The Library of Congress - Worth Getting to Know
|the Jefferson Building|
To enter the sacred reading room, you have to get that reader card - which wouldn't be such a big deal, except that it's a bit like getting a passport. As far as I can tell, it seems like the Madison Building is entirely devoted to housing the reader card process, strung out through a long line of different stations and tasks. Luckily, when I went through it I was the only applicant there, so I think it went much more quickly than it could have. In any case, after you get your card, a magnificent institution is open to you, and it's really worth getting to know.
|metro station for the LoC|
|the Madison Building|
Most importantly, though, the LoC is special because it's the largest library in the world, no question. For all its little quirks and inconveniences, and for being just a little bit out of the way for a college student in D.C., compared to the campus library, the Library of Congress is well worth spending more time in. You get to read, study, or even surf the web (if you want) in a huge and beautiful building, and you get books delivered to your fingertips from the world's largest collection. No person - let alone a college student - should want to miss out on that.