The Arlington Library, officially the Library of Congress, is a mostly-intact public library building located in the Capital Wasteland in 2277. It is largely occupied by raiders, whose position is threatened by the Brotherhood of Steel soldiers in the front lobby.
Arlington Library is easily found by following the Potomac River south past the Citadel, then turning west to follow the road just south. It is directly across from Alexandria Arms and about two miles west-southwest of the Jefferson Memorial.
There is a Talon Company outpost nearby, so be careful when approaching the library, as they are easily alerted to your presence. Next to Alexandria Arms, there is a building that a single raider uses as their home and is covered with traps. In addition, an Enclave Vertibird may appear just outside of the raider's building and drop off troops.
When you enter the library, you will immediately initiate dialogue with Scribe Yearling, a Brotherhood of Steel scribe who is tasked with archiving all pre-War knowledge into the Brotherhood's central computers. She will give you access to the library's computer terminal at the front desk, where you will be able to download the card catalog to complete a primary objective in the Wasteland Survival Guide quest. To complete the optional objective, you will have to explore further into the building until you find the library's mainframe computer buried deep within a raider den.
A couple of Brotherhood of Steel soldiers from Scribe Yearling's detachment found on the first floor near the back (at the entrance to the first room with raiders), will help you clear out the building. Once you approach them, they will begin a scripted advance through the building, into the other wings, and will eventually finish up in a "final" room with two turrets, where, just before entering, they will be joined by a third Brotherhood soldier. This advance will clear almost all of the raiders in the library (with the player's help; otherwise, they will most likely die before reaching the final room). Their path does not lead them into the room where the player needs to go to achieve the optional objective of the Wasteland Survival Guide quest. Once they have cleared the room with the two turrets, they stand down and begin walking back to Scribe Yearling's position.
- Consistent with its purpose as a library, there are over 750 destroyed/damaged books.
- Card catalog holotape - Taken from the check-in terminal on the lobby's desk.
- 1 Stealth Boy upstairs on a counter overlooking the lobby.
- Big Book of Science - Upstairs from the lobby to the right, through the hallway in the first room on the right. On a desk in an office with two sofas.
- 3x pre-War books - On the catwalk overlooking the main library hall: Two on shelves on the southern wall, and one on the table on the northern wall, next to the east hallway door.
- 1 fresh apple behind the trash can in the women's restroom.
- 175 small ruined books, 128 small burned books, 129 small destroyed books and 124 large scorched books, the highest amount in a single area in the game.
- Guns and Bullets - In the first room, one enters coming from the media archives. Three of the below mentioned pre-War books can be found here. This room is right before you drop through a hole in the floor to continue through the children's wing, so you can't access the book by proceeding from the lobby entrance. If you drop down a floor from there, you can also find a safe which may contain a Stealth Boy and other various items.
- 3x pre-War books - On a shelf in the first room when entering from the media archives.
- Lying, Congressional Style - On the counter next to the table with the pre-War book in the break room, next to the coffee makers.
- 1x pre-War book - In the same break room, on a table next to the Eat'o'tronic 3000.
- Sheet music book - There are two rooms sticking out on the west side of the local map; go to the room farthest north. (From the lobby, go past the firehose box, turn right and go past the Nuka-Cola vending machine. In the first room you see enter.) The sheet music is in the right cubicle by a music stand on the floor. In the first cubicle on the left is a trapped terminal. A pre-War book is in the back left cubicle, though if you don't see it there, keep looking around.
- 1x pre-War book - In the same room with the sheet music book. It's on a desk.
- Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor - On the second floor in the room with the pool table, on the square table in the corner (northwest part of the map).
- 1x pre-War book - In the room with two turret guns, on the floor in the northeast corner. The same room with the ink container.
- Ink container - In the 'Restoration Supplies' box in the room with two turrets.
- Tumblers Today - In the room where you download the archives, on the desk against the north wall flanked by two sets of microfiche readers. A battle with raiders may knock the book off the desk; check the floor if there is nothing on the desk. It may be closer to the desk with the safe.
- 1x pre-War book - Besides the public terminal (the one with archives) on the table.
- Nuka-Cola Quantum - On a table in the southwest corner of where you download the archives; it's hidden in the corner behind a crate and two skulls.
- Just to the north of the main door, there is a Pulowski Preservation shelter that contains a Guns and Bullets book.
- South of the building in the sleeping area of the Talon Company outpost, there's a copy of Nikola Tesla and You and a Stealth Boy on the table. Down in the basement, there's a bottlecap mine on a workbench.
- If the Lone Wanderer kills Scribe Yearling, and/or her guards, the scribes in the Citadel will become hostile.
- If the Lone Wanderer offends Scribe Yearling, they will not be able to participate in her unmarked quest, in which they can sell Scribe Yearling authentic pre-War books. She will ask about the Lone Wanderer's search for books, but the Lone Wanderer will be unable to give her any.
- Scribe Jameson claims that Scribe Yearling is stationed at the Library of Congress. However, no other source refers to Arlington Library by this name, and the building does not resemble any of the three buildings in use by the real Library of Congress. Further, Scribe Jameson refers to the location of the Library of Congress, which is congruent to its real-life location, to be northeast of the Citadel rather than south where Arlington Library is located.
- There is a room in the children's wing (presumably a playroom, from the heavy abundance of toys) with two child-sized skeletons, which are uncommon in Fallout 3.
- BoS members will not enter raider-occupied areas, even if the player has cleared the entire library.
- After the quest The Waters of Life, if the Lone Wanderer approaches the area right across the road from the library, past the truck, a Vertibird will land and two to three Enclave soldiers wearing Tesla armor will jump out and attack.
- Random encounters occur on the road outside the library.
- If the Lone Wanderer has finished the Wasteland Survival Guide quest by convincing Moira to abandon the book, Scribe Yearling will not give them access to her computer.
- There is a plaque from the Germantown Police Department in the office where the Big Book of Science is found, giving an award for an unknown event or topic (the text becomes illegible after the phrase "Award for").
- If the Lone Wanderer waits until after joining the Brotherhood of Steel to access Arlington (either honorarily or officially), there will be no dialogue change, and both Yearling and her protectors will still treat them as an outsider.
- There are about 700 books, including every variety (large/small burned, etc., including the skill books, and the pre-War varieties), in the whole Arlington Library.
Arlington Library appears only in Fallout 3.
- Playstation 3 Xbox 360 If the 'Restoration Supplies' are taken after the Stealing Independence quest is completed it may result in not being able to load the Arlington Public Library lobby. It is possible that even viewing the contents of the 'Restoration Supplies' before getting the quest to retrieve them may cause the game to freeze on attempting to enter the Arlington library. [verified]
- Xbox 360 When entering the library, Scribe Yearling will sometimes be frozen in place, and unable to interact with. Moving away from her, or bumping into her, or leaving and re-entering usually fixes this. [verified]
- Playstation 3 Xbox 360 When battling through the children's wing together with the two Brotherhood soldiers, they can randomly disappear when going into a corridor and respawn in the media archives entrance. [verified]
- Playstation 3 After the raider event in the lobby, the Brotherhood of Steel non-player characters' guns will continue to sound like they are firing even after the raiders have been eliminated. [verified]
- PC Sometimes, in the media archives, the turret will be floating in the air, close to the floor, instead of being mounted on the ceiling. [verified]