The EPA Online Library System (OLS)
The Online Library System (OLS) for EPA’s National Library Network consists of several related databases that comprise the shared library catalog. Use OLS to locate books, reports, journals, and audiovisual materials on a variety of topics. Then contact your local public, corporate or academic library to arrange for a loan.
Search the OLS now
The material on OLS is updated every two weeks, and may be searched in many ways, such as by title, author, and keyword. In addition to the primary catalog, there are databases in OLS associated with special collections:
The National Catalog, which is the most popular database on OLS, contains the holdings (lists of books, documents and magazine titles) for EPA’s repositories and regional, laboratory, and specialized libraries. The National Catalog also has holdings for the EPA documents in the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) whether or not they are held by any libraries. OLS can also search and display NTIS abstracts.
The National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP) distributes thousands of popular EPA documents free of charge. Search this collection to find publications that are available from NSCEP.
GroundWater Ecosystems Restoration is a collection located in Ada, Oklahoma that contains specialized scientific and technical information relating to ground water protection and remediation. Information includes strategies and technologies to protect and restore ground water, surface water, and ecosystems impacted by man-made and natural events.
The Air Pollution Technical Information Center database contains abstracts of materials that are maintained on microfiche by the EPA library located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.
The Region 1 database contains the historical holdings of the Region 1 library in Boston, Massachusetts.
The Region 8 database contains the historical holdings of the Region 8 library in Denver, Colorado.
The Region 9 database contains historical information from the Region 9 library in San Francisco, California.
You can search OLS to find information on a specific publication, or you can search for all of the books and reports that EPA has on a particular topic or by a particular author. Once you retrieve records for publications that interest you, there are several ways that you can obtain those publications.
How To Obtain Publications
Via an EPA Library:
If a publication is owned by one of EPA's libraries, the OLS record will contain that information. In the field labeled "Holdings," there will be a four-letter code that represents the owner library. The name of the library is also written out below the holdings information.
EPA staff may check items out from their local EPA library, or request a publication via Interlibrary Loan from another EPA library. Members of the public can request publications via Interlibrary Loan by working with a public, university, government or corporate library in their area. Contact the email@example.com for further information.
Via the National Service Center for Environmental Publications (NSCEP):
Some EPA publications are available from EPA's National Service Center for Environmental Publications, located in Cincinnati, Ohio. NSCEP has over 7,000 hard-copy and more than 50,000 electronic EPA publications available free-of-charge to the public. Search NSCEP's National Publications Catalog for these documents, or look for links to available NSCEP documents in OLS records.
Via the National Technical Information Service (NTIS):
Thousands of EPA documents are available from the National Technical Information Service . A document that is available from NTIS can be identified from the OLS record. The record will have an alphanumeric code in the "Call Number" field that has this format:
PB nnn-nnn, or PBnn-nnnnnn. Contact NTIS toll-free at 1-800-553-6847(NTIS).
See the EPA Publications page for more information on publications that are available electronically on the EPA web site.