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Visiting the Library

We’re excited to welcome you to the Library of Congress. Free timed-entry passes are required to enter the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building.

We encourage you to take a moment to review our Know Before You Go page to prepare for a safe and enjoyable visit.

Visitor Hours

  • Monday: closed
  • Tuesday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday: 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: closed

Last entry for visitors is 30 minutes prior to closing.

How do I get a timed-entry pass?

Reserve free timed entry passes online external link before your visit to the Library.

Advance passes online: Timed-entry passes are available up to 30 days in advance.

Same-day passes online: A limited number of same-day passes will be available online each open day at 9 a.m. ET.

Entry and Visiting

  • As part of a greater congestion management strategy, every Library of Congress visitor must reserve timed-entry passes in order to enter the Library.

    Individuals can reserve up to 20 timed entry passes here. external link

    Groups of 21 people or more must request passes by completing our group registration form.

    Visitation peaks at the Library from March through July - during this time, expect longer than normal wait times to navigate security screening to enter the building.

Experience the Main Reading Room

  • The Library of Congress welcomes visitors to walk onto the floor of the grand Main Reading Room. Usually reserved for credentialed researchers, this special access offers visitors a glimpse inside one of Washington’s most beautiful spaces.

    The Main Reading Room is available to view on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building every Tuesday – Friday, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Visitors are also welcome to view the space on Thursday evenings from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Young Readers Center & Programs Lab

  • Young readers center with cushions and desks surrounded by bookcases fill with books and posters

    Children & teens, along with their adults, are invited to visit the Young Readers Center & Programs Lab (Room G51) every Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The YRCPL offers visitors an opportunity to participate together in activities based on Library collections.

    Please note that the maximum capacity for this space is 24 visitors at any given time.


  • Pardon our dust! Some exhibition spaces are temporarily closed as we work to build a better Library for you. Visit our exhibitions page to learn about the collections that will be on display for your visit. Don't miss our brand new exhibition, Join In: Voluntary Associations in America, on the Great Hall, Mezzanine Level.


  • Visit the Library Shop on the Ground Floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building every Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., and Thursdays from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Visit the Online Store on Shopify external link to browse a vast selection of Library-themed gifts and apparel.

Visitor Hours

The Thomas Jefferson Building is open to visitors Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Note: Last visitor entry is at 4:30 p.m.

Closed: Sundays, Mondays, and select federal holidays

Free timed-entry passes external link are required for entry.


Groups of 20 or more people should request their timed entry passes by filling out the group registration form. Group reservations may be made up to 60 days in advance. Contact with any questions.

Note: The Library is currently not offering guided tours, however roaming volunteers are available throughout the Thomas Jefferson Building to answer questions, give directions, and share stories about the Library’s collections and building.

Live! at the Library

The Library is open late every Thursday evening from 5 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Enjoy happy hour drinks and snacks available for purchase in the Great Hall overlooking the U.S. Capitol. The series will regularly feature special conversations, music, performances, films, and workshops that showcase the broad range of holdings at the national library. Learn more

Concerts, Lectures & Other Events

Check out the Library’s Calendar of Public Events for upcoming program opportunities, both onsite and online. You can stay in touch and learn more about the Library’s resources on Facebook external link and Instagram external link, and Twitter external link.

Visitor Information

Our Visitor Engagement Office team is here to help you plan your visit. Please contact us at or (202) 707-9779 with your questions.