Maybe I can help you out. I work for the Clinton Presidential Library, a part of the Presidential Library system which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The Kennedy Library is also a part of the Presidential Library system.
It's somewhat of a very bureaucratic process by which the Presidential Libraries are built. Portions of the libraries are upheld (and usually constructed) by the President's foundation or organization. That's the "exhibit" side that "normal" people see. The actual "good" stuff (i.e., documents, records, artifacts given to the President) are actually held by NARA. Yes tax dollars do hold the Presidential Library system together. However, you should know that the NL side of NARA (as the Presidential Library system is known) is one of the more underfunded sections of the National Archives, and requires all sorts of means by which to keep them running as they do. The focus of archives is more on the constant influx of state and federal documents that continuously come into the archives every minute. As a Presidential Library however, Clinton's records are done (any new record he creates post-Presidency is held by his Foundation. We don't handle that kind of material).
However, you should know that as an employee of NARA I do not work at the Clinton Presidential Library primarily because of political means. My job is more of the historical aspect of Clinton's Presidency and that of the Presidency of the United States in general. And unfortunately as a Federal Gov't employee I suffer from the recent problems and potential legislation changes that could affect Federal workers, despite the fact that I am part of an intricate process that sees that the records of a former United States President is preserved for generations.
However, "Crap" is one word you probably should not use when describing the way the Presidential Libraries work. For one, when you think about it the Presidential Libraries are the absolute best primary source material you can possibly obtain - and as a U.S. citizen you very much have every right to research at them (of course, for some stuff you may have to file Freedom of Information Acts, but you still very much have the ability, AND RIGHT, to conduct your own research). Additionally, digital media is a tremendous concern, and for good reason. I work in the audio/visual section of the Clinton Archives, and honestly we will never fully digitize the entire photographic and video collection in my span of work before retirement. It's a fate I've accepted. It's kind of a sad thing to think about, but what occurs is that once you've digitized one project, the digitization it was placed in becomes outdated or insufficient. Additionally, the 90's was a horrendous time period for digital media. Believe it or not, those multitudes of 3 1/2" floppys that were around in the 90's - we can't read. They're outdated. They're also a serious virus risk to new computers and systems. It's additionally sad because there is a high potential of seriously instructive media. I personally have estimated that to digitize the entire collection of Clinton's Presidential videos in the highest digital format (which is what is required) possible, it would AT LEAST require 500 TB. Yes, five hundred terabytes. And that's a very conservative estimate. Obviously it just won't happen for some time.
I think one thing people need to get out of their heads when they think of these institutions is on the face they may be a machine by which to promote a political agenda. However, at their root they are perhaps the most un-modified (as everything contained is original) source of knowledge about our Government that one could obtain. Be glad they are here, believe me.
EDIT: And sorry. Not meaning to sound like I'm attacking or anything. It just does irk me when people, whom do not realize how great of an educational tool the Presidential Libraries are, do not take them seriously. I do. It's one of the reasons why I work for the National Archives. I would work at any Presidential Library regardless of President if it meant preserving the records of our highest office for my great great great grandchildren to one day see.
[This message has been edited by Fiero84Freak (edited 01-13-2011).]