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Guidelines for non-NIST Employees and Other Libraries

Eligibility for Service

The NIST Research Library supplies reproductions and loaned works to patrons of other libraries and copies of NIST Publications to individuals.  Please note that the NIST Research Library lends materials to individuals and non-governmental libraries after the needs of NIST staff and other federal and government agencies have been met.  The NIST Research Library does not supply loans or reproductions to document suppliers or commercial vendors.

Lending requests are recorded for statistical purposes.

Service to Libraries

The following types of libraries can receive loans and reproductions from the NIST Research Library's interlibrary lending service:

  • Federal and other government agency libraries
  • Accredited academic libraries
  • Public libraries
  • Corporate or special libraries

Service to Individuals

Loans are not made to individuals. Individuals without a library should arrange for loans through their local public, academic, or corporate-affiliated library.

Reproductions of NIST publications can be sent to individuals. For non-NIST publications, individuals should again make arrangements with their local library or purchase copies directly from the publisher.

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Available Materials

Circulating books (non-Reference, non-commercial audio/visual) are available for a one-month loan period. The loan can be renewed one time only for an additional two-week period.

Single copies of journal articles, book chapters, or portions of reference works are also available. There is a 50 page (or exposure) limit per request.

The following materials are not loaned:

  • Books published within the past 12 months
  • Entire volumes or issues of journals
  • Reference works
  • Commercially produced audio/visual materials
  • Rare or archival books
  • Standards

For each request, Lending staff reserves the right to determine whether a loan of the original material or delivery of a reproduction is more appropriate.

Please verify that the item you want is in our collection by checking the online catalog on the NIST Virtual Library.

Some NIST publications are available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). Requesters may be directed to contact NTIS for a copy of these publications. See the NTIS web site for ordering information (this can be found under Help on the NTIS site).

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How to Submit Requests

Priority is given to requests submitted via OCLC's Passport or ILL web interface. Our OCLC symbol is NBS. Citations should be verified before requests are submitted. NIST does not verify citations unless the borrowing library has exhausted its bibliographic resources, in which case a note to that effect should accompany the request.

Requests sent outside of OCLC should be emailed to illstaff@nist.gov. Electronic submission is preferred, but if email is unavailable, requests can be faxed or mailed using an ALA-approved ILL request form or company letterhead (see Contact Information, below). The request must include the following:

  • A complete, verified citation.
  • Mailing address. Even if fax or email delivery is requested, the borrowing library's full mailing address is required.
  • Copyright compliance (CCG/CCL) for non-government publications.

Receipt of requests sent outside of OCLC will be confirmed with a reply email or fax.  Phone requests are not accepted.

Copyright Law and Fair Use Guidelines for Non-Government Publications

Requests for reproductions must indicate compliance with copyright law (CCG/CCL). Under certain conditions specified in the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), reproductions received from interlibrary lending service are not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research". The NIST Research Library reserves the right to refuse a request if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the request would involve violation of copyright law.

Request Maximums

Libraries that do not have a reciprocal borrowing relationship with the NIST Research Library are limited to a total of 6 requests processed per week. Excess requests will be cancelled and must be re-submitted.

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Fees and Shipping

NIST is a federally funded agency. The Research Library does not charge and cannot accept payment for interlibrary lending or copying services.

Unless fax or email is requested, materials are shipped by U.S. Mail. Materials sent outside of the U.S. are registered and a receipt confirmation card is attached.

To receive reproductions via fax, or as PDF files via email, please indicate this preference in your request.

Because the NIST Research Library's resources are dedicated to serving the research needs of NIST staff, the ILL Office is unable to provide same-day or "rush" service for reproductions.

Document Delivery and Ariel

The ILL Office is unable to send scanned documents using Ariel because of NIST's firewall policy. However, the files can be emailed as PDF attachments.

Libraries that want to receive all articles as PDF files via email should contact the ILL Office (see Contact Information, below). Give your Ariel email address, or the address of an email account that has a minimum of 40MB of storage.

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Status of Requests and Rush Requests

On average, materials are sent three to four business days after the NIST Research Library receives the request. All requests are processed in the order received.

Because the NIST Research Library's resources are dedicated to serving the research needs of NIST staff, the ILL Office is unable to provide same-day or "rush" service for reproductions. For rush service on a loan, contact the ILL Office with your Federal Express number (see Contact Information, below).

Libraries participating in OCLC should check the status of requests using OCLC's Passport or ILL web interface. Non-participating libraries should allow four business days after submitting a request to initiate a status check.

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Loan Periods and Renewals

Circulating books (non-Reference, non-Audio/Visual) are available for a one-month loan period. The loan can be renewed one time only for an additional two weeks. Materials should be returned via U.S. Mail to:

NIST Research LibraryInterlibrary Loan - Lending100 Bureau Drive MS2501Gaithersburg, MD 20899-2501

Libraries participating in OCLC should request renewals through OCLC. Non-participating libraries can request renewals via email, phone, or fax (see Contact Information, below). These libraries should reference the ILLiad transaction number on the paperwork sent with the loaned item when requesting a renewal.

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Overdue and Recalled Materials

Overdue notices are emailed, faxed, or mailed weekly. Libraries with materials past due for 2 weeks or more will be blocked from submitting further requests until the overdue materials are returned.

The NIST Research Library reserves the right to recall loaned materials identified by NIST staff as necessary for their research. These materials should be returned as soon as possible after the recall notice is received.

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Lost or Damaged Materials

The borrowing library is responsible for covering the cost of lost or damaged loans. The NIST Research Library will determine cost based on the original price paid for the item and invoice your library. A check for this amount, made out to "NIST", should be sent to the library at the address below. 

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Contact information

NIST Research LibraryInterlibrary Loan - Lending100 Bureau Drive MS2501Gaithersburg, MD 20899-2501 illstaff@nist.govfax: 301-869-6787OCLC Symbol: NBS
Lending Contact:Briget Wynnephone: 301-975-3981 ILL Office Contact:Rose Estesphone: 301-975-3060

Please allow four business days after submission before initiating a status check on non-OCLC requests.

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Information Desk:
301-975-3052 Telephone
301-869-8071 Facsimile

100 Bureau Drive, Stop 2500
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-2500