Careers in Federal Libraries

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5 Things to Know About The Library of Congress

On Thursday, October 31, I went with a group of 14 other University of Maryland graduate students on a tour of the Library of Congress. It was my first visit despite living in the DC area my entire life. Below are a few things that I thought would be of interest to anyone who is in interested in a career at the LOC but has never had the chance to visit.

1) There are 3 Library of Congress buildings on Capitol Hill: the Jefferson, Madison, and Adams. All three are connected by underground tunnels- so you don’t even need to go outside to go between each building. Even cooler fact: there’s a coffee bar in the tunnel between the Jefferson and Madison building.

Jefferson Building

2) The Jefferson Building (above) is extremely opulent. No corner of the building is a wasted opportunity for decorative art. You will find odes to intellectuals from all fields of knowledge. Even the bathrooms are marble!


3) Those who work at the LOC enjoy talking about the film National Treasurer 2: Book of Secrets. The librarian who gave us the tour made sure to show us the staircase (pictured right) Nicholas Cage runs down in one scene filmed at the LOC.

4) They still have a card catalog! Pictured below is one row of the card catalog room, where there are 22,000 drawers and 22,000,000 cards. Cards have not been added to the catalog since 1980.

5) The LOC houses the largest comic book collection in the world! My group found this tidbit out while visiting the The Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room in the Madison Building.

LOC Card Catalog

The LOC  website is a great way to learn more about the library and its collection, as well as  visitor information, the online catalog, and lots of resources for researchers


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