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Information for Researchers - Using the Library of Congress

Classes for First-time Users

First-time users are encouraged to seek assistance at the Information Desks on the ground floor of the Jefferson Building and in the lobby on the first floor of the Madison Building. There they will receive an introduction to the facilities and resources of the Library and find brochures describing the Library's reading rooms, collections, and services.

Formal research orientation classes, taught by reference librarians and dealing with many aspects of using the Library, are offered regularly by the Humanities and Social Sciences Division. These classes are offered on the following Mondays:

Morning Sessions
(10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.):

January 5, 12, 26
February 2, 9, 23
March 2, 16, 30
April 6, 20

Evening Sessions
(6:30-8:00 p.m.):

January 5
February 2
March 2
April 6

Sessions are held in Room G07 of the Jefferson Building. For additional information, or to register for a class, use the online registration form, or phone the Library's Computer Catalog Center at 202-707-3370.

In addition to the regularly scheduled general research orientations, special orientations/tours can sometimes be arranged for specific classes or groups. These programs may be subject-specific depending on the interest of the group and the availability of staff. Due to staffing constraints and availability of meeting space, special orientations/tours can only be scheduled between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Use the online registration form for special orientations to express interest in scheduling a session.

The "Research Orientation to the Library of Congress" course is designed as a basic introduction for researchers using the Library of Congress collections and resources. Each session includes an introduction to the Library's reading rooms and collections; guidelines on how to locate and request materials in a closed-stack library; suggestions on how to conduct research efficiently in the Library of Congress; instruction on how to use Library of Congress Subject Headings and other sources for searching accurately by subject; information on how to find published bibliographies and topical indexes in print and automated formats; information on using the Library's catalogs in card and online forms; procedures for finding citations to journal articles; and an overview of automated resources, including OCLC FirstSearch, other Internet-based subscription services, and CD-ROMs.

Some Library of Congress reading rooms offer research orientations specific to their collections and services. For more information about these orientations, including schedules and registration information, please visit the web pages listed below:

Business Reference Service: Regularly Scheduled Orientations
Law Library Reading Room: Orientation to Legal Research and the Use of Law Library Collections
Local History and Genealogy Reading Room: Tours and Research Orientations
Prints and Photographs Reading Room: Regularly Scheduled Orientations
Science, Technology, and Business Division: Regularly Scheduled Orientations

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  The Library of Congress >> Especially for Researchers >> Research Centers
  December 1, 2008
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