A Day in the Life of the NRC Public Document Room

In the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR), located in the agency’s headquarters complex in Rockville, Md., no two days are alike. From answering questions submitted by the public and NRC staff, to assisting visitors with research projects, to locating documents that are 30 years old (or more), to making sure that meeting notices are posted for public view, life is never boring.

The public can call, email, or walk in to use the PDR’s resources. Most inquiries for documents are for those predating the year 2000. Using the Legacy Library in ADAMS, the agency’s document repository, we help users find the records for over 2 million , documents stored on microfiche from both the NRC and its predecessor, the Atomic Energy Commission. Once found, an arrangement with our fee-based contractor can have the documents reproduced either on paper or electronically.

For on-site visitors, our microfiche reader/printers can be used to print out any document.

Some users need assistance with finding newer documents. We can help navigate them through the ADAMS Public Library for these. An advantage to the newer documents is that they are all available in PDF format, for free, and can be viewed, downloaded or printed at a user’s convenience.

On occasion, we help on-site visitors with extensive research projects. One group has come back to the PDR, once a month, for over a year, browsing through microfiche documents and capturing information necessary for their work.

In addition to helping members of the public find NRC information, we currently maintain the system that generates meeting notices for the agency’s Public Meeting Schedule. Meeting notices are usually made available at least 10 days before the actual meeting; some notices are posted months in advance.

Twice a year, we host meetings for the ADAMS User Group, made up of NRC staff who regularly use the system. The discussions almost always include ways the NRC can improve ADAMS accessibility and ease of use.

We also interact with conference attendees and answer questions about ADAMS at the NRC’s annual Regulatory Information Conference .

Some days are busier than others, but no two are alike. And we like it that way!

Adam Glazer
Technical Librarian

Author: Moderator

Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

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