The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has roots as a scientific research agency back to 1807 with the Coast Survey. The NOAA library network provides access to scientific information to NOAA staff, visiting researchers, and members of the public. While the library itself is only accessible by special request for non-NOAA affiliated researchers, much of the collections have been made available online through the central library website, and libraries in the network. See the NOAA Libraries Network to find out more about the national system of NOAA Libraries.
The library uses a union catalog to increase search capabilities to all NOAA collections across the country. NOAA records are also shared in OCLC WorldCat. The central library, and many libraries in the network participate in inter-library loan (ILL) and can provide materials to the general public through ILL requests. The NOAA central library website provides a wealth of information, and access to many aspects of the collection in digital form. See the Collections page for information on virtual libraries, links to digital libraries, and further information on the subject areas of the collection. The library also provides access to reference services to any member of the public through chat, email, or phone.
The library space is a labyrinth containing a vast array of journals, monographs, maps, media, and rare items. To find out more about some of the rare and archival materials at NOAA Central, see this page. I recently volunteered to modify catalog records and reformat some web pages for a digital collection of data. While there I wandered the stacks and snapped some pictures of the shelves, and some of the materials on display.