Event | Special Events 2020 Semi-Annual Open House

Date and Location

  • When: Monday, February 17, 2020

    10:00 am - 3:00 pm EST

  • Where: Thomas Jefferson Building - Main Reading Room

    10 1st Street SE, Washington, DC 20540

Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov.

Twice each year, the Library of Congress opens its magnificent Main Reading Room to share information about how the public can access the Library’s resources year-round. The Main Reading Room will be open to the public on the federal Presidents’ Day holiday.

This year’s first Open House will showcase a variety of materials highlighting African-American history and culture from within the Library of Congress collections: children’s books by and about Supreme Court Justices,the Blackwell Family tree (family of Arthur Ashe, Jr.) tracing family lineage back to 1735, material on African American contributions to science, famous African American cookbooks, and highlights of the Library’s  digitized newspaper collections, specifically the Chronicling America collection with an emphasis on African American newspapers and topics pages. Reference librarians will also be on hand to demonstrate services, offer instruction on obtaining a reader-registration card and answer questions. No other reference services will be available, and all other Library of Congress reading rooms and buildings will be closed.

The Open House will also feature activities hosted in the Young Readers Center. From 10 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., patrons can participate in ‘Artmaking for Kids and Families’ with activities for ages 7 – 12. Participants will create collage art based on the work of printmaker Amos Kennedy, and use the words of Rosa Parks or their own words to create a print based on Kennedy’s work on display in the exhibition Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words.

At 1 p.m. in LJ-119, Warren Bernard, executive director of the Small Press Expo, will interview cartoonist Keith Knight about his life and career. Knight is known for his comic strips including The Knight Life and The K Chronicles. “Woke”, a new live-action/animated comedy based on Knight’s life, will premiere on Hulu in June.

Photography is allowed; however, visitors may not use selfie sticks, mono-, bi- or tripods.


Exhibition tours will be available to visitors on the second floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building. 

Contact: (202) 707-8000.