January 31, 2014 Main Reading Room Open House on Presidents Day

Press Contact: Deanna McCray-James (202) 707-9322
Public Contact: Visitor Services (202) 707-8000

Twice each year, the Library of Congress opens its magnificent Main Reading Room for a special open house to share information about how the public can access the Library’s resources year-round. The first open house of 2014 will take place on the Presidents Day holiday, Monday, Feb. 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Main Reading Room is located on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St., S.E., Washington, D.C.

Photography is allowed and reference librarians will be on hand to demonstrate services, instruct on how to obtain 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. Visitors can join the conversation that day on Twitter using the tag #LCSpring14. Visitors may not use mono-, bi- or tripods.

The Jefferson Building, which will be open to the public between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., also features the incomparable Great Hall and the Library of Congress exhibitions.

A special display will feature items from the Library’s collections of the first three American presidents: George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. Included in the display are items from the Manuscript Division’s extensive Jefferson and Washington papers and also from some smaller Adams family collections. These letters, speeches, household accounts, charts, secret codes and more show these men not only as presidents but also as fathers and husbands and, in Jefferson’s case, a scientist.

The Library’s Young Readers Center will celebrate past and future presidents from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Children are invited to bring their own historic props – top hats, mustaches, spectacles – and read a famous speech (or their own) at the presidential podium. Learn about the presidents as children, have fun with presidential trivia, engage in craft exercises and much more. Young people, who must be accompanied by an adult at all times, are encouraged to explore the center’s library of current and classic books, which can be read onsite.

Unreserved guided tours of the Thomas Jefferson Building will be offered at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m. and at 12:30, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Each tour is limited to 40 people and designed to accommodate individuals and families, not large groups. More information about the Library, the exhibitions and tours is available at the orientation desks at www.loc.gov/visit or by calling (202) 707-8000.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. 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. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.


PR 14-022
ISSN 0731-3527