July 17, 2015 Library of Congress Seeks Volunteer Docents

14-Week Training Program to Begin Sept. 8, 2015

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

The Library of Congress is recruiting volunteer docents to lead tours of the nation’s first-established federal cultural institution.

To best serve the more than 1.7 million annual visitors, 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 visitors and to conduct tours.

Each fall, the Library’s Visitor Services Office offers a 14-week in-depth training program for volunteer docents who will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to lead tours of the Thomas Jefferson Building and answer questions about the Library’s collections and services. The 2015 training session for docents will begin on Sept. 8, 2015.

Docent training classes will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from Sept. 8 through Dec. 15 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 its classroom training, the docent class will go on field trips outside the Library of Congress.

Once the training has ended, participants will be thoroughly prepared to lead tours of the Library. Each docent in training will present a qualifying tour to a public audience before joining the docent corps. 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 Susan Mordan-White at (202) 707-9203, smordan@loc.gov, or go to www.loc.gov/visit/volunteer/.

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 staffs, scholars and the public. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov.


PR 15-120
ISSN 0731-3527