January 29, 2019 Semi-Annual Main Reading Room Open House on Presidents Day

Press Contact: Deanna McCray-James (202) 707-9322
Public Contact: Office of Visitor Engagement (202) 707-8000
Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov

Twice each year, the Library of Congress opens its magnificent Main Reading Room to share information about how the public can access the Library’s resources year-round. The Main Reading Room will be open to the public on the federal Presidents Day holiday, Monday, February 18, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Main Reading Room is located on the first floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.   American Sign Language interpreters will be available during the open house.

The Jefferson Building will open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In lieu of the normal tour schedule, docents will be available to talk with visitors about the Jefferson Building, its history, art and architecture and the Library’s collections and exhibitions between 9:30 am. and 4:30 p.m.

Reference librarians from the Asian, Business, European, Hispanic, Main, Newspaper & Current Periodical, and Science reading rooms will be on hand to demonstrate services, offer instruction, answer questions, provide tours of the main card catalog and share noteworthy items from the Library’s vast on-site collections and electronic resources.  Showcased items will include collections reflecting the many languages of East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia, presidential cookbooks, gems from the business collection, a demonstration of Chronicling America digitized newspapers, and genealogical material from the Blackwell family, documenting the research of Mrs. Thelma Sort Dowell, who traced her family back to the first Blackwell relative brought to America on the slave ship Doddington in 1735 and purchased by James Glenn Blackwell of Yorktown, Virginia.  No other reference services will be available, and all other Library of Congress reading rooms and buildings will be closed. Photography is allowed; however, visitors may not use selfie sticks, mono-, bi- or tripods.

The Library’s Young Readers Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with activity stations and programming for visitors. Children and teens are invited to have fun with trivia games about the Library, engage in crafts celebrating books and reading, and enjoy the center’s collection of books, games, puzzles, puppets and more, as they explore the treasures in the Library’s collections. Young people under 16 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

More information about the Library and the exhibitions is available at loc.gov/visit/.

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 onsite 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 19-009
ISSN 0731-3527