Author Guest Post
The main setting for “Larceny at the Library” is the Library of Congress, situated on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The Library of Congress is the largest library in the world; there is truly no comparable institution in terms of scope, depth, and breadth of collections.
I should know. I worked there for almost twelve years in a variety of senior management roles. I enjoyed each and every challenge and especially liked collaborating with the talented librarians, curators, program specialists, and scholars that comprise the staff at the Library of Congress.
The Library of Congress occupies three large buildings on Capitol Hill, situated directly across the street from the U.S. Capitol Building itself. The buildings are named after our early presidents: Madison, Adams, and Jefferson. My office was always located in the Madison Building, but I spent a lot of time in all three of the locations.
The Library of Congress buildings are connected to each other via underground tunnels. They are also connected underground to the congressional office buildings (specifically, the Cannon House Office Building) and the Capitol Visitors Center. That’s a pretty impressive underground network of passageways. It’s no surprise those corridors play a key role in “Larceny at the Library.”
The most famous of the three Library structures is the Thomas Jefferson Building. You might remember it from the popular movie “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” starring Nicholas Cage or even David Baldacci’s novel “The Collectors.” Although the Library of Congress was created in 1800 by Congress, it didn’t get its own independent structure until the Jefferson Building opened in 1897. Its beauty and impressive architecture was heralded across the country and world. Designed in the Beaux Arts style, the Jefferson Building can be described as highly ornamented and designed to impress.
The premier room of the Jefferson Building is the Great Hall. There are simply too many details to describe; it’s much better to examine the professional photography that attempts to capture its grandeur. The Great Hall is used for the fanciest and most important events held at the Library of Congress, such as the presentation of the Kluge Prize and the evening gala before the National Book Festival.
The Jefferson Building also houses the Main Reading Room. Researchers using the Library’s collection sit in desks beneath a grand dome lined by statues depicting the history of knowledge in art, literature, and the humanities. Most people who utilize the Library begin their work at the Main Reading Room. After consulting with the librarians there, researchers may find their way to one of the many specialized reading rooms for additional help and resources.
The last room inside the Jefferson Building I will highlight is the Librarian’s Ceremonial Office, located in the northeastern corner of the first floor. The Librarian’s desk, along with books and other mementos, occupy the bookshelves. A balcony is situated above the office itself, providing additional workspace and an excellent view of the decorated office below. Heads of state and other honored guests often attend exclusive receptions inside the Ceremonial Office.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this abbreviated tour of one of the most beautiful buildings in Washington, D.C. If you’d like to know more about the history of Library and its unparalleled collections, then pick up a copy of “Larceny at the Library.” I spared no detail when I wrote the book!
About Larceny at the Library
Larceny at the Library (A Washington Whodunit)
6th in Series
Publisher: Epicenter Press (July 14, 2020)
Print Length: 202 pages
Congressional staffer Kit Marshall is excited to attend a historic event displaying the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets the night he was assassinated at the Library of Congress. The next day, a senior librarian is dead and several invaluable artifacts are missing. Kit’s husband Doug discovers the body and immediately becomes a suspect in the death and theft. Kit springs into action once again to figure out who is responsible for the crimes. Her sleuthing takes her to the DC Public Library, the National Portrait Gallery, Ford’s Theatre, and the most ornate, beautiful rooms at the Library of Congress. At the end, Kit must put her own life on the line to retrieve her most valuable possession, which goes unexpectedly missing as she hunts down the killer.
About Colleen J. Shogan
Colleen J. Shogan has been reading mysteries since the age of six. A political scientist by training, Colleen has taught American politics at several universities and previously worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative staffer in the United States Senate and as a senior executive at the Library of Congress. She is currently the Senior Vice President of the White House Historical Association.
Colleen is a member of Sisters in Crime. “Stabbing in the Senate” was awarded the Next Generation Indie prize for Best Mystery in 2016. “Homicide in the House” was a 2017 finalist for the RONE Award for Best Mystery. “Calamity at the Continental Club” was a 2018 finalist in the “best cozy mystery” at Killer Nashville. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband Rob and their beagle mutt Conan.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/washingtonwhodunit/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/cshogan276
Website – www.colleenshogan.com
GoodReads – www.goodreads.com/cshogan276
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