All patrons of the Library's public reading rooms are required to have Reader Identification cards issued by the Library. The cards are free, and can be obtained by presenting a valid driver's license, state-issued identification card, or passport at the Reader Registration Station inside the Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room LM 133, on the first floor of the Madison Building or in Room LJ 139 (in the Microform and Electronic Resources Center), on the first floor of the Jefferson Building. The Reader Registration Station's hours are LM 133: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m Monday – Saturday, and LJ 139: 8:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday; 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. Both stations are closed Sundays and federal holidays. Researchers must register in person at the Reader Registration Station; the Library cannot take registrations via telephone or the Internet.
Upon completion of a simple self-registration process, the station attendant
will check the information, take an identification photo, and issue the printed
plastic card to the reader.
Reader Identification cards are good for two years and must be renewed in person
when they expire. Researchers with questions about reader registration may call
the Reader Registration Station at (202) 707-5278.
The reader registration system is considered a critical component in the Library's
collections security program.
It is part of a larger plan to protect the Library's collections that was initiated
by the Librarian of Congress, James H. Billington, in March 1992. Other components
of that plan include closed stacks, installation of surveillance cameras, electronic
control of stack doors, and installation of theft detection targets and detection