The PAHO Library
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About the PAHO Library

The Library

The PAHO Headquarters Library and Information Services supports the work of the Organization and provides a wide variety of professional and technical reference and information services covering a broad range of subject areas within the biomedical and public health field, including, historical information. It also collects, organizes, preserves and disseminates regional information produced by PAHO, both bibliographic and in full text, besides offering a selected collection on related health subjects affecting the people of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The Library's collections are referenced in its electronic PAHO/HQ Online Library Catalog, accessible through the Web.

Contact Information:

Library and Information Services
Pan American Health Organization
525 23rd Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20037 (USA)
Tel: (202) 974-3305
Fax: (202) 974-3623
Staff Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Access to the Library

Library Users from PAHO

The PAHO Library's primary responsibility is to offer library information services to PAHO professional and technical staff:

  • PAHO staff members from technical division/programs
  • Delegates of the Directing Council
  • Members of the Executive Committee
  • Pan American Sanitary Conference
  • Visitors attending PAHO meetings
  • PAHO consultants and temporary advisors

Library Users from Outside PAHO

The PAHO library is also open to the staff of other international agencies and diplomatic missions and visitors requiring PAHO- or WHO- produced information or material that is available only at the PAHO Library. Visitors are reminded that the PAHO Library is neither a public nor a medical library and that research on purely medical subjects will be redirected to other specialized libraries. Local document delivery options should first be used to obtain photocopies of articles indexed and found in international databases.

Visitors are required to register at the front Guard's Desk at the entrance where they will receive a visitor's tag. Visitors may use the library materials on the premises. A self-service photocopy machine is available at a charge of .15 cents a page payable by check to the Pan American Health Organization.

Visitor Hours: 9:00 am - 12 p.m. & 2:00pm - 4:00 p.m.
Reference Services: By Appointment
Help Desk:

  • General Document Information: (202)974-3734 or 3302
  • Photocopy Delivery: (202)974-3734 or 3302
  • Full Text & Indexing: (202)974-3837
  • User Reference, Specialized Information & Tours: (202)974-3302 or 3734


The Library staff is available to assist users in identifying and locating PAHO factual and bibliographic information in print and non-print formats, and in helping users in the use of the library collections, and computer-based information searches of the Library and external resources and specialized databases related to the Organization.

The Specialized Reference Service provides technical and consultative assistance to direct external Library users to locate PAHO subject information and to refer them to other international database resources. The PAHO Library also acts as a WHO information center, coordinating external users' requests to find specific WHO information, and in directing them to appropriate web resources and/or databases.

The Library also provides limited Interlibrary Loan Services to area libraries and other International Organizations. There is a $10.00 minimum charge for an article or document request.


The PAHO Library maintains different collections pertaining to the work of the Organization, information that is accessible through the PAHO/HQ Online Library Catalog on the web, and in CD-ROMS, as follows:

  • PAHO Collection: Includes documents, meetings, serials
  • PAHO Institutional Memory Electronic Collection (historical and others) in full text: Includes Boletín de la OPS, Bulletin of the Pan American Health Organization, policy documents such as Executive Committee 1-58, Directing Council, Pan American Sanitary Conference and its Resolutions. It also includes other conferences such as Sub-Committee on Planning and Programming, Special Sub-Committee on Women, Health and Development, Advisory Committee on Medical Research and others.
  • WHO Collection: Includes PAHO holdings pertaining to selected WHO Serials, complete collection of World Health Assembly and Executive Board Meeting documents, selection of WHO documents, serials, and other Regional technical documents
  • Other documentation, literature and journal titles pertaining to Public Health from countries of the Region
  • Document Collections of PAHO Technical Programs Accessible through the Institutional Memory.
  • Collection of International/Regional Journals
  • Reference Collection

All referenced documents are accessible through the electronic online catalog.

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