Smithsonian Staff

Anyone with a valid Smithsonian Institution issued identification badge can do the following:

Using Smithsonian Libraries materials:
  • You must have a Smithsonian Libraries library card to check out books or other library materials. Only Smithsonian Institution badge-holders may apply for a library card. 
  • If you are not considered permanent staff, emeritus staff, or permanent affiliated agency staff, you MUST have your SI supervisor or sponsor sign the designated area on the form. Temporary staff includes interns, fellows, and volunteers.

 Borrow:  You can borrow as many items as you like for the following loan periods:


Loan Period for Permanent SI Staff

Loan Period for Temporary SI Staff


Six months One month

Microforms and Audiovisual Materials

One month One month

Bound Journals

One week One week

Renew or Return:
  • Renew online using the My Account feature in the Library Catalog, or by contacting your branch library via phone or email. 
  • You will receive notices by email.  You are expected to renew or return the books as soon as possible after receiving notification.  There is no limit to the number of times you may renew books, but in some circumstances, a renewal may not be possible.
  • Return library materials at any library branch or send them through interoffice mail.
  • If you receive a notice that an item you have is being recalled, the notice will indicate the new due date for that item. 
  • All books are subject to recall after they have been checked out for 14 days. 
  • If an item is checked out and you need it sooner than its current due date, submit an interlibrary loan request via ILLiad. The item will be recalled from the current patron or another copy will be borrowed for your use.
 Fines and Lost Books:
  • Smithsonian Libraries does not charge overdue fines. You are encouraged to renew before it is due.
  • If a book is lost or damaged beyond repair, you have the option of replacing it or, if replacement is not possible, a charge of $150.00 will be levied. In either case, a processing fee of $50.00 will be charged.
Obtain books or articles from another Smithsonian Libraries branch:
  • Submit an interlibrary loan request via ILLiad.
Accessing materials beyond the Smithsonian Libraries:
  • Use ILLiad to request items from other libraries around the world. Expedite service by including the OCLC number for the requested item.
  • Use the “Request” link from OneSearch and many of our databases to automatically complete the ILLiad form.
  • Parameters for borrowing from libraries outside of the Smithsonian:
    • Anyone with a Smithsonian Libraries library card is eligible.  Badge holders must have no fewer than 30 days remaining before termination in order to request materials from other libraries.
    • Most lending libraries lend materials for 30 days.  Loan periods, renewals and restrictions for use are determined by the lending library.  Requests to renew material must be made at least 4 days prior to the due date. Contact the Interlibrary Loan Services office directly.
    • Return materials to any location of the Smithsonian Libraries on or before the due date.
  • Questions about Interlibrary Loan?  Contact the librarian at your selected location, or the Interlibrary Loan Services office at 202.633.1245 or