Reference Services

Information seekers are encouraged to contact the BLM Library for assistance in tracking down information or answering questions. The BLM Library assists a wide range of users with research requests, including primarily BLM employees and contractors as well as other federal agencies, the general public, university students and professors, law offices, organizations, and other libraries.

General Public (not BLM-affiliated)

The BLM Library is available to assist you in locating documents produced for or published by the BLM or its predecessors, the General Land Office and the Grazing Service.  The BLM Library does not lend materials to members of the general public, but may be able to assist you with digitized materials or reference. Please contact us by email at

BLM Employees and Contractors

The BLM Library provides a full range of reference services to BLM employees and contractors. Requests may involve short, specific questions or complex questions that require more extensive searching. Research requests range from locating items and document delivery to literature searches and research assistance to general inquiries about the Bureau and the library’s collections. Many of the internal requests are for scientific journal articles and come from specialists such as wildlife biologists, botanists, geologists, and archaeologists. Many users request help from the BLM Library because they are creating publications or informational material.

In addition, the BLM Library can perform research using computerized databases to produce a bibliography of citations on a subject you specify. We can access nearly 1,000 databases that include periodicals, books, reports, conference proceedings, and dissertations. Some databases provide abstracts along with their citations. You may request bibliographies according to subject area, author, report number, etc. Even when you have only partial information, our librarians can usually find the materials you need.

Legal research can be performed using certain databases, particularly HeinOnline. The BLM Library handles requests for copies of specific case decisions, as well as requests for Shepardizing of case decisions. We can locate current copies of unpublished Interior Board of Land Appeals decisions or obtain them through the IBLA office. We can also obtain copies of opinions from the District Court of Appeals or track a court decision. In addition, the library can conduct comprehensive searches for government documents or historic Federal Register notices. Often the most current or relevant information you seek may not yet be published and may be available only from a specialist. BLM Library staff can locate researchers or organizations that specialize in your subject area. We have knowledge of potential referrals from the personal contacts we make and from the computerized networks we access.

To obtain reference assistance, initiate research on a topic, or request a referral, please contact the BLM Library by email at