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Frequently Asked Questions


1. Are Library of Congress facilities accessible for people with disabilities?

Yes, the Library of Congress, the nation's largest library, is accessible and open to the public. The Library has taken many steps to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


2. Which entrances to the Library of Congress are accessible?

Adams Building (LA), Second Street and Independence Avenue SE. Enter on Second Street side of building.

Jefferson Building (LJ), 10 First Street SE. Enter on First Street side of building.

Madison Building (LM), 101 Independence Avenue SE. Enter on Independence Avenue.

National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, 1291 Taylor Street NW. Enter on Taylor Street.


3. Are tours of the Library of Congress given for people with disabilities?

Yes. Interpreters (American Sign Language, Contact Signing, Oral and/or Tactile) are available for the 11:30 a.m. tours of the Jefferson Building on Mondays and Fridays when requested at the tour site with 10 minutes advance notice. The tour includes a viewing of the Library's open-captioned film, information about the splendid art and architecture of the Thomas Jefferson Building, and an overview of programs and services at the Library of Congress.

To request a tour with an interpreter at other times, contact the Visitor Services Office at (202) 707-9956 (TTY) or (202) 707-9779 (voice).

Deaf staff members are also available to serve as tour guides; please request their services, preferably two business days in advance, through the Visitor Services Office.

To confirm the tour information, to request accommodations for a tour, or for information about the Library's tour schedule, contact the Visitor Services Office.


4. Does the Library of Congress provide interpreters for visitors or researchers who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing?

Yes. The Library of Congress American Sign Language Interpreting Services Program (ASL/ISP) will provide interpreting services (American Sign Language, Contact Signing, Oral and/or tactile) if requested five business days in advance, and makes every effort to accommodate needs for interpreting services. Call the Interpreting Services Program at (202) 707-6362 (TTY/Voice) to make a specific request.


5. Who should I contact for ADA accommodations other than interpreting?

For other ADA accommodations, please contact Bill Haig, Disability Employment Program Manager/ADA Coordinator at (202) 707-9948 (TTY) or (202) 707-7544 (voice).


6. Does the Library of Congress provide assistive listening devices for Deaf or Hard of Hearing visitors and researchers who wish to participate in events, tours, programs, or lectures?

Yes. Assistive listening devices are available for presentations in:

The Mumford Room, Madison Building, Room LM 649.
Contact Disability Employment Program manager/ADA Coordinator at (202) 707-9948 (TTY) or (202) 707-7544 (voice).

The LC Visitor's Theater, Jefferson Building, Visitor's Services Center.
Contact the Visitor Services Office (202) 707-9956 (TTY) or (202) 707-9779 (voice).

The Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building.
Contact John Howell, in the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, Recorded Sound Division at (202) 707-9146 (voice).

A recorded description of selections in the American Treasures in the Library of Congress exhibit is available; for visitors who are unable to use the recorded devices, the written text of the tour is available at the entrance to the exhibit.


7. What accommodations are available for researchers with disabilities who want to use Library of Congress collections and facilities?

To access the Library's computer catalog:

A speech synthesizer capable of accessing the online Library of Congress Information System (LOCIS) is located in the Computer Catalog Center, Jefferson Building , LJ-108.
A wheelchair-accessible online-catalog station is available in the Computer Catalog Center, Jefferson Building, LJ-108.

To access books and other materials from the Library's collections:

Closed-circuit magnification systems (CCTV) which provides enhanced visual access to materials from the collections and the Employment Office are available in the:

A Kurzweil Reading Machine which provides auditory access to materials from the collections is available in the:

8. How can I get information about the National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and their "talking books" service?

The resources of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS), which in cooperation with a network of regional and subregional libraries provides a free library service to persons who are unable to use standard printed material because of visual or physical disabilities, are available by contacting the NLS Reference Section at (202) 707-0744 (TTY) or (202) 707-9275 (voice). The Reference Section will provide the telephone number of the nearest cooperating library and answer eligibility questions. For additional information, link to the NLS home page.


9. Does the Library of Congress have accessible restrooms, water fountains, and telephones?

Yes. The locations are indicated by signs in each building. In the Jefferson Building, accessible restrooms are on the ground floor. In the Madison Building, the accessible restrooms are in the blue and yellow sections of the building.


10. Where can I find a TTY pay telephone in the Library of Congress?

In the Madison Building, near the Independence Avenue entrance.


11. What offices in the Library of Congress can I contact directly by TTY?

The following offices have a TTY. The area code is (202) for all offices listed.

12. Are wheelchairs available for use in Library of Congress buildings?

Wheelchairs for visitors and researchers are available from the Visitor Services Office, Jefferson Building, first street entrance. You may also contact Bill Haig, the ADA Coordinator/Disability Employment Program Manager or by TTY or telephone at (202) 707-9948 (TTY) or (202) 707-7544 (voice).


13. Are food services at the Library of Congress accessible?

The cafeteria, on the sixth floor of the Madison Building, is accessible and open to the public Monday through Friday 9-10:30 a.m. and 12:30-3 p.m. The Montpelier Room buffet, also on the sixth floor of the Madison Building, is open to the public Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. An accessible coffee shop on the Ground Floor of the Madison Building is open to the public Monday through Friday 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. and on Saturday 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.


14. How can I get information about employment opportunities at the Library of Congress?

The Library of Congress is an equal opportunity employer, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. The general employment hot line number is (202) 707-4315 (voice). The Employment Office number is (202) 707-5627 (voice); (202) 707-9948 (TTY).

Qualified individuals with disabilities are invited to apply through, and may request reasonable accommodation from, the Disability Employment Program. Contact Bill Haig, the Disability Employment Program Manager by TTY or telephone at (202) 707-9948 (TTY) or (202) 707-7544 (voice).

Vacancy announcements, which provide detailed information on job requirements and application procedures can be viewed in person in the Library's Employment Office, Madison Building, LM-107, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Eastern time. A list of employment opportunities at the Library is also available via the Library of Congress Web site.


15. How can I get to the Library of Congress on public transportation?

Access via Metrorail is on the Blue or Orange lines, Capitol South station. All Metro stations have elevator service and trains are accessible. The Library's Madison Building is on the northeast corner at First and C streets SE; the accessible entrance is one block away on Independence Avenue between First and Second Streets, SE.


16. If I drive to the Library of Congress, is there designated handicapped parking?

There are two accessible parking spaces in the east (2nd street) parking lot of the Thomas Jefferson Building, available on a first-come, first-served basis.


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( June 10, 2002 )
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