Skip Navigation Links  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
Main Reading Room (Humanities and Social Sciences Division)
  Home >> Information for Researchers

Information for Researchers - Using the Library of Congress

Reader Registration

All patrons of the Library's public reading rooms are required to have Reader Identification cards issued by the Library. The cards are free, and can be obtained by presenting a valid driver's license, state-issued identification card, or passport at the Reader Registration Station in Room LM 140, on the first floor of the Madison Building near the Independence Avenue entrance. The Reader Registration Station's hours are: 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday (closed Sundays and federal holidays). Researchers must register in person at the Reader Registration Station; the Library cannot take registrations via telephone or the Internet.

Upon completion of a simple self-registration process, the station attendant will check the information, take an identification photo, and issue the printed plastic card to the reader.

Reader Identification cards are good for two years and must be renewed in person when they expire. Researchers with questions about reader registration may call the Reader Registration Station at (202) 707-5278.

The reader registration system is considered a critical component in the Library's collections security program. It is part of a larger plan to protect the Library's collections that was initiated by the Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, in March 1992. Other components of that plan include closed stacks, installation of surveillance cameras, electronic control of stack doors, and installation of theft detection targets and detection gates.

Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >> Information for Researchers
  The Library of Congress >> Researchers
  December 1, 2016
Legal | External Link Disclaimer

Contact Us:
Ask a Librarian