Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress and is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States.  Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world. The head of the Library is the Librarian of Congress.

The materials are preserved in the library building. The Library of Congress is arranged in two departments, a general library and a law library.  Congress appropriates sums for acquisitions to the general library under the direction of the joint committee comprised of five members of the Senate and five members of the House of Representatives.

The incidental expenses of the law library are paid out of the appropriations for the Library of Congress.  The Librarian makes purchases of books for the law library under the direction of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  Books will be purchased as per the catalogue furnished by the Chief Justice.

The Librarian of Congress also provides books, sound reproduction recordings, and other instructional texts for the blind and physically handicapped.  These books are the property of the Librarian of congress and will be loaned to nonprofit institutions or agencies whose activities are primarily concerned with the blind and with other physically handicapped persons.

The Librarian of Congress is be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.  The Librarian makes rules and regulations for the government of the Library.

Although it is open to the public, only legislators, Supreme Court justices and other high-ranking government officials can take the books out of the building.

There is free access to the law library for justices of the Supreme Court and they are authorized to make regulations, not inconsistent with law, for the use of same during the sittings of the Court.  Furthermore, the Chief Judge and associate judges of United States Court of Appeals and United States District Court for the District of Columbia are authorized to use and take books from the Library of Congress in the same manner and subject to the same regulations as Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.   The Librarian of Congress establishes standards and regulations for the physical security, control, and preservation of the Library of Congress collections and property, and for the maintenance of suitable order and decorum within Library of Congress.
The law library is kept open every day so long as either House of Congress is in   session.


Inside Library of Congress