I write today while sitting in the Library of Congress. I mean, how classicly awe-inspiring is the room I'm working from?
I've lived in DC for years, and have done my fair share of touristy events: tours, monuments, concerts, foodie meccas...you name it. And years ago I went on a Library of Congress guided tour when my parents were in town. I was battling the tail end of a migraine, so didn't fully appreciate it at the time, if I recall correctly.
But I recently found out that you can get a Library of Congress CARD. And you can work in a place that looks like THIS. Like a boss. For free.
Paul and I set out this morning on a blustery, yet hot expedition to the Hill to acquire our cards and experience what might be the ultimate in nerdiness this city has to offer.
I think this is my new favorite spot to come and get some blogging done.
I mean, this is what our forefathers envisioned this place would be used for, right?!
How to get access to the Library of Congress
Whether you blog like us, or just want a quiet place to get stuff done, it's nice to mix things up from time to time in a classy, old-school building like this. And the good news is, anyone over the age of 16 can get a card. Read on to find out how...I promise, it's easy.
You can go to the Library of Congress website ahead of time to pre-register (which takes about 30 seconds).
Next, you'll go in person to retrieve your card. There are a couple places where you can register in person for your card, but the one closest to the Main Reading Room is located on the 1st floor of the Jefferson building. To enter the Jefferson LOC building, you will have to go through some quick airport-like security, which was a breeze.
At the Registration Room, we gave the nice lady behind the desk our phone number which pulled up our pre-registration information. They double checked our driver's licenses, then snapped a quick picture and printed our cards immediately. This took less than 5 minutes. For both of us.
Next, if you have any sort of a bag (even my small one), you must check it in the Cloak Room. They take your bag and give you a clear plastic baggie to carry what you need to use in the Main Reading Room. This is a security measure to ensure no one steals books from the Library. It was no big deal, but just be prepared.
The Main Reading Room was our destination -- it's spacious, nicely air conditioned, and the wifi is speedy. It was a great place to catch up on some reading, plug away at a few blog posts, and remember why we love exploring our home city.
To sum up....tips to becoming a LOC card-carrying READER:
1) Pack light, but make sure you bring your ID
2) Pre-register (it takes 30 seconds), then show up and register in person for free (it takes 5 minutes)
3) Head to the Main Reading Room for an awe-inspiring and quiet workspace
4) Shake up your day with a free tour mixed in if you want!
5) Keep in mind that they're not open on Sundays :)