Library Frequently Asked Questions
Questions and answers are organized below by the following topics:
- Library Materials and Access
- Journals and Databases
- Interlibrary Loan
- Research Assistance
Looking for a specific document or publication? Search our online catalog.
If your question remains unanswered, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- LIBRARY MATERIALS AND ACCESS
What types of materials does the BLM Library have in its collection?
The BLM Library’s collection includes books, peer-reviewed journals in print and electronic format, online databases, technical publications, directives, NEPA and planning documents, historical documents, and more. We collect publications produced by the BLM and its precursors, the General Land Office and the Grazing Service, as well as select publications of the Department of the Interior and other federal departments and land management agencies, particularly U.S. Geological Survey, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Department of Energy. In addition, users have access to millions more items through interlibrary loan. While much of the collection focuses on biological and earth sciences, the library also provides materials pertaining to policy and management. To learn more about our collection, please browse our journals page, our databases page, our publications page, and our online catalog.
Does the BLM Library lend its materials?
The BLM Library can loan most print materials to BLM employees. We also are able to provide many materials electronically. We do not loan to other libraries or to the public. BLM materials are held by many other libraries, including academic libraries and larger public libraries. Members of the public should contact a library with whom they have borrowing privileges (e.g., their public or academic library) for assistance. Select print materials may be available through the BLM's Printed Materials Distribution Services (PMDS); charges may apply. Learn more by contacting email@example.com. BLM employees may visit the internal PMDS website for more information about acquiring printed materials.
May I renew the item(s) I've checked out?
Items generally check out for 4 weeks and may be renewed if there is not a hold for another borrower. Please contact the BLM Library to request a renewal. If your item was borrowed via interlibrary loan, please keep in mind that renewals are granted at the discretion of the library that owns the item. To assist us in remaining in good standing with other libraries, please request loan extensions with enough time to return the item by the due date if a renewal is not granted.
Is the BLM Library open to the public?
The BLM Library is currently not open to visitors at the present time. We are happy to assist all information seekers by email and by phone. Our operating hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, except federal holidays.
Is there a cost to use the BLM Library?
There is no direct cost to use the BLM Library's resources or services. The library is funded through the Division of Resource Services at the BLM's National Operations Center. The library assists library users and delivers documents for no additional fees.
- JOURNAL AND DATABASES
How do I access the BLM Library's journals?
On our journals page we have titles organized alphabetically by title. In addition to the titles listed on our journals pages, we subscribe to databases which include journal articles. Our subscription journals and databases are available only to BLM employees and contractors on the BLM network. Access should authenticate automatically. If you are on the BLM network and are following a link from our website but still can't access the full text of an article, please send us the citation by email. Some journals provide only previews of recent articles, but we often can locate articles elsewhere or place an interlibrary loan request.
I can't access the full text of a journal article. What should I do?
Subscription materials, including our journals and databases, are accessible only to BLM employees and contractors using the BLM network. Authentication is automatic and you should not be prompted to login. If you are on the network and are following a link from our journals page or our databases page but still can't access the full text of an article, please send us the citation by email. Some journals provide only previews of recent articles but we often can locate articles elsewhere or place an interlibrary loan request.
Why does the journals page include titles not available online in full text?
We have chosen to include some titles with limited access in order to make our library users aware of those journals and to allow our users to browse those journals' tables of content. To request articles not available online in full text, please send your request to the BLM Library at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the citation(s) and your full contact information, including name, mailing address, and phone number. This service is available only to BLM employees and contractors.
I need to access a journal article but the journal is not listed among the library's holdings. What should I do?
If you do not see the journal listed on our journals page, please send us the citation by email. Even if we do not subscribe to the journal, we often can locate articles elsewhere or place an interlibrary loan request.
I found a broken link on the library's website. Who should I contact?
Please email the link, or the URL (Web address) of the page where you encountered the broken link, to the Library. Thank you!
What is a library database and what kinds of information does it contain?
A library database is a collection of published works, including journal and newspaper articles, encyclopedia entries, and almanac data. The BLM Library provides BLM employees with access to a number of databases which are linked from our databases page. Some databases amass resources on a particular topic, like the GeoRef database (which focuses on geology resources), while other databases contain a wider variety of subjects. For assistance searching any of our databases, please contact the BLM Library.
To which databases does the BLM Library provide access?
Visit our databases databases page to find a list of databases with links and descriptions. Access to subscription databases is limited to BLM employees and contractors on the BLM network. For assistance accessing and/or searching any of the databases linked from our site, please contact the BLM Library.
- INTERLIBRARY LOAN
What is interlibrary loan and how does it work?
When we cannot fulfill a request directly, we forward a request to the Department of the Interior (DOI) Library. The DOI Library may lend materials from their collection or ask other libraries to loan materials. There is no limit on the number of requests an individual may send to the BLM Library, but the DOI Library permits five interlibrary loan requests per week, per person. Through the interlibrary loan system, we have access to library collections of all types throughout the world. Response time for loans varies from 2 days to 2 weeks, with harder-to-locate items taking longer. The DOI Library generally does not borrow items that incur charges. Our interlibrary loan service is available only to BLM employees. Members of the public should contact a library with whom they have borrowing privileges, such as their local public or academic library, for assistance.
How do I submit an interlibrary loan request?
Interlibrary loan (ILL) services are available to BLM employees and contractors. Please submit your request to the BLM Library via email. Include as complete a citation as possible as well as your name, phone number, and mailing address.
Please send your request to the BLM Library instead of directly to the DOI Library. Our librarians will attempt to locate the item(s) within our collection and electronic resources first. If we cannot locate the item ourselves, we will request assistance from the DOI Library.
Where is the item I requested by interlibrary loan?
The time needed to fill an interlibrary loan request will vary, depending on how widely available the item is and where the lending library is located. In general, interlibrary loan requests are filled within 2 days to 2 weeks. Some rare items may not be available to borrow but the Department of the Interior Library will notify you if this is the case. To check on the status of an interlibrary loan request, please contact the BLM Library by email at email@example.com.
I need to renew my interlibrary loan. Who do I contact?
Contact the BLM Library to request a renewal of an interlibrary loan. The length of an interlibrary loan is set by the lending library and renewals are granted at their discretion. To assist us in remaining in good standing with other libraries, please request loan extensions with enough time to return the item by the due date if a renewal is not granted.
- RESEARCH ASSISTANCE
I need help locating a publication or document. What should I do?
Send us the citation by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not have a full citation, please include as much relevant information as possible. For directives, it helps us to know the date (even just the year), as well as issuing office and title or topic. On all requests, please include your name, phone, and mailing address in case we need to submit an interlibrary loan request on your behalf.
Can the library help me with a literature search?
Yes, your BLM librarians are available to assist with a literature search. We are happy to assist you with your research; learn more on our services page or contact us by email at email@example.com.