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The covers of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Blue Butterfly, and Stories of King Arthur.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the Blue Butterfly Goes to South America, and Stories of King Arthur.

Join Us for Family Days at the Library: Celebrate National Library Month on April 13th!

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Visit Us in Person

On Saturday, April 13th, the Library of Congress’ Informal Learning Office (ILO) continues a series of monthly, in-person family programs. We look forward to welcoming you to this special opportunity to enjoy creative activities while learning more about America’s national library.

A black and white photo of a group of African American children in suits and dresses looking at a mosaic in the Library of Congress.
A Visit to the Library of Congress, Frances Benjamin Johnston, ca. 1899. (Johnston (Frances Benjamin Collection, Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress).

This month, we are exploring the inner workings of the Library. In addition to ILO staff, meet experts from the Conservation, Manuscript, Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access, and Children’s and Young Adults’ Cataloging divisions, the US Copyright Office, and the Visitor Engagement Office. Learn more about their work at the Library and participate in games and hands-on activities. Then, try your hand at building your own library by choosing images of classic children’s books to add to a bookshelf collage. All the books selected are digitized, so you can read them at home. Finally, pick up a family-friendly activity sheet to guide your exploration of the Jefferson Building and learn more about the history of the Library of Congress. Make sure to stop and chat with staff and volunteers to learn more!

This free, drop-in program will run from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The activities are designed for kids and families, but all ages are welcome to join. There is no charge for the event, but you will need to pre-register for free passes for entry. A limited number of walkup tickets are available daily. ADA accommodations can be requested five business days in advance at 202-707-6363 or by emailing [email protected].

A sepia-toned photograph of men and women working in a large room full of books and other material.
Librarians classifying books at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 1933. (Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress).

Join In From Home

If you can’t visit us for the April 13th program in person, you can still participate! Keep reading for additional resources to explore the Library of Congress from home.

You can visit the Library without stepping outside by exploring “virtual views” of the Thomas Jefferson Building. Make sure to check out the Great Hall, Librarian’s Room, and Main Reading Room. Take some time to explore the collections, with stops at the Gutenberg Bible, Thomas Jefferson’s Library, and the Not an Ostrich exhibition. Learn a little more about the history of the Library of Congress by viewing a timeline of key events or by reading about Librarian Ainsworth R. Spofford, whose vision brought us the Thomas Jefferson Building.

After you virtually explore the Library, take some time to dig into its digital collections! You might be especially interested in Children’s Book Selections, the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature, Hidden Treasures at the Library of Congress, and the Rare Books Selections digital collection. Also take a look at the Library’s Free to Use & Reuse sets, including the Classic Children’s Books and Books, Maps, and More sets.

A black and white photograph of a group of people reading around a circular table in a fancy room.
The Manuscript Division in the Library of Congress. Harris & Ewing, ca. 1930 – 1940. (Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress).

As you discover collections objects, think about the way they are organized – and how you would do it in your own home. Do you collect or display anything? How do you organize the books you have at home? Are they arranged by title, color, theme, or something entirely different? Think about acting as a librarian and rearranging your own personal library.

Whether you can join us on April 13th or not, we hope you enjoy learning about the history of the Library, the buildings that comprise it, and the exciting things you can find within!

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