June 23, 2016 Library of Congress Seeks Volunteer Docents

14-Week Training Program to Begin Sept. 6, 2016

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

The Library of Congress is recruiting the 2016 class of volunteer docents to lead tours of the world’s largest library.

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 the visitors and to conduct tours.

Each fall, the Library’s Visitor Services Office offers an 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 2016 training session for docents will begin on Sept. 6, 2016.

The 14-week series of docent training classes will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays, from Sept. 6 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 classroom training, the docent class will go on field trips and outings.

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. Many cultural institutions across the country offer complimentary entry upon presentation of a volunteer’s identification badge. To register for the program or seek other volunteer opportunities, contact Susan Mordan-White at (202) 707 9203, smordan@loc.gov or go to loc.gov/visit/volunteer/.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.


PR 16-107
ISSN 0731-3527