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Open House: What Members Can Expect

Save the date for our 5th Annual Open House on Saturday, May 4.  Whether you are a new or long-time member, you're bound to learn something about the institution's history, collections, and services.  Bring a friend along, or tell a neighbor about this rare opportunity for the public to tour the entire building for free.

During last year's Open House, about 1,000 visitors stepped through our doors.  In effort to prepare accordingly, please be advised of the following:

  • There will be no members-only or quiet areas in the building.  Visitors will be welcome to tour all reading rooms, including the fifth floor.  Due to expected crowds, the reading rooms will not likely be conducive to quiet, individual study, reading, or research.
  • Certain areas of the building, including the gallery levels, the Drum, the terraces, and Lower Pilgrim will be inaccessible. Staff will be unable to pull books from these, and other floors during the Open House.
  • Some member services, including the new member tour at 12 noon, will be suspended.
  • Non-flash photography will be permitted throughout the building unless otherwise noted.
  • Neither visitors nor members will be permitted to bring in food or drink on this day.
  • Space to check bags will be significantly limited, and some bags that you may otherwise be able to bring into the building may not be permitted.

If you have questions about the Open House or wish to volunteer for the day, please contact the Membership Department 617-720-7604 or