D.C. Tips – Visiting the White House

If you are coming to Washington D.C. for ALA Annual this summer, you might be interested in touring the White House. ‘ Requests for tours must be made through a’ member of Congress, and you can submit your request up to six months in advance, but no less than 30 days before. ‘ If you are not sure who your member of Congress is, you can locate your Senators here and your Representative here. ‘ (You will need the four digit extension of your zip code, which can be found here.) ‘ Citizens of foreign countries should submit requests through their embassy. ‘ All members of your group will need to be cleared by’ Secret Service first, so it is recommended that you include the name, date of birth, and’ Social Security number of each person in your request. ‘ You should also provide several different day options for your tour. ‘ Tours are self-guided and available Tuesday through Saturday. ‘ You will not be able to bring most items into the House, and there are no storage facilities available. ‘ More information can be found at the White House site, the National Park Service, your Congress member’s website, and Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out.

If you are unable to visit the White House, you might want to consider the White House Visitor Center’ (also recommended if you are touring the House). ‘ It is free and open to the public every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. ‘ The Center provides information on the furnishings and architecture, families and events that have been in the White House throughout its history; a 30 minute video is also featured. ‘ More information can be found at the above mentioned web sites.

Suggested books to educate or enhance a visit include the children’s book’ Our White House: Looking in, Looking Out, A White House Cookbook from 1867, available through Google’ Books, and The White House: an Illustrated History. ‘ Further suggestions can be found at the White House Historical Association or your local libraries and bookstores.