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Science Reference Services

Prepare for Your Visit and Your Research
in the Science and Business Reading Room

The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world, with three buildings on the Capitol Hill campus.

Please prepare ahead so your research will go smoothly.

Photo: The Science & Business Reading Room.

Science and Business Reading Room Hours:
Mon., Wed., Thurs., 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Tues., Fri., Sat., 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed Sundays and Federal holidays
(Technical Reports & Standards hours:
Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.)

Science and Business Reading Room Location:
Room LA-508, John Adams Building
2nd Street & Independence Ave. S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20540-4750
202 707-5639. Map showing Location on 5th Floor
Maps and Floor Plans of the Three Buildings

Location of the Science and Business Reading Room. The Science and Business Reading Room is located in the John Adams Building, on the south side of the fifth floor. The entrance to the building is on 2nd Street. Take the elevators in the entrance lobby to the fifth floor. As you exit the elevator lobby, turn to your right. You will see a sign that directs you to the left and into the Science and Business Reading Room. Map of the Adams Building Fifth Floor

Reading Room Requirements - Reader Identification Cards. All researchers must get a Reader Identification Card in order to use the Library's Reading Rooms and materials. Some form of current, valid picture identification (e.g. driver's license, passport) is required. For locations and hours of reader registration stations click the Reader Registration link here.
Reader Registration ... Personal  Belongings in the Science and Business Reading Room

Photo:  the John  Adams Building
Photo: The John Adams Building on Capitol Hill.

Requesting materials -- most of the materials are in closed stacks. You must submit a request to use materials in the general collections. Requested materials are then delivered to you in the Reading Room. Waiting time varies, so sure to allow plenty of time to request your materials. With few exceptions, only members of Congress and their staffs may check out materials from of the Library of Congress. More About Requesting Materials from the General Collections.

The Science Reference Collection, located in the Reading Room. You may use the Science Reference Collection without submitting a request. The reference collection is located in the Science and Business Reading Room. Reference works may not be taken from the Reading Room. Among the many types of resources are:

  • indexes, abstracts, and full text journal articles (both print and online products)
  • selected online books
  • directories, dictionaries and encyclopedias 
  • bibliographies and research guides, such as Science Tracer Bullets, prepared by Science Reference Librarians.
  • important and frequently used works in Science and Technology
More about the Science Reference Collection.

Owl sculpture in the Science & Business Reading Room. From the Prints & Photograph Division, Library of Congress.

Computers for public use are located in the Science and Business Reading Room and the nearby Computer Catalog Center. They are for research purposes only, and include the following resources:

  • Library of Congress Catalogs
  • Indexes, abstracts, and full-text journals (most are available on Library of Congress premises only; some are freely accessible.)
  • Bibliographies and finding aids, such as Science Tracer Bullets and selected Internet resources

The Adams Computer Catalog Center, which is next to the Science and Business Reading Room, has 17 public workstations. There are no staff stationed in the Adams Computer Catalog Center. Reference librarians are available to help you in the Science Reference Alcove and the Business Reference Alcoves. The alcoves adjoin the Reading Room on the west and east sides, respectively. There are also public workstations in the alcoves. The Library has no workstations with word-processing, spreadsheets, or other types of "office" applications for public use. Conditions for Use of Public Researcher Workstations at the Library of Congress

Photocopiers for public use are located in the room next to the Science Reading Room. The copiers take only copy cards, which you can purchase from a machine in the same area. The copy card machine takes one, five, 10 and 20 dollar bills, and does not return change. Photocopies are $.20 per copy.

Duplication Services supplies photocopies of items in the Library’s collections if there are no copyright restrictions. You must provide specific citations (title, author, number of pages, and LC call number) for materials you wish copied. There is a nonrefundable $12.00 advance payment for each order to cover costs.

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   December 2, 2010
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