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The Joint Committee on the Library is a joint committee of the United States Congress devoted to the affairs and administration of the Library of Congress, which is the library of the federal legislature. There are five members of each house on the committee. It has no subcommittees.

The committee was originally established in 1806 (House Journal. 1806. 9th Cong., 1st sess., 27 February.) to support the expansion of a congressional library. The Committee currently has oversight of the operations of the Library of Congress, as well as management of the congressional art collection and the United States Botanic Garden, but does not have legislative authority.

The committee is authorized to accept any work of the fine arts on behalf of Congress and designate a location in the United States Capitol for the work of art. (Pursuant to the Revised Statutes) This authority was expanded in 1875 to require that artwork that was not the property of the United States could not be displayed in the Capitol and that rooms in the Capitol cannot be used as private studios for works of art without written permission of the Committee. The Architect of the Capitol has the authority to enforce this provision.

On February 24, 1933 with the passage of H.Con.Res. 47, the Architect of the Capitol was authorized and directed to relocate within the Capitol any of the statues already received and placed in Statuary Hall, upon the approval of the Joint Committee on the Library, and to provide for the reception and location of statues received from the states. This provision was permanently enacted into law in 2000 in the legislative branch appropriations.

Membership consists of the chairman and four Members of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, chairman and four Members of the Committee on House Administration and chairman (or his designee) of the House Committee on Appropriations. The chairmanship of the Committee alternates between the House and Senate every two years, at the start of a new Congress.

The committee is currently chaired by Rep. Bob Brady from Pennsylvania and the Vice Chair is Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.

Members, 111th Congress

Majority Minority
Senate members
House members


  • H.Res. 304 Election of Members to Joint Committee on the Library (House). March 31, 2009
  • S.Res. 102 Election of Members to Joint Committee on the Library (Senate). April 3, 2009

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