Library Of Congress Readies Thomas Upgrade

    August 19, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

After ten years of work, the LOC will have a prototype ready to replace the legislative search engine.

Like true librarians, officials at the Library of Congress have remained quiet on details about the forthcoming upgrade to the Thomas search engine, according to Federal Computer Week. But that upgrade will take place by the end of this year.

The free Thomas search engine sifts through the output of our Congressional bodies, like legislation and committee information. When the update work has been completed, users will be able to utilize a single query to go through that information, instead of needing to use different search forms for different sections of the database.

New searches will be able to go across both Houses of Congress, and if they fulfill the wish list of Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), users will be able to retrieve voting records and Senate gift reports along with other data, according to the report. Whatever the result, the new search engine should be simpler to use, with more advanced tools available.

Anything that makes Congressional work easier to review will be a benefit for everyone. Whether it will have the relevance of a Google in retrieving information, or a given level of completeness in its searches, won’t be known until public testing begins.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.