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Day Passes

July 1, 2020: Our Day Pass program is suspended while we put in place new policies for opening the library safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please read our information page about the coronavirus, or contact the Membership team at 617-720-7604 or with your questions. Thank you!

Day Pass Policies

How to purchase a day pass

  • Day passes are $40 per person, and are valid for all member hours: 9:00am–8:00pm Monday through Thursday, and 9:00am–5:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Day passes admit users to the entirety of the Boston Athenæum. 
  • To purchase a day pass, you must register at the front desk with a current, government-issued ID.
  • We max out day passes at five people per day on a first-come, first-served basis. Once we have sold Day Pass #5, we will not admit any more day pass visitors until the next day.
  • Day pass users can come and go freely throughout the day and through the end of the day.
  • Day passes admit one person only. An exception to this rule allows day pass users to bring in up to four children ages 12 and under, included in the cost of their guardian’s day pass.
  • Day pass users can attend events at the member rates.
  • If you would like to become a member on the same day you purchase a day pass, we will deduct the $40 fee from the cost of your membership.


Using the library with a day pass

  • All persons using the library are expected to conduct themselves in a quiet, civil, and courteous manner.
  • Day pass users have access to all member areas of the building, use of WiFi, and use of public computers and printing.
  • Bags must be smaller than 11x17 inches. No backpacks or luggage are allowed in the library; they may be stored in the lockers in the vestibule.
  • The fifth floor and the Gordon Newspaper Reading Room are silent spaces.
  • Talking on phones is prohibited throughout the building except for in the first-floor phone booths or the lobby.
  • Covered beverages allowed; no food is permitted outside the fifth-floor members' lounge or terraces.
  • Flash photography, selfie sticks, and tripods are not allowed. Day pass users are welcome to take photos without flash and without including any members in the photos.
  • Day Pass users are not allowed to check out books. Browsing and reading circulating collection items while in the building is welcomed, but we ask that you do not reshelve items yourself, and instead drop them off at our reference or circulation desks.
Day Pass Hours (same as Member Hours)
Monday to Thursday 9 a.m.–8 p.m.
Friday and Saturday  9 a.m.–5 p.m.

The Gordon Newspaper Room opens at 8:30 a.m. on weekdays

Visit the "Lists of Closings" page for the days the building will be closed.