Library of Congress >> About the Library >> Especially for Researchers

Police Communications Center
The Police Communications Center, staffed by members of the Library of Congress Police Force, is a vital aspect of the Library's security program.

Library Security - what you need to know to use Library of Congress reading rooms

Security of the collections, staff, and visitors in the Library of Congress is a top priority of the institution. At the same time, the Library maintains its traditional role as an open, public facility engaged in making its resources available to the American people. The purpose of this Web site is to provide to public users information about the Library's security practices and requirements, particularly those that affect a reader's use of the Library's reading rooms and other research facilities.

  • Entry and Exit Procedures
    All members of the public entering any Library building must pass through a metal detector. All those exiting any Library building must pass through an electronic theft detection system and open all bags, etc., for inspection.
  • Reader Registration
    Those who wish to use any Library reading room must first register, in person, at the Reader Registration Station, present valid photo identification, and receive a Reader Identification Card.
  • Personal Belongings Restrictions
    Researchers are restricted from bringing a variety of personal materials into most of the Library's reading rooms. Cloakrooms are available to check such materials.
  • Closed Stack System
    The Library's stacks are closed to the public. Needed materials must be requested.
  • Use of Collections Materials
    Materials from the collections of the Library of Congress cannot be "checked out" by members of the public and removed from the Library. Materials must be used in the reading room in which they are requested.
  • Safeguarding Your Personal Property
    Normal precautions should be taken by researchers to safeguard their personal property while in the Library.
  • Conduct on Library Premises
    All individuals within the Library must conform to certain standards of behavior and conduct.
  • Video Surveillance
    Activity in the Library's reading rooms is monitored by video cameras and is recorded.
  • Key Security Contacts
  • General Information for Researchers

Library of Congress >> About the Library >> Especially for Researchers
( October 18, 2002 )

Contact Us