The lead gift in a public-private partnership, the gift from Rubenstein, co-executive chair of the Carlyle Group and chair of the library's James Madison Council, will be used to improve access to the library's collections for the nearly two million people who visit the library's Thomas Jefferson Building on Capitol Hill each year. Part of a strategic plan spearheaded by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden to make the library more user-focused, the project will include construction of a new ground-level orientation center, learning lab, and exhibitions featuring the library's collections. In September, the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on the Legislative Branch approved the release of $8 million to fund design work for the enhancements, in addition to $2 million for initial planning.
"We believe all Americans are connected to their national library and will be inspired and empowered to explore the wide-ranging collections, from the manuscripts of presidents and changemakers, to historical photographs and maps, to our nation's creative heritage in music, film, and art," said Hayden.
"Literacy is critical to learning and achieving one's full potential," said Rubenstein. "The Library of Congress plays a unique role in advancing literacy and fostering a love of country and community. I am honored to be a part of this important project to enhance the visitor experience and present the library's countless treasures in new and creative ways. I commend Dr. Hayden for her vision and leadership in modernizing the library's spectacular Jefferson Building in ways that respect its beauty and grandeur."
(Image credit: Library of Congress)