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Safety Tips

For the safety and enjoyment of festival patrons, event staff, authors, sponsors and volunteers, the Library of Congress has instituted safety-screening protocol.

What to Expect

  • Four public entrances will be open at the Washington Convention Center:
    • Main building entrance at Mount Vernon Place
    • Corner of M Street and 7th Street
    • L Street South
    • L Street North
    All other doors will be exit only.
  • Upon entering the Washington Convention Center during the festival, all guests will be subject to bag searches. This will also apply to reentry throughout the course of the day.
  • After clearing the bag check area, guests will be able to move freely around the Washington Convention Center.

Tips for the National Book Festival

  • Doors open at 8:30 a.m. The Festival Expo floor including Book Sales opens at 8:30 a.m.
  • Festivalgoers should arrive early to the Washington Convention Center to allow enough time to adjust to the festival’s safety protocol.
  • Festivalgoers are only permitted one bag per person, in addition to a handbag or purse. Strollers with children are permitted, but no wheeled luggage is allowed.
  • To avoid problems or confusion, the Library of Congress recommends festivalgoers limit the items they bring to the festival.
  • There will be no place to store or check items such as coats.
  • Use the National Book Festival app for the most up-to-date information prior to and during the festival.

Non-Permitted Items

  • Dangerous weapons such as firearms (and their replicas), fireworks, explosives, knives of any size, pointed objects, razors and box cutters, stun guns, pepper spray, mace and martial arts weapons (note: active duty law enforcement with proper credentials may carry their weapons)
  • Aerosol containers
  • Any items that bring to question public safety deemed problematic by law enforcement
  • Protest materials, including picket signs and handouts
  • Large wheeled luggage
  • Any items intended for sale