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Day Passes

August 17, 2020: Our Day Pass program has resumed, via advance reservation. We welcome you to come in!
Please read our information page about the coronavirus, or contact the Membership team at 617-720-7604 or for details.
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 parts of the Boston Athenæum that are open to members (at present, with COVID-19 related restrictions, all floors from Lower Pilgrim to 5G except for 3, 3G, and 4).
  • To purchase a day pass, you must register at the front desk with a current, government-issued ID.
  • We will issue a total of five day passes per day. Once we have issued Day Pass #5, we will not admit any more day pass visitors until the next day.
  • Day pass users may come and go from the library freely throughout the day.
  • Day passes admit one person only. (They admit children with a guardian when the Children's Library is opened, but it is currently closed due to the pandemic.)
  • When in-person events resume in the building, 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 at this time.
  • 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 in designated areas on each floor for reshelving.
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.
Visit the "Lists of Closings" page for the days the building will be closed.