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First Floor

Thomas Jefferson Building, First Floor

Overview

The building is rectangular. The main entrance to the Great Hall is off 1st Street, SE.

This description assumes you are standing in the main entrance facing into the building. East Capitol Street borders the left side of the building. Independence Avenue borders the right side. The back of the building borders 2nd Street, SE. The main entrance leads into the Great Hall which has stairs up to a second story mezzanine to the right and the left. When you enter the building, you will typically need to go through security which is to the right and left of the entrance. The Great Hall South is to the right of the Great Hall. The Great Hall North is to the left of the Great Hall.

A hall that runs parallel to 1st street provides access to rooms in the front of the building from the Great Hall.

The octagonal Main Reading Room is in center of the building but cannot be accessed directly from the Great Hall. Researchers can enter from a separate hall in the back of the building which runs parallel to 2nd street provides and provides access to reading rooms. The hall is only available using elevators from the ground level.

Entrances and Exits

  • The main entrance is located on 1st Street, SE up a flight of stairs.

Elevators and Stairs

  • Stairs to the second floor mezzanine are located on either side of the Great Hall. They can also be used to access the Great Hall North and South.
  • Stairs to the ground floor are located below both stairs going up. To access these, walk past the stairs in the Great Hall and turn left towards the Great Hall North or right towards the Great Hall South. Then turn towards the front of the building before entering the hall.
  • Elevators to the ground floor and second floor view of the Great Hall and Main Reading Room are located on either side at the back of the Great Hall.
  • Stairs and elevators to the ground floor and reading rooms are located in hall in the back of the building.

Restrooms

  • Wheelchair accessible public restrooms are located on the ground floor.
  • A wheelchair accessible men’s restroom is located down the hall off the Great Hall South, to the right of the Great Hall. The entrance is straight ahead when walking down the hall. This area is typically restricted to members of congress and registered readers for the Asian Reading Room.
  • A women’s restroom is located in the back right corner of the Great Hall. It is not wheelchair accessible.

Main Reading Room

  • The main reading room is only accessible from elevators located in the back lobby on ground floor.
  • When entering, the reference librarian’s desk is straight ahead after passing through the Researchers Entrance.
  • Study desks form 3 rings around d the central librarian’s desk. Note that desks protrude from their base.
  • Two story stacks are located on the outer edge of the room. The center of every section allows entrance.

Great Hall North and South

The Great Hall South is to the right of the Great Hall. The Great Hall North is to the left of the Great Hall when facing away from the entrance. You will be in one of these after passing through security. If you want to access these from the Great Hall, you can do so by:

  • Walking up and then down a short set of stairs next to the entrance, or
  • Going past the stairs and turning left or right to go around the stairs. The Great Hall North and South are past the stairs to the ground floor.

Other Locations of Interest from Main Hall

  • The Guttenberg Bible is towards the back of the Great Hall to the right
  • The entrance to the Librarian’s Ceremonial Office is towards the back left of the Great Hall.
  • Meeting rooms are located on the left side of the hall located in the back left corner of the Great Hall North.
  • The John W. Kluge Center is at the end of the hall located in the back left corner of the Great Hall North.
  • The Asian Reading Room in located down the hall located in the back right corner of the Great Hall South. Continue down the hall and turn left. The Asian Reading Room has WIFI.

Other Locations of Interest for Researchers

This description assumes you are standing in the hall in the back of the building, having exited the elevators from the ground floor.

  • The Researcher’s entrance to the main Reading Room is locate across from the elevators.
  • The Researcher Training Center entrance is located to the left when you exit the elevators.
  • The entrance to the Microfiche & Electronics Resource Center is located between the elevators
  • The Children’s Literature Center is at the end of the hall to the right.
  • The Information desk is located in the Great Hall South.