July 9, 2010 Library of Congress Seeks Volunteer Docents

16-Week Training Program to Begin Sept. 7

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707 0022
Public Contact: James Hughes (202) 707-9867

The Library of Congress is recruiting the 2010 class of volunteer docents to lead tours of the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution.

To best serve the more than 1.75 million visitors who come each year, eager to view the magnificent Thomas Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C., and learn about the treasures it contains, the Library=s Visitor Services Office relies on more than 300 trained volunteers to greet and direct the visitors and to conduct tours.

Each fall, the Library’s Visitor Services Office offers a 16-week training program for volunteer docents who will gain the skills necessary to lead tours of the Thomas Jefferson Building and answer questions about the Library’s collections and services. The 2010 training session for docents will begin on Sept. 7, 2010.

Docent training classes will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from Sept. 7 through Dec. 16 at the Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C., on Capitol Hill. The nearest Metro stop is Capitol South.

The training curriculum covers all aspects of the Library and is specially designed to prepare docents to give interesting and informative tours of the Thomas Jefferson Building and include a range of information about the Library. The classes are presented by Library staff as well as experts from outside the Library. The curriculum focuses on the past, present and future of the Library; curatorial divisions; public programs; collections care and use; organization and infrastructure; and the art and architecture of the Thomas Jefferson Building. In addition to classroom training, the docent class will go on field trips and outings.

Once the training has been completed, participants will be thoroughly prepared to lead tours of the Library. Docents in training each will present a qualifying tour to an audience of their choosing before providing their first public tours. On average, volunteer docents work one four- hour shift per week, providing two tours. Volunteers are eligible for free parking and discounts in the Library Shop and cafeteria, as well as for free flu shots. In addition, an active enrichment program organizes field trips for volunteers to visit institutions around the Washington Metropolitan region. For more information about the program and other volunteer opportunities, contact James Hughes at (202) 707 9867, jahu@loc.gov, or go to www.loc.gov/visit/volunteers .

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled integrated resources to Congress and the American people. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. In doing so, the Library helps foster the informed and involved citizenry upon which American democracy depends. Today, the Library serves Members of Congress and their staff, scholars and the publicCall of whom seek information, understanding and inspiration. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.


PR 10-165
ISSN 0731-3527