142 million items. 650 miles of bookshelves. Over 32 million books. Materials in 470 languages.
Fellow blogger, BFF, and bookworm (alliteration!) Fa-Book-ulous, took me out on a fantastic surprise birthday date today. Part of the day included a surprise trip to THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS!!! It’s only fitting, my name isn’t LibraryLove for nothin’, that I finally get the chance to see the biggest most awe-inspiring, architecturally amazing (alliteration!) library! Conceptually and socially, I appreciate everything about the library. This was a rare opportunity to see where it all began. This year we are challenging ourselves to rise beyond cultural norms. We’re reclaiming the library and shouting from the rooftops that reading (for free) is cool!!!!!!!!!!!
“The Library receives some 22,000 items each working day and adds approximately 10,000 items to the collections daily. The majority of the collections are received through the Copyright registration process, as the Library is home to the U.S. Copyright Office. Materials are also acquired through gift, purchase, other government agencies (state, local and federal), Cataloging in Publication (a pre-publication arrangement with publishers) and exchange with libraries in the United States and abroad. Items not selected for the collections or other internal purposes are used in the Library’s national and international exchange programs. Through these exchanges the Library acquires material that would not be available otherwise. The remaining items are made available to other federal agencies and are then available for donation to educational institutions, public bodies and nonprofit tax-exempt organizations in the United States”~ LOC
Fa-Book-ulous planned a guided tour with a vibrant and knowledgeable docent who shared rare tidbits as she showed us around the LOC. We kept glancing at each other with raised eyebrows amazed at how much we didn’t know about a place only 30 minutes east of our hometowns and so integral to our country’s history. So often we take for granted the (free) opportunities around us. The LOC is part of our nation’s history and I hope this will inspire you to check it out!
The Library of Congress is the oldest federal cultural institution serving as both the research arm of Congress and the largest library in the world with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps, and rare artifacts. It’s been on my list of sightseeing adventures, and now I can cross it off!
Seeing Thomas Jefferson’s library (pictured below) and the beautiful architectural artistry together with Fa-book-ulous was a wonderful experience. We will forever share our ‘book bond’ and this was the icing on the cake! We didn’t have time to check out the other two buildings that also make up the FOC but hope to get back there one day! Who knew that if you need to go to their library to research, you access all the materials online, or, call ahead! A team of librarians are at the ready to be your concierge! They will literally pull reference materials on your selected topic and have them waiting upon arrival. Now THAT’S service w/ a smile!
“I cannot live without books” ~Thomas Jefferson, June 10, 1815