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Changes in NLM Stacks Access

Posted by on June 11th, 2012 Posted in: All Posts

by P.J. Grier, Outreach and Access Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A Region

As of June 1st, 2012 there are some changes in access to the closed stacks at the National Library of Medicine.  As you probably know, NLM’s Main Reading Room is open to researchers who want to use our collection of biomedical literature.  Most of the collection is stored in closed stacks and can only be accessed through requests placed in our OPAC.  Requested items are manually delivered to the waiting researchers in the Main Reading Room.

Due to the continued decline in demand for retrieval from the stacks, NLM is reducing the hours for this service.  While the Reading Room open hours will remain the same, we are moving from an all-day on-demand service to two daily periods of retrieval and delivery:

  • 10:00 am to 12:30 pm (last retrieval requests accepted at noon) and;
  • 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm (last retrieval requests accepted at 4:00 pm).

NLM is introducing this change on June 1, 2012; initially for just two days a week:  Mondays and Fridays.  It will monitor the impact of the reduced service hours for a month.  After a month, the new schedule will be implemented for all week days, if it has been determined to have minimal negative impact for patrons.  Additionally, staff hours at the Circulation Desk will be reduced:  staff will be available all hours EXCEPT 12:30 pm to 2:00 pm on Mondays and Fridays.

Our main Reading Room hours will remain the same (M – F, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm) and the public may continue to use other services during these hours:  patron registration, reference assistance, online resources, photocopy and printing service and wireless accounts (for registered researchers). These changes are only for the Main Reading Room; they do not affect the History of Medicine Reading Room.

For a summary of our changes please refer to:

Information on the change is also linked from our visitors’ pages, and our OPAC homepage: .

Please keep this information in mind if you refer one of your patrons to NLM.

NLM welcomes all patrons but want to give them every opportunity to plan their visits effectively.


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