Frequently Asked Questions

Access Information

  • What are the operating hours of the Scientific Library?
    The Scientific Library in Bldg. 549 is open to National Cancer Institute at Frederick (NCI-F) Staff and the General Public during the following hours, excluding federal holidays:
    Monday - Friday: 8:30am - 4:00pm
    Saturday and Sunday: Closed
    For further information, contact the Scientific Library at 301-846-1093.
  • Who can use the Scientific Library?
    The Scientific Library is responsible for providing library services to Government and Contract personnel at the National Cancer Institute at Frederick. In addition, some services are offered to specific Military Organizations at Ft. Detrick. The general public may use the Library for reading during core business hours - Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am. until 4:00 pm.
    More information about access to the Scientific Library
  • Where is the Scientific Library located?
    The Scientific Library is located in Building 549 (map)(PDF), next to the NCI-Café and Conference Center.


  • How do I get a Scientific Library account?
    Only NCI-F employees may check out books and other circulating materials. To open a Scientific Library account, please bring your NIH employee badge to the Circulation Desk.
  • What materials may I check out and for how long?
    The Scientific Library circulates books and media from its collection. Journals, Reference, Reserve, Microfilm and Microfiche materials are for use in the Scientific Library only, and DO NOT circulate.

    Books may be checked out for 8 weeks.
    Books with several requests may be checked out for 2 weeks.
    Audiovisual materials may be checked out for 2 weeks.
    All materials are subject to recall by the Library at any time.

  • How many items can I check out at one time?
    Within reason, there is no limit to the amount of materials borrowed at one time. However, patrons who have outstanding overdue items can have their borrowing privileges suspended until the items are returned or paid for. Materials that are damaged or lost during circulation are the responsibility of the borrower. The borrower will be charged the current replacement charge for the item plus a $25.00 processing fee.
  • Can I renew materials?
    Audiovisual items and books on reserve may be renewed once by phone, in person, or online, and only if there are no other requests for the item. Please call the Circulation Desk, at 301-846-5848, if you have any questions.
    More information about the Scientific Library's Circulation Department
  • How do I request an item that is on the New Materials Display?
    Newly acquired items to the Scientific Library's circulating collection are housed on a New Materials Display located near the Library entrance. Each display item contains a sign-up sheet. Patrons may sign their names on the sheets of the items they wish to borrow. At the end of the display period, items are circulated in the order patrons have signed up for the item. Books and media are kept on the New Materials Display for two weeks.
  • Can I use my Scientific Library account to check out materials at the NIH Library?
    No. To check out materials from the NIH Library, you will need to register for an account from the NIH Library; however, we can borrow items you need through interlibrary loan.
    More information about borrowing materials from the NIH Library

Interlibrary Loan

  • How can I request materials that the Scientific Library does not own?
    Interlibrary Loan requests may be submitted by current employees. Requests are usually filled within 7 to 10 business days.
    More information about Interlibrary Loan Services.
  • Where can I find a list of journals that the Scientific Library provides?
    For all journal titles, refer to the OneSearch

Equipment Use

  • Does the Scientific Library have a photocopy machine?
    The Scientific Library has a photocopy machine available for copying materials from the Scientific Library. This machine is available for free use to employees ONLY.
  • Can I make color copies?
    Yes. The Scientific Library provides a color copier that is available for free use to employees ONLY.
  • Can I use my laptop in the Scientific Library?
    Yes. Wireless access is available. Please ask for assistance at the Circulation Desk.
  • Does the Scientific Library have computers that contain word processing software?
    Yes. Word processing software, and other office programs, are available on all the public computers in the Scientific Library's Computer Resources Area.
  • Can I check my e-mail account from the Scientific Library's computers?
    Yes. Scientific Library users may use e-mail via web browsers on all public computers. Due to security concerns, some functions may be restricted.

Reference and Training

  • Does the Scientific Library offer a service to keep me current on a particular topic?
    Yes. The Scientific Library can customize an alert, or current awareness search, to meet your specific needs. Please contact us.
    More information about the Current Awareness Alerts Service.
  • Can the Scientific Library translate an article for me?
    Yes. The Scientific Library sends out documents requiring translations to a company that provides such services. The translators require either an original document or a good copy. Costs, where applicable, will be charged back to the requestor's project.
    More information about Translation Services
  • Does the Scientific Library offer any instructional classes?
    Yes. List of training opportunities
  • Does the Scientific Library have a training room?
    Yes. The Technology Training Lab is used for Scientific Library training. In addition, the Lab may be used for free by other FNLCR groups who require a computer classroom setting.
  • What databases does the Scientific Library have?
    List of Databases. See also List of Electronic Resources.
  • Can I access online journals from my lab or home computer? Yes. Access to online journals from your lab
    Yes. Access to online journals from your home
  • Do you publish a newsletter?
    Yes. Inside the Library, the Scientific Library's online newsletter, is usually published quarterly.
  • Does the Scientific Library provide any information for non-scientists?
    Yes. The Scientific Libraryoffers books and movies acquired during special programs, provides access to the Employee Diversity Team Movies from the Cafe Series, and the Library's Reading Diversions collection. All of these materials may be located using the Scientific Library's Online Catalog.

Company Information

  • Who is responsible for the operation of the Scientific Library?
    For questions and concerns relating to Library staff, services, and policies, please email or call 301-846-1093.