NOAA 2000-024
Contact: Pat Viets


NOAA's Central Library in Silver Spring, Md., today received the 1999 Library of the Year award at the Library of Congress, the Commerce Department announced.

"This award recognizes the NOAA Central Library for its initiative and dedication in creating a distinctive combination of products and services," said D. James Baker, NOAA administrator. "It also recognizes the library for excellence in meeting the needs of its user groups."

The award was presented by Librarian of Congress James Billington on behalf of the Federal Library and Information Center Committee at the 17th annual committee forum on federal information policies. The award recognizes the many innovative ways that the library, librarians and technicians fulfill the information demands of government, business, the academic community, and the American public.

NOAA's Central Library maintains a collection of more than one million books, journals, technical reports, and other sources that support research in disciplines such as the atmospheric sciences, fisheries, space sciences, marine biology, meteorology, oceanography and related disciplines of interest to NOAA. Access to the library's catalog and the collections of 27 other NOAA libraries is available online at:

The library has a unique collection of rare books dating from 1485 that were assembled by scholars of the original U.S. Weather Bureau. In addition to writings on meteorology and climatology, the Rare Book Room also includes treasures from the original Survey of the Coast (1807) and from the original U.S. Commission on Fish and Fisheries (1871). This unparalleled collection is preserved in a climate-controlled environment for use by NOAA staff and the public.

The library is a tremendous resource for NOAA staff, and is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. People outside of NOAA may obtain materials through their local interlibrary loan services.

The NOAA Central Library shares the Library of the Year award with the Los Alamos National Laboratory Research Library.