Policies and Guidelines

Collection Development (|HTML Version | PDF Version)

Metadata Guidelines

The initial focus of NTL Digital Repository was twofold: digitizing transportation information and cataloging transportation web sites. The factors considered when selecting a metadata standard for the NTL Digital Repository included interoperability with other digital repositories, flexibility, extensibility, and metadata state-of-the-practice. The NTL selected Dublin Core over MARC, electing to forego the traditional library interoperability standard Z39.50 and complying with the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH). Recently, NTL has created crosswalks to interchange metadata with other libraries and information sources, as well as making NTL data more accessible.

Cataloging Polices

The NTL Digital Repository contains digital objects and links to external websites. The catalog is structured around a modified Dublin Core metadata schema.

As much as possible within the structure of the NTL metadata schema, original and copy cataloging follows AACR2, 2nd ed. Names entered into the catalog are also done so using the AACR2 standard. Whenever available, the NTL uses the form of name established in the Library of Congress Authority File. Subject metadata are assigned using the Transportation Research Thesaurus and the NTL Classification System.

Library Use Policies

Visiting the Library:

The library is open to DOT employees, contractors, and members of the public.

Non-DOT library visitors will be asked to show a valid picture ID to enter the library and are encouraged to call ahead.
(Phone - Technical Library: 202-366-0745)

Borrowing for Headquarters Employees:

All DOT employees, except DOT-FAA employees, may borrow circulating library materials.

DOT-FAA employees wishing to borrow materials should contact the FAA Library at 202-267-3113 to arrange for possible interlibrary loans (ILLs).

Non-DOT customers can contact their local library to arrange for possible ILL.

Borrowing for Field Office Employees:

All DOT field office employees, except DOT-FAA employees, may borrow circulating library materials and request articles for electronic delivery.

Requests should be submitted by using the Library Request Form for USDOT Field Offices. Returning all borrowed materials in good condition and on time to the Library is the responsibility of each requestor.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL):

Lending Policies:

Loans from the National Transportation Library collection to the general public shall be made through the requestor's local library through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

NTL Interlibrary Loan Lending Policy

Borrowing Policies:

Interlibrary Loan is a service provided for all DOT employees (except contractors and FAA employees) who need materials not located in the Headquarters collection. Please see a circulation assistant or reference librarian if you do not see what you need in the online catalog, and they will borrow the item from another library. We can borrow books and reports as well as periodical articles.

Requests can be submitted either in person or by using the ILL Request Form. Returning all borrowed materials in good condition and on time to the DOT Library is the responsibility of each requestor.


Photocopy services are available.


Training in the use of various databases and other resources is regularly offered or can be scheduled for all DOT employees except for FAA. Contact library staff to set up a convenient date and time.