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Campus Notebook: CRS Director Will Retire This Spring

Daniel Mulhollan, director of the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress, will retire in April.

He announced his retirement Wednesday at the annual dinner for CRS staff, CRS spokeswoman Janine D’Addario said.

“After 42 years of service to Congress, 17 as the Director of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) I am convinced that the CRS, with its capacity to focus the country’s best thinking on identifying alternative solutions to the problem at hand and setting out their potential consequences, is one of the chief bulwarks for drafting well thought out legislation that anticipates all implications and finds legislative redress to those consequences identified,” Mulhollan said in a statement.

He started working at the LOC in 1969 as an analyst in the Legislative Reference Service, which later became the CRS. While head of different sections of the Government and General Research Division, he worked with Congressional committees on issues such as lobbying disclosure, the Watergate investigation, Congressional reform and standards of official conduct.

He was appointed the assistant chief of the government division in 1981 and named chief in 1991.

From 1992 to 1994, he served as acting deputy Librarian of Congress before he was named CRS director by Librarian James Billington.

His accomplishments include leading the CRS through a transitional period when several of its staffers hired during an expansion in the 1970s retired around the same time, overseeing the development of a collaborative research environment, employing new tools to assess agency performance and creating a program that established partnerships with major universities.

“I am proud to have been able to serve the United States Congress and support the functioning of representative government,” he said.

Billington will select Mulhollan’s replacement after consulting with the Joint Library Committee, D’Addario said. Billington has not announced when he will start searching for the new CRS director.

A Bird in the Hand

Library of Congress researchers and staffers found new meaning to the phrase “watch like a hawk” when a hawk somehow found its way into the Main Reading Room on Wednesday night.

 One of the researchers saw the bird, and an LOC staffer who does bird-
watching as a hobby used an iPhone application to identify it as a Cooper’s Hawk. As of Friday afternoon, the bird was still in the building.

The LOC brought in a specialist from the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia to safely trap the bird, but it might be days before the bird comes down if it has eaten recently, LOC spokesman Matt Raymond said.

Staffers said the bird might have gotten in through a broken window.

Raymond conducted a Q-and-A about the bird on the LOC blog, joking about dive-bombing and naming the bird.

One blog reader said he doesn’t think the hawk is alone: “I’m sure there are a number of hawks … and doves among the library’s members.”

Others are trying to decide what to name the bird after Raymond deemed the name “Cooper” predictable and banal. Raymond suggested Fenimore, after writer James Fenimore Cooper, but since the bird has been identified as a female by wildlife specialists, he’s not so sure that Fenimore will fly.

Some suggestions were Hudson Hawk, D.B. (after the plane hijacker), Speckie Hawk and Addison Hawk.

Raymond said nothing like this has happened before at the LOC. While there was a duck situation in an outdoor LOC courtyard, that was nothing compared to having a hawk fly in circles and perch on the columns in the Main Reading Room.

Of course, wildlife might become a permanent fixture in the room, Raymond joked on the blog, to keep staffers “alert and on their toes” and “to prevent researchers from taking long naps.”

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