The Washington Syndicate

Library of Congress looking for docents

Posted in Uncategorized by jmullerwashingtonsyndicate on July 29, 2011

The Library of Congress in Washington is seeking volunteers for its fall
2011 docent program. Docents are trained in a 14-week program that begins
Aug. 30. More than 300 volunteers at the Library of Congress greet and
provide tours to its 1.7 million annual visitors.

Docents learn how to lead tours of the Thomas Jefferson Building and
answer questions about the library’s collection. Volunteers who complete
the program generally work one four-hour shift per week, which might be
two two-hour tours. Interested parties can learn more and apply online.

The positions are unpaid, but perks include eligibility for free parking,
a discount in the library’s gift store and free flu shots.

Of course, to be a docent at the Library of Congress, you have to be in
Washington.

—Volunteer Opportunities
To best serve the more than 1.7 million visitors who come each year, eager
to view the magnificent Thomas Jefferson Building and learn about the
treasures it contains, the Library’s Visitor Services Office relies on
nearly 300 volunteers to greet the visitors and help them plan their
visits, guide researchers, and provide tours. There are three different
volunteer positions:

Docent
Each fall, the Library’s Visitor Services Office conducts an extensive
16-week training program designed to equip volunteer docents with the
information and skills necessary to lead tours of the Library’s historic
Thomas Jefferson building. The classes are presented by Library staff as
well as experts from outside the Library.

The curriculum covers all aspects of the Library and prepares docents to
give interesting and informative tours. The curriculum focuses on the
Library’s past, present and future; its organization and infrastructure;
its curatorial divisions and programs; the care and use of its
collections; and the art and architecture of the Thomas Jefferson
Building.

Classes are conducted twice weekly, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and
Thursdays. Upon completion of the classroom training, each
docent-in-training will give a qualifying tour of the Thomas Jefferson
Building. After qualification, docents are expected to commit to a weekly
half-day shift for a period of three years (including the training).

Apply to be a Docent : http://www.loc.gov/visit/volunteers/form_docent.php

H/T to H-DC & Historic Washington Listservs & LA Times Jacket Copy

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