The Library of Congress Information Bulletin is distributed free of charge domestically as well as overseas to members of Congress; public, academic and research institutions; learned societies and allied organizations; and to the more than 1,000 depository libraries in the United States. Its mission is to report on the policies, programs and events of the Library to an audience of more than 12,000.
The first issue of the Library of Congress Information Bulletin was published on Jan. 23, 1942, under the title Staff Information Bulletin. [The title was changed to the Information Bulletin in July 1943.] As its title implied, the two-page mimeographed publication provided practical information for the staff through short notices, many of which reflected the wartime atmosphere. Air raid watches, Red Cross war relief drives and the sale of Defense Bonds were announced along with staff appointments and Library-sponsored exhibitions, meetings and luncheons. The Information Bulletin reported on many new Library activities undertaken in response to the war effort. It also reported on new organizational units and collections that arose as a result, such as the Office of Facts and Figures, the Legislative Reference Defense Section, the War Collection and the Civil Defense Collection, to name just a few.
Beginning in January 1972, the Information Bulletin was produced as a printed rather than mimeographed publication. Digital technology was incorporated into the production of the publication in the 1990s. The April 1990 establishment of The Gazette, a weekly newspaper for the Library staff, allowed the Information Bulletin to broaden its editorial perspective, focus on informing its external audience and change from a weekly to a biweekly publication. In 1997 the Information Bulletin became accessible on the Library's Web site, and it began publishing monthly, due to budgetary constraints.
With the completion of a major redesign of the Information Bulletin Web site in July 2006, the publication marked another milestone in its long history. The online accessibility of all issues dating back to 1993 – all with the same "look and feel" – not only provides users with valuable information about the Library and its activities, but also allows relevant links to be made to the Library's other online resources.