August 4, 2014 Library of Congress Seeks Volunteer Docents

15-Week Training Program to Begin Sept. 2

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707‑0022
Public Contact: Susan Mordan-White (202) 707-9203

The Library of Congress is recruiting the 2014 class of volunteer docents to lead tours of the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution.

To best serve the more than 1.6 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 volunteers to greet and direct visitors and to conduct tours.

Each fall, the Library’s Visitor Services Office offers a 15-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.

Docent training classes will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from Sept. 2 through Dec. 11 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 members 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.

After completing the training, participants will be thoroughly prepared to lead tours of the Library. Each candidate will lead 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 parking while on duty and receive discounts in the Library Shop and cafeteria, as well as 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 Susan Mordan-White at (202) 707-9203, [email protected], 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.

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PR 14-141
2014-08-04
ISSN 0731-3527