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The University of Southampton
Web Science Institute

Web Science Institute & the University of Southampton Library host a talk by Kate Zwaard and Dr Colleen Shogan from the US Library of Congress

Published: 30 July 2019
Kate Zwaard & Colleen Shogan

Kate Zwaard, Director of Digital Strategy gave a fascinating talk about “Incremental Progress toward Exponential Change".

'The Library of Congress, one of the world’s largest libraries, is also the oldest cultural heritage institution in the United States. Kate will talk about how we can responsibly innovate in our dynamic information economy in institutions whose missions necessarily mean a lower tolerance for risk. She will also describe the recent projects of the Library of Congress Labs (, which enables transformational experiences by connecting people with the Library and its digital collections and helps prototype the ideas of staff across the institution.'

Dr Colleen Shogan, Assistant Deputy Librarian, Collections and Services gave a talk on "Social Media and Interactive Representation in the U.S. Congress".

'Representative democracies are premised upon a single elected legislator representing a group of citizens. Political science has accepted this traditional relationship as static. States maintain single-member districts, but the adoption of social media by Members of Congress has created new interactive representational opportunities as Members and constituents utilize Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms to communicate beliefs and preferences. The previous academic understanding of representation has been built on the concept of legislative members serving as either delegates or trustees. More recently, Jane Mansbridge (2003) posited that the nature of representation has changed and must include additional dimensions. However, her models do not account for recent developments in technology and communications.

The advent and adoption of social media by Members of Congress has provided an opportunity to reevaluate representation and the potential for interactivity through online platforms. Building on previous research and using recent case studies, this paper develops a new theory—interactive representation—to explain the political, institutional, and normative implications of unfettered real-time communication between Members of Congress and the electorate.'



Image courtesy of Colleen Shogan

Colleen J Shogan

Watch the talk given by Colleen Shogan from the Library of Congress

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