Visiting the Library


Visiting the Library

The NOAA Central Library serves all NOAA employees located in Silver Spring, and Suitland, Maryland, as well as those located in the Hoover Building in downtown Washington, DC. We also serve patrons who work in regional offices across the country that are not served by another NOAA library. NOAA employees and contractors are welcome to stop by during our business hours.

Public Access to the Library

Whenever possible, we try to provide access to our collection to scholars and researchers who are not officially affiliated with NOAA. If you are not a NOAA employee or contractor, and would like to visit us, please contact the reference/information desk via e-mail ( or phone (301) 713-2600 ext. 157 to arrange a visit.


The library is generally open Monday thru Friday, excluding Government holidays, from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Notices of other exceptions will be posted at the entrance.

Registering as a Library Patron

NOAA employees and affiliates (i.e. contractors, visiting scientists, Sea Grant fellows, NOAA Interns): Please visit the NOAA Central Library Reference Desk to register as a patron.

Note: Only registered patrons are eligible to check out materials and access our online databases and e-journals. If you are not a NOAA employee or affiliate, please contact us to arrange access to our collections.

Location, Transportation and Parking

We are located on the second floor of building 3 on the Silver Spring Metro Center campus:

NOAA Central Library
1315 East-West Highway
SSMC3, 2nd Floor
Silver Spring, MD 20910

NOAA's Silver Spring campus is a short walk from the Silver Spring Metro Station on the Red Line. The closest public parking garage to NOAA is Garage 58, but parking is limited. Additional parking can be found in downtown Silver Spring.  

Building Access

For security reasons, access to our building is limited to NOAA and Department of Commerce employees and contractors. However, if you wish to visit the library, it may be possible to arrange a visitor pass.

In order to enter the building, visitors must:

Due to the enforcement of the REAL ID Act, visitors to Federal buildings from the following states cannot use their driver’s license as their only form of ID:

  • Alaska
  • American Samoa
  • Arizona
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota*
  • Montana
  • New York*
  • Oklahoma
  • Washington State*

(Enhanced driver's licenses from MN, NY, and WA are acceptable.)

If you are visiting from one of these states, you will need to present either one document from the following list:

  • Federal ID (PIV card, including CAC cards)
  • U.S. or foreign passport
  • Permanent resident (green) card
  • U.S. Miliary I.D.

Or two documents from the following list (one of which must include a photo):

  • ID card issued by federal, state or local government (e.g. a non-REAL ID compatible driver's license)
  • School ID
  • Voter registration card
  • Native American tribal document
  • Social Security card
  • Birth certificate
  • U.S. citizen ID card
  • Student green card
  • Employment Authorization document issued by DHS