About the U.S. Fire Administration Library

Library Customer Service

Mon-Thu: 8:30am - 9pm | Fri: 8:30am-5pm
Sat: 4pm-8pm | Sun: Noon-4pm (ET)

301-447-1030 | 800-638-1821 | 301-447-3217 (fax)


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The U.S. Fire Administration library provides information and resources on fire, emergency management and other all-hazards subjects. With its collection of more than 208,000 books, reports, periodicals, and audiovisual materials, the library facilitates and supports National Fire Academy and Emergency Management Institute student and faculty research and supplements classroom lectures and course materials.

Website visitors may access the library's Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) to perform their own literature searches. In addition to searching the collections cited above, the library's catalog is a unique guide to periodical literature with citations on fire, emergency response, natural disaster, and homeland security topics going back to the early 1970's. Library staff index nearly 5,000 newly published articles each year, from scores of professional journals, magazines and newsletters across the country and internationally.

What type of books and materials does your library have?
Our library has one of the most comprehensive collections in the United States of materials relating to the fire service and to emergency management. We concentrate on natural and technological hazards but primarily on their social and behavioral sciences aspects. As examples, the library has some information on seismology but more on earthquake preparedness; some information on fire protection engineering but more on public fire education. Generally, students at the National Fire Academy and Emergency Management Institute are not scientists but practicing emergency managers and first responders. The library's collection has been built for these user populations.
Our print collections include some 18,000 books and another nearly 6,000 reports, proceedings and government documents. Students from the Executive Fire Officer program write major papers during each of their four years in the program and the library has over 6,000 of their published papers (along with another 4,000 abstracts). We also have a large collection of DVD/VHS titles currently numbering more than 5,700 items.
The library subscribes to several hundred professional journals and magazines and has over the past three decades indexed 102,000 individual journal articles. This effort has made our library's online catalog a unique guide to periodical literature with citations on fire, emergency response, natural disaster, and homeland security topics.
For more information on how we select materials for our collection, please see our collection development policy.
How can I search the library's holdings on the Internet?
You can search our online public access catalog at any time. The online catalog provides bibliographic access to the collection. It functions for Internet users as a database on fire service, all-hazards, and emergency management topics. Its fundamental service to Internet users is one of identification, though the catalog also provides online access to some 14,000 titles. It identifies published resources on topics of professional interest to fire service and emergency management personnel.
Who can visit the library?
The U.S. Fire Administration library is not currently open to the general public. Security provisions and staffing constraints make it no longer possible for us to accept visitors.
Who can check out materials directly from the library?
Only National Emergency Training Center personnel and students may check out materials directly from the library. However, we encourage you to borrow any of our circulating books, reports or other materials through interlibrary loan. You simply need to provide staff at your local library with a printout of the item record from our online catalog. This will include the title, author, and other identifying information such as an ISBN or OCLC number. Your library will then obtain the item from the most readily available source. Owing to the unique nature of our collections, we're often the library most likely to fill these requests.
How long do materials check out?
  Books/Research Reports DVD/VHS
National Emergency Training Center Staff 1 month 1 month
National Fire Academy/Emergency Management Institute Adjunct Faculty Length of course minus 1 day Length of course minus 1 day
National Fire Academy/Emergency Management Institute Students Length of course minus 1 day Length of course minus 1 day
Outside Contractors 1 month 1 month
Interlibrary Loan (off-campus borrowers) 1 month 1 month
Do library staff perform literature searches for the general public?
We routinely answer simple requests, such as an organization's telephone number and address. In response to more complex inquiries on specific subjects, our staff will do literature searches, compile bibliographies, and depending on length and copyright restrictions, provide documentation in the form of reports and articles.