Reference Services

The Linda Hall Library is open to the public free of charge during regular Library hours. There is no charge for getting a library card.

  • To sign up for a borrowing account (take materials out of the Library), you must be a resident of the Kansas City metropolitan area. You have to provide a current state or federal photo ID with a KC area street address (not a post office box).
  • A photo ID plus utility bill in your name is needed if the current address differs from that on the photo ID.

Click here to create your Library account.

The Main Reading Room and study rooms are open to all visitors, patrons, and researchers. The 2nd floor is also open for public browsing.

The History of Science Collection is also open to the public during Library hours and appointments are required and can be requested here. We kindly ask that you submit your request at least 48 hours in advance of your preferred visit. If you have any questions regarding the History of Science Collection, you may email

Who Can Borrow

  • Individuals living within the Kansas City metropolitan area as defined below:
    • Missouri – Bates, Caldwell, Cass, Clay, Clinton, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Platte, Ray
    • Kansas – Douglas, Franklin, Johnson, Leavenworth, Linn, Miami, Wyandotte
  • Established businesses within the KC metro area (see above counties). Contact Reference Services at 816.926.8701 or for more information about authorized borrowing for businesses, or fill out our web application by clicking here.
  • Students, faculty, and staff of participating Courtesy Card institutions. Contact Reference Services at 816.926.8701 or for more information about the Courtesy Card Program.

If you wish to borrow from the Linda Hall Library but do not meet the above criteria, please contact your local public, academic, or corporate library and request to borrow through interlibrary loan from Document Delivery Services. Click here for more information regarding terms and conditions of your Library account

Reference Librarians

Need assistance accessing collections materials? The Library’s expert team of reference librarians can:

  • Look up definitions, facts, formulas and other scientific or technical information.
  • Help with the use of the catalogdatabases, and indexes. You may wish to register for an in-person "Navigating Linda Hall Library" session. These sessions are offered weekly on Wednesdays from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM and by appointment. 
  • Confirm the Library’s holdings.
  • Provide bibliographic verification and assistance with citation identification.
  • Explain procedures and policies for circulation and use of materials.

Have a specific inquiry for our reference librarians? Use this form or connect with us via:

  • Phone: 800.662.1545 and choose option 2 for Reference or 816.926.8701 if you are in the Kansas City area. Phone service is available during the Library hours of 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Friday.
  • Fax: 816.926.8782
  • Email:

Research Guides

Our Reference librarians have created these guides for more in-depth help with some of the frequently asked topics and more complex resources in the Library.

Patents and Trademarks

Linda Hall Library is one of over 80 libraries in the United States that participate in the Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC) Program. The PTRC program is administered by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Please see our Patents and Trademarks Research Guide for more information.

Material Which Does Not Circulate

  • Journals/periodicals/magazines
  • Material published before 1900
  • Microforms – microfiche, microfilm, microcard
  • Rare books and/or items from the History of Science Collection
  • Reference books
  • Technical reports
  • Other items listed in the Linda Hall Library circulation guidelines. (Please ask at the Reference Desk for a copy)
  • The Linda Hall Library reserves the right to deny circulation of any item determined to be fragile or difficult to replace.

Terms and Conditions

  • Patrons must show their LHL library card or a photo ID at the time of check-out.
  • Library materials must be protected from damage from food and beverages.
  • Patrons are responsible for all uses of their library card.
  • Patrons must promptly report if a card is lost or stolen.
  • Patrons with overdue items will not be able to check out additional items.
  • Abuse of circulation privileges may result in the loss of borrowing privileges.