–24. ISBN 1640123776.
  10. ^ "CIA Librarian Recognized for Promoting Librarianship". Information Outlook. Special Libraries Association. 4 (8): 6. August 1, 2000. Archived from the original on May 20, 2018. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  11. ^ Liu, Jing (May 23, 2007). "CIA Library Chinese Non-Ref Positions". Chinese Canadian Library Weblog. University of British Columbia. Archived from the original on August 15, 2021. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  12. ^ Long, Heather (March 5, 2016). "The CIA Is Hiring A $100,000 Librarian". CBS Philly. CNN. Archived from the original on August 4, 2021. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  13. ^ CIA [@CIA] (April 11, 2019). "When most people think of CIA & the officers who help keep our country safe, a #librarian is probably not what comes to mind. Maybe it should. Some heroes wear cardigans. #AwesomeCon 2019. ~ Molly #NationalLibraryWeek #AskMollyHale" (Tweet). Archived from the original on May 7, 2021. Retrieved August 15, 2021 – via Twitter.
  14. ^ "Ask Molly: April 11, 2019". Central Intelligence Agency. April 11, 2019. Archived from the original on June 1, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  15. ^ "Find the Library at Your Place: CIA Resources for National Library Week". Central Intelligence Agency. April 29, 2020. Archived from the original on June 20, 2020. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  16. ^ "Find the CIA Library at your place". American Libraries. April 2020. Archived from the original on August 14, 2021. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  17. ^ Maurice, Emma Powys (May 11, 2021). "Gay CIA employee 'stunned' by rainbow in another cringe-inducing recruitment ad". PinkNews. Archived from the original on May 14, 2021. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  18. ^ Borger, Julian (May 4, 2021). "CIA forges unity in diversity: everybody hates their 'woke' recruitment ad". The Guardian. Archived from the original on July 28, 2021. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  19. ^ "Library". Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on February 1, 2017. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  20. ^ Swenson, Allan A.; Benson, Michael (2002). The Complete Idiot's Guide to the CIA. London: Penguin Group. pp. 34–35. ISBN 0028643968.
  21. ^ "CREST - 25-Year Program Archive". Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on February 1, 2017. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  22. ^ "Historical Collection Publications". Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on January 26, 2012. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  23. ^ Request for Records Deposition Authority (PDF) (Report). National Archives and Records Administration. February 4, 1994. p. 1. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 15, 2021. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  24. ^ Martirosyan, Tigran; Maretti, Silvia; Starr, S. Frederick (2016). Scholars' Guide to Washington, D.C. for Central Asian and Caucasus Studies: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan. Milton Park, Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, England, UK: Routledge. p. 279. ISBN 1315497565.
  25. ^ "CIA Library". Factbook on (Government) Intelligence. Darby, PA: DIANE Publishing Company. 1995. p. 27. ISBN 0788123874.
  26. ^ "CIA - Vietnam War". Ike Skelton Combined Arms Research Library. Archived from the original on August 14, 2021. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  27. ^ Bradley, Michelle Cadoree (July 10, 2019). "Sputnik and the Space Race: 1957 and Beyond--Primary Sources". Library of Congress. Archived from the original on July 23, 2021. Retrieved August 14, 2021.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°57′7.5″N 77°8′42.6″W / 37.952083°N 77.145167°W / 37.952083; -77.145167