and Representative José Antonio Viera-Gallo Quesney, Speaker of the House, with funding provided by the World Bank. They initiated a project that gave priority to the Library of the National Congress, in the belief that a truly independent Congress is such only when it has open and independent access to information and knowledge resources, not limited to those controlled by the Executive, and available to Representatives, for the legislative and oversight tasks of the Congress.
Ms. Ximena Feliu Silva was appointed Chief Librarian and was given the task of transforming the Library. She is a professional librarian from the University of Chile and had previously worked at the Library of the National Congress, accumulating considerable professional and academic history in Chile and other countries. She was the first woman to hold the post of Chief Librarian. She was appointed to that post on 1 June, 1990, and was responsible for major improvements in Library services and structures.
The first priority for modernization was to update the Library’s technological infrastructure and train statf for working within this new technological and political framework. The second concern was to formulate a Strategic Plan to renovate and broaden the technological platform and main databases, and, for the first time, to design indicators and staff performance parameters. New products and services were provided, designed in function of matters under discussion in the House and Senate. A new Congressional General Law included the reorganization of the administrative structure of the Library, favoring staff professionalization and providing for specialists in the areas of computer services development and legislative research. The Library was partially transferred to the city of Valparaíso, where Congress sits.
In 1998, new projects were launched, such as a new control system for finance and administration, the automation of the press clippings service, and the Congressional computer network. These formed part of a technological plattorm which includes the Bibliographic System and the Law-text Access System,