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NLM Reading Rooms, Services, and Hours

Due to COVID-19, the National Library of Medicine Reading Room remains closed to the public until further notice.

During this period, NLM online resources will remain available, including NLM Digital Collections and PubMed Central.

NLM will continue to provide interlibrary loan (ILL) services. For latest NLM ILL service information check this website:

There are two reading rooms open to the public at the National Library of Medicine (NLM); the Main Reading Room and History of Medicine Division (HMD) Reading Room. The Main Reading Room has an extensive reference collection. The General Collection has books (1914-present), journals and serials (1871-present), and audiovisual materials.

The HMD Reading Room has book-length material printed before 1914, thousands of pamphlets and dissertations (post-1914), and all pre-1871 journals. See the HMD Reading Room for additional information on services and materials available to the public.


Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

You can request materials from the General Collection for pick-up at the Information desk. Materials are delivered from 9:45 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.

The Reading Rooms are closed weekends and federal holidays. For special hours and emergency closings, call 1-888-FINDNLM (1-888-346-3656) or 301-594-5983. Check the OPM Operating Status for weather-related closings.

Directions, Parking, and Security

Please see the Directions and Parking Information page for information on visiting NLM.

Signing In and Requesting Library Materials

Signing In

NLM's General Collection is in a staff-access only area. If you previously had an account in the old LocatorPlus, it will not carry over to the new LocatorPlus Catalog. You will need to create a new account with one of the available options when you first sign in to LocatorPlus Catalog.

You will be able to sign into LocatorPlus Catalog using a third-party login or federated credentials. These include NIH credentials or those that you use on other sites such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, research organizations, and You will see a list of all available options on the Sign in page. If you do not have an account with one of the options listed, you will need to create one.

Sign in to the LocatorPlus Catalog

Requesting Materials

Onsite resource requesting is currently not available.  In accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, and to promote social distancing, the NLM Reading Rooms are closed to the public until further notice. NLM will continue to provide interlibrary loan (ILL) services.


Scanning and Wi-Fi

High speed scanners and Wi-Fi are available for free.  You can use scanners only for NLM materials. The scanners shut down at 4:55 p.m.

  • You must bring a flash drive to save your scanned documents. We may impose time limits, so that others can also use the scanner.
  • We have one microfilm/microfiche reader-printer in the Main Reading Room.
  • You can log in to the NIH-Guest-Network Wi-Fi and click "Accept." After you log in, you can use "On-site Access Only" materials.

Conduct Policies

Please follow the conduct policies.

See also the NLM Reading Room Policy on Photography Requests


NLM supports the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Read more about the facility, collection access and use, and staff assistance for accessibility.

Last Reviewed: June 9, 2021