We are starting a list of practical tips for attending IFLAPARL 2016 in Washington, D.C. This list will be updated as the conference draws closer. For more tips on Library of Congress in general, please check the IFLAPREatLOC Blog . Also, please remember that you can always tweet us questions or comments at the #IFLAPARL2016 or #IFLAPREatLOC hashtags on Twitter .

Tip1: Building Entrance
Photograph taken by Anna Groves.

For all days of the IFLAPARL pre-conference, we will use the “carriage entrance” of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.  This is the entrance with the arched portico under the grand staircase—where you used to drive up in your horse and carriage! Here is a picture of the entrance you will be using:

Tip 2: dietary restrictions

At the Tuesday evening reception, there will be buffet dining. Those with special dietary requirements (such as halal restrictions) must contact the servers and let them know, so that they will be served the food reserved for them. These items will not be placed on the buffet. Vegetarian items, however, will be served on the buffet.

For the lunches held during the conference, we will assign those people who reported dietary restrictions in their conference registration to the same room, so that we can point them to the halal food, etc. that will be placed on a separate table for them.

Tip 3: Breakfast
“EXTERIOR, FRONT, CLOSE-UP – Coffee Pot Restaurant, U.S. Route 40, Pennville, Wayne County, IN,” Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection, at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/in0141.photos.066048p/.

Coffee and pastries will be provided on Wednesday and Thursday mornings before the sessions begin, and also during a mid-morning “coffee break.” Food and drink must be consumed within the coffee break and lunch areas. Food and beverages are not allowed in auditoriums and meeting rooms.

If you would also like to eat something earlier in the morning, check out our “ Where to Eat within Three Blocks of the Library ” page.

Tip 4: security

We will have an entire post on this topic on our blog in the coming weeks. Suffice it to say in the meantime that you can expect to go through security upon both entering and exiting Library of Congress buildings. On entering a Library of Congress building, you will go through a metal detector; please remove all metal items from your pockets (including your cell phone, keys, etc.), and place them on the conveyor belt. On exiting the building, the security officer will check any bags you may be carrying for Library materials.

Tip 5: Air Conditioning
“Washington, D.C. Jewal Mazique [i.e. Jewel], worker at the Library of Congress, waiting for a streetcar on her way home from work,” Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection, at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/owi2001003428/PP/.

Although Washington weather in August tends to be very hot and “muggy,” the air-conditioning inside buildings is very effective. Sometimes we find it TOO effective. Conference attendees, especially women wearing short sleeves or skirts, may wish to bring another layer of clothing, such as a shawl or jacket, in order to stay comfortable during sessions.

Tip 6: Conference staff

If you have any questions during the conference, please don’t hesitate to ask for help from one of the conference staff members. They will be wearing red staff ribbons at the bottoms of their badges.

Tip 7: Smoking
Library of Congress

Smoking is prohibited in Library of Congress buildings (and most government buildings and museums), including in interior courtyards and bathrooms. To smoke outside the building, you must go out, through security, and be more than 25 feet [7.6 metres] from the building entrance. The map to the right of this text is a map of the Library of Congress Campus; there are smoking tables set aside alongside the Madison building, on the corners of 1st Street SE & Independence Ave. SE and again at 2nd St. SE & Independence Ave. SE.

Tip 8: WIFI

The Library buildings have a public wireless network (WiFi) called “LOCGUEST.” No password is required.

Tip 9: Photography
“Herbert G. Ponting and his camera,” Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2009633374/

Photography is allowed in Library buildings, although flash photography is not allowed in some exhibits, to protect the objects from excessive light. Tripods and “selfie sticks” are prohibited in Library buildings (and many other D.C. museums as well).