The Navy Department Library provides limited telephone, in-person, and written reference assistance. Detailed questions requiring in-depth research must be conducted in person or by employing a commercial research service. Typically, the staff will suggest possible sources of information, such as a book or archival facility, to assist patrons in conducting their own research. Simple questions such as "When was USS America (CV-66) commissioned?" or "Who was the Secretary of the Navy in 1938?" can sometimes be answered via telephone.
Personnel stationed or employed on the Washington Navy Yard may borrow materials for one month. The Library participates in interlibrary loan. Rare, Special Collection, and Reference books, as well as bound periodicals, do not circulate. The Library reserves the right to refuse to circulate or permit the reproduction of any items considered unique or fragile. Items over 100 years old are not available for interlibrary loan. Faxed requests for interlibrary loan are not accepted.
Cruise Books: Borrowing Conditions and Reproduction Services
Most cruise book in the Navy Department Library may be reproduced. Researchers are encouraged to bring a digital camera to the library, or contact the Naval Historical Foundation concerning purchasing a reproduction. In some cases, photocopying or scanning by visitors and the Naval Historical Foundation will not be permitted when a volume is too fragile. World War II cruise books are not available for interlibrary loan. Duplicate copies of post-World War II cruise books may be loaned to your local library for "in library use" only, if your library agrees to return the books via a commercial courier service such as UPS or FedEx rather than the US Post Office.