Guidelines & Tips
The Thomas Jefferson Building and exhibition galleries are open to visitors Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The Jefferson Building is closed on Sundays. The Jefferson Building is open on most Federal Holidays, but closed on Thanksgiving Day as well as the Christmas and New Year's holidays. The Library typically follows Office of Personnel Management Guidelines related to government operations. Information related to a Library closure is posted on the homepage at loc.gov in the upper left-hand corner. The Library's Reading Rooms are open to researchers during hours which are different from visitor hours. Researchers should see Reading Room Hours for details.
Admissions and Ticketing
The Library of Congress is free and open to the public. Visitors do not need tickets or reservations to enter the Jefferson Building or to visit the Library's public spaces and exhibitions.
The best way to arrive is by public transportation. The closest Metro stations are Capitol South (Blue/Orange/Silver Line—a two block walk) or Union Station (Red Line—a half-mile walk).
Limited metered and two-hour zoned parking is available in the surrounding neighborhoods. Public parking garages are also available, with the largest being at Union Station.
The Library occupies three buildings on Capitol Hill. The Thomas Jefferson Building is directly east of the U.S. Capitol Building and holds most of the general visitor activities, including tours and exhibitions. The main visitor entrance is through the doors at the top of the Grand Staircase facing First Street SE between Independence Avenue SE and East Capitol Street. Entrance for ADA or anyone with strollers or rolling bags is at the driveway level beneath the Grand Staircase.
The Library of Congress offers hour-long, fully accessible docent-led tours of the historic Thomas Jefferson Building. During your tour, you will learn about the building's symbolic art and architecture and view the grandeur of the Main Reading Room. The tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis to groups of fewer than 10 people. Please check in at the Ground Floor Information Desk at least 20 minutes prior to tour time. For those who wish to tour on their own, a brochure (translated into several languages) is available at the Information Desks. Guided tours are available to larger groups only with advance reservations.
The Library of Congress Shop offers unique items from the Library's wide collection, which includes exhibit related items, facsimiles, souvenirs, prints and photographs, and books for the whole family. Come share the gift of knowledge and support the Library's mission of preservation and education! Located on the Ground Floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, the shop is open Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on federal holidays. The Library is closed Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas and New Year's federal holidays. Phone: (202) 707-3895
Duffle bags, oversized luggage and large storage bags are not permitted in the cloakroom. Checked items must be removed when leaving the Library's campus. No overnight storage is allowed. The Library reserves the right to refuse items for storage.