It is true, as a reader pointed out Dec. 6 in Close to Home, that the Main Reading Room at the Library of Congress will now close at 5 p.m., for a period of about a year, as part of the overall renovation and restoration of the Thomas Jefferson and John Adams buildings. However, our hours of service will remain the same, and we have expanded services in other areas of the buildings.

A Computer Catalog Center has opened on the top floor of the John Adams Building, with 16 computer terminals and expanded reference staff and photocopying facilities. A Research Guidance Office has opened in the Adams building, and a second such office has been added to the Local History and Genealogy Reading Room in the Jefferson building. Arrangements have been made to use additional reading rooms as needed for overflow space on weekends.

The library is fortunate to have the strong congressional support necessary to undertake this sorely needed renovation and restoration project. Throughout the project, every effort will be made to continue to provide our customary services. We are asking, however, that readers make full use of their local resources before coming to the Library of Congress -- something we have always encouraged but are especially encouraging at this time.

WILLIAM J. WELSH Deputy Librarian of Congress Washington