What librarian's visit to Washington, D.C. would be complete without a trip to the Library of Congress? Not mine! The LOC blog posted great opportunities for ALA attendees, among them the chance to visit the main reading room in the Thomas Jefferson Building after hours on Friday (5 - 7 pm). I had to miss my scheduled tour of this facility on Monday afternoon due to a session conflict, but I was not going to miss a chance to visit the LOC.
After arriving early Friday afternoon, taking a quick walking tour around the Capitol building area, and winding my way through the seemingly endless registration line (to pick up my badge), I met a friend and took advantage of the LOC open house. We boarded one of the ALA shuttle buses to the Hyatt on Capitol Hill, near my lovely lodgings at the Washington Court Hotel, and walked the four or five blocks to the LOC. As is often the case, before arriving our group had expanded to over a dozen librarians looking for the same building!
Descending on the Thomas Jefferson Building we were told there was a spill of some sort and the designated entrance was not accessible. Instead, we crossed the street and entered through the main building and followed our guide through the underground tunnels into the other building (very cool). As the pictures show, the building is beautiful and was only surpassed by the graciousness of the librarians who worked late that evening allowing us to tour and answering legions of seemingly unending questions about their facility and practices.
Tags: 2007 ALA conference, ALA, Library of Congress, LOC, Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building, LOC blog