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Information for Researchers - Using the Library of Congress

Classes for First-time Users

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:


Monday morning sessions 10:00-11:30 am:

January 30
February 27
March 13
March 20
April 17
April 24

Monday evening sessions 6:30-8:00 pm:

January 9
February 6
March 6
April 3

Sessions are held in Room 139B of the Jefferson Building. For additional information, or to register for a class, use the online registration form, or phone the Library's Microform and Electronic Resources Center (LJ-139, the former Computer Catalog Center) at 202-707-3370.

Individuals requiring accommodations for any of these events are requested to submit a request at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov.

Online Orientation

Would you like to learn how to conduct research at the Library of Congress before you come to Washington, D.C.? Register for the Online Research Orientation to the Library of Congress.  An online webinar will be held on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  Use the online registration form to register.

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 electronic resources, including subscription databases.

Research orientation classes are now taught on Saturdays. The Saturday orientations are themed and focus on providing researchers an opportunity to learn more about the Library, its collections, expertise, services, and programs. More information and a schedule of Saturday research orientations is available in Information for Researchers.

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.

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

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  December 9, 2016
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