It was announced that Wing 1 of the Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior Building would close for a two-year Modernization Project beginning in the summer of 2014. As a result, the Interior Library closed its historic Reading Room and stack areas to patrons on May 30, 2014.

On Tuesday, July 15, 2014, a smaller, temporary library opened in Room 2262 of the building. When modernization of Wing 1 is completed after about two years, the Interior Library and its collections will be returned to its former, but newly renovated space. Operating hours for the temporary library are 7:45 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday (except federal holidays).

Library staff and the Interior Department's Acquisitions Services Directorate selected a professional Library moving contractor to inventory, pack, and move most of the Library collections to an off-site warehouse in the Washington, DC area. The selected contractor also owns and operates the warehouse, maintaining the collections housed there for the duration of the Modernization Project. When modernization is completed, the contractor will return the collections to their former space.

Current library services and access to existing library resources are dramatically affected as a result. Some of the impacts of the Modernization Project and the move of the Library and its collections are as follows:

Temporary Interior Library - The Interior Library and parts of its collections have been moved to a smaller, temporary library in Room 2262 of the building. The temporary library includes some of the more frequently utilized legal, legislative and reference print resources. Access to selected current print periodicals, newly received books, and important microform collections is also provided. Other materials from the Library's collections have been moved to and are housed in the off-site warehouse.

The temporary library provides patron computer workstations on which visitors may access online subscriptions and databases currently provided by the Interior Library. Photocopiers and microform reader/printers for those who wish to make copies of materials available in those formats have also been moved into the temporary library.

Off-site Warehouse and Delivery Service - Most of the Interior Library collections have been relocated to a contractor-owned warehouse facility in Sterling, VA. The contractor operating the warehouse has instituted a twice-per-week delivery service between the warehouse and the temporary library. Requested materials that are housed in the warehouse are being sent to the temporary library with the next scheduled delivery.

As noted above, the warehouse is owned and operated by a government contractor. Patrons are not allowed to go to the warehouse to browse through and/or search for and retrieve Library materials. They are encouraged to use the library's online catalog to locate materials and to contact a Reference Librarian for assistance if needed.

Library Programs - New Park Ranger Speaker Series programs and Training Sessions continue to be offered. Please visit the Library's Programs page for more information about upcoming programs.

All Park Ranger Talks scheduled in 2016 will be held in the Rachel Carson Room, which is located on the ground level of the Stewart L. Udall Department of the Interior Building. Other training sessions will be held in the temporary library in Room 2262.

Library Staff Offices - Offices for the librarians and library technicians have also been moved. Their offices are now located in Rooms 1347, 1349, 1351, 1353, and 1355 of the building. Staff will remain in these offices for the duration of the modernization project, about two years, after which they will return to the renovated space in the Interior Library.

Interlibrary Loan Services - The Interior Library staff continues to take and process Interlibrary Loan requests from Interior Department staff for needed publications that are not housed in the Interior Library collections. This would include materials that are not in the off-site warehouse or temporary library.

The Interior Library staff is now accepting and processing requests from other libraries to borrow materials from the Interior Library collection. These requests may take longer to fulfill, as deliveries from the off-site warehouse to the temporary library only take place twice per week.

The Modernized Interior Library

After the two-year modernization of Wing 1 of the Stewart L. Udall Department of the Interior Building has been completed, it is expected that the Library collections and staff will be returned to the newly renovated space.

The modernization of the current Library space is expected to include the installation of a new heating and air conditioning system, rewiring of the electrical system and the addition of new electrical outlets, the installation of new computer network ports, the installation of new windows, replacement of water pipes and sprinkler systems, added Wifi access throughout the Library, and refinished floors and wooden shelving. The historic look and feel of the Reading Room and balcony areas will not be dramatically altered.

As part of the modernization process, the Library will lose some space in its stacks area for the installation of required emergency exit stairwells and ramps for Wing 1 of the building. The Library will also lose some space in the southeastern corner of the Reading Room for the installation of an exterior elevator that will take building visitors between the C Street sidewalk level to the top level of the C Street entrance stairs.

Questions – Any questions related to the modernization of the Interior Library, the relocation of its collections, impacts to resources and services, and the operation of the temporary library should be directed to the Director of the Interior Library by phone at (202) 208-3796 or through our feedback form.