Aerial view of the Library of Congress buildings

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Notice: As the Library of Congress gradually begins to reopen its Reading Rooms for research, we are putting safety first with new procedures and practices that protect everyone’s health. Online resources and reference services, such as Ask a Librarian, will continue to be available during this time. Starting June 1 confirmed appointments are required for entry into Library facilities, and everyone must follow the health and safety protocols established by the Library, in consultation with public health professionals (Most of these protocols are mandatory, regardless of vaccination status.) Library users do not need to make an appointment to obtain or renew a Reader Card. Users must obtain a time-ticketed pass or reading room appointment (if applicable) to come onsite to complete their reader card registration. For additional instructions, see the Pandemic Information for Researchers page.

Library of Congress Buildings

All visitors entering any Library building must pass through a metal detector and have their belongings screened by an x-ray machine staffed by U.S. Capitol Police. All those exiting any Library building must pass through an electronic theft detection system and open all bags, etc., for inspection by U.S. Capitol Police.

All Library buildings are fully accessible. The ADA entrances for visitors and researchers are indicated on the floor plans.  General visitors requiring ADA access to the Jefferson Building Great Hall and exhibitions should enter through the Driveway level below the Grand Staircase at First Street SE.

Researchers with reader registration cards may use the Second Street Library of Congress staff entrance for entering the Jefferson Building.  See building maps for location.

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U.S. Capitol Visitor Center (CVC)

The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center is the newest addition to the U.S. Capitol complex, and is the entryway for all visitors to the U.S. Capitol.  The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Inauguration Day. Visitors may access the CVC via the First Street entrance, or by a tunnel from the Jefferson Building from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Prohibited items in the CVC are different than those prohibited at the Library of Congress (see link below).

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