Profile America: First Librarian of Congress

A drawing of the Library of Congress, Smithmeyer & Pelz Architects, ca. 1896. Prints and Photographs Division – Library of Congress.

Tuesday, January 30th. Modern American election cycles engage campaign managers in almost all levels of political races. The man usually credited with being America’s first campaign director, John James Beckley, operated decades before the advent of the news cycle and social media. He directed campaigns on behalf of the Democratic-Republicans in the late 18th century. After Thomas Jefferson won the presidency in 1800, the Library of Congress was founded. Beckley was appointed the first librarian of that world-renowned institution this week in 1802. At lower levels, states employ 570 full-time and 241 part-time librarians, while more than 265,000 staffers across the country hush patrons in local public and school libraries. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <>.

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