From Libraries

Libraries_Bookseller

Visiting Local Libraries

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“Philadelphia bookseller George J.C. Grasberger, full-length portrait, facing right, pushing a wheelbarrow piled high with books,” Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection, at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2015650301/.

When I travel, I love to stop in and visit local libraries. Not only do they showcase important national treasures, but they host events and reflect the activities of residents. Beyond the Library of Congress (see our blog post “Setting up Tours Around Capitol Hill” to learn more about Library of Congress tours), DC is home to a number of beautiful and influential libraries!

Public Libraries
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“Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G St., NW, Washington, D.C,” Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection, at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2010641350/.

The DC Public Library has 26 branches around the city, with Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library as the central location. Visitors need a library card to check out books or use the public computers, but even visitors can come in, browse the library, and participate in events such as childrens’ story time. Public Libraries in adjacent Maryland and Virginia also offer wonderful community spaces if you are staying outside DC.

Academic Libraries
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“23. November 1969 RIGGS LIBRARY STACKS, THIRD FLOOR, SOUTH WING – Georgetown University, Healy Building, Thirty-seventh & O Streets, Northwest, Washington, District of Columbia, DC,” Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection, at http://goo.gl/RTD2XL.

Universities abound in DC, with specialized collection locations focusing on various topics. A few interesting examples include: George Washington University’s Textile Library, Georgetown University’s Bioethics Research Library, and the African Heritage Collection in Howard University’s School of Divinity Library. Most of these university libraries have different visitor policies and hours, so please research or contact them before you visit. Also keep in mind that different individual libraries within the same university system have specific visitor policies and hours. Many require government ID and a sign-in procedure during visitor hours. Many also provide visitor access to wifi! Below, we list the major academic library groups in the vicinity:

Government Libraries & Other Special Libraries
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“View of the north tower porte cochere and flag tower, looking southwest (duplicate of HABS No. DC-141-19) – Smithsonian Institution Building, 1000 Jefferson Drive, between Ninth & Twelfth Streets, Southwest, Washington, District of Columbia, DC,” Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection, at http://goo.gl/YZ5YYx.

Other special libraries in the DC area can be worth a visit if they correspond with your personal (or professional) interests. As a medical librarian, stopping by the National Library of Medicine seems perfect for me, but you may be interested in any of the special collections listed below or searching for others!

Are there other DC libraries you’ve visited or want to see?

If so, please let us know in the comments below, or tweet us at #IFLAPREatLOC.

The Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress

Flags around Washington


The weather on the United States’ Independence Day – July 4th – was rainy and humid. Usually, the annual fireworks display on the National Mall is a spectacular culmination of the national holiday. This year, however, the weather blocked the view of the fireworks to such an extent that the national Public Broadcasting Station (PBS), which broadcasts the celebration annually, spliced in some stock footage of clearer, prettier July 4ths. (This resulted in a certain amount of controversy.) As the national capital, Washington, D.C. is a rather patriotic city with many displays of the U.S. flag – the star spangled banner – flying throughout it. Here are a few examples from across our region that you can see when you visit for #IFLAPREatLOC.

The Capitol Building and Library of Congress
The Capitol Building and Library of Congress / Photograph by Andrew Weber
The Marine Corps War Memorial AKA Iwo Jima
The Marine Corps War Memorial AKA Iwo Jima / Photograph by Andrew Weber
The Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress
The Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress / Photograph by Andrew Weber
Looking up at the Library of Congress Madison Building
Looking up at the Library of Congress Madison Building / Photograph by Andrew Weber
Half-Staff at the Supreme Court
Half-Staff at the Supreme Court / Photograph by Andrew Weber
On the Field at Nationals Park
On the Field at Nationals Park / Photograph by Andrew Weber