Delmar T. Oviatt Library

The Oviatt Library (OV) is located in the center of campus. Librarians and other library personnel are dedicated to helping students achieve their educational goals. The Library has extensive collections and services, both in-house and online. Reading, study, and collaborative areas, as well as computers, are located throughout the building. In Fall 2013 the Library opened the Learning Commons, a large open area on the first floor of the building. The space is dedicated to collaborative learning and group study in a relaxed and friendly environment. The third floor of the Library features the Learning Resource Center which offers a variety of learning programs including reading and writing skill workshops, one on one and group tutoring, and supplemental instruction classes. The Library also houses the popular Freudian Sip, a café located in the Library’s lobby. In Fall 2014 the Library opened the Creative Media Studio, a space dedicated to the creation of multimedia.

Library hours vary by time of the academic year.  All library hours are posted at the Library’s entrance and can be found on the Library website.

Oviatt Library Resources

The Oviatt Library has a collection containing 2.1 million volumes, of which over 1.5 million are books, and over 250,000 bound periodical volumes. The Library subscribes to 53,000 online journals, over 2,300 print journals, over 200 online databases and more than 570,000 e-books. The microform collection contains 3.17 million pieces. There are over 13,000 sound recordings, 45,000 film and video recordings and nearly 60,000 pictures and other graphic materials. The archives and manuscript collection exceeds 11,000 linear feet of materials, with nearly 45,000 items housed in Special Collections. Less frequently used books and most bound periodicals, including most microforms, are stored in the Library’s Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). Stored items may be requested from the Library’s online catalog or at the Guest Services desk and retrieved from the ASRS in approximately 10 minutes.

Assistive Technology Workstations

The Library has four dedicated assistive technology study rooms featuring a wide range of sophisticated hardware and software designed to increase access to Library resources for students with disabilities. The rooms are located on the first floor of the west wing. CSUN students wishing to use one of these rooms may obtain a key at the Guest Services desk. Students will be asked to present their card from the Disability Resources and Educational Services office indicating that they have received appropriate training on the equipment and software. Please check with the Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) Office, Bayramian Hall 110, for more information about using these rooms. Upon request, assistance such as photocopying and book retrieval is available at the Guest Services desk.


The Oviatt Library provides access to computers throughout the building in support of research and learning at California State University, Northridge.  Most workstations are restricted to current CSUN student, faculty and staff.  A large number of desktop computers are available for students to access and search a wide variety of electronic resources and databases.  In addition, students have access to productivity software and other virtual software via the myCSUNsoftware library. The main open computer area is in the Learning Commons, located on the first floor. Labs A, B, and C, while often reserved for library instruction can be used when no class is in session. Schedules are posted on the doors. There are also computers on each floor in the stacks as well as in Music and Media on the second floor and Reserves, Periodicals and Microform on the fourth floor. Laptops and iPads can be checked out from the Learning Commons Technology office which is located in the Learning Commons. Students can obtain help with their computer accounts and other related questions from the Campus IT desk also located in the Learning Commons. The Library also operates an open student computer lab in Sierra Hall (SH) 392. Wireless access to the campus network, and the Internet, is available throughout the library building.

Copying and Printing Services

Self-service photocopy machines are located on each floor of the Library. Photocopying requires a copy/print debit card. Copies are 10 cents each. Cards may be purchased from the card vending machines in the following locations: the Learning Commons in the Learning Commons Technology Office, Music & Media (Second Floor, East Wing) and Third Floor Core (adjacent to the Visitor Stations).

The Library offers printing for CSUN students, faculty and staff through Lab Printing @ CSUNLab Printing @ CSUN is a print management system called GoPrint. This system supports campus-wide efforts to go green and helps us track print usage in order to help allocate costs for printer services on campus. Lab Printing @ CSUN requires no debit card and is available in the following areas of the Library:

  • Learning Commons, Main Floor Core and West Wing
  • Library Labs A, B and C
  • Reserves, Periodicals & Microform
  • Sierra Hall 392 Library Lab

Each CSUN student is given $10 (approximately 100 pages) of printing each semester, which is posted to your individual GoPrint account. Once these funds have been used, you have the option to add money to your GoPrint account. This can be done directly in the GoPrint software via computer stations in college labs, on a GoPrint account station in the Oviatt Library, or via the web using the GoPrint URL link.

Creative Media Studio

In Fall 2014 the Library opened the Creative Media Studio, a dynamic learning environment with an audio recording studio and sophisticated computer hardware and software that enables students to create multimedia for their class projects. The Creative Media Studio also offers workshops for students to become familiar with the studio’s creative space, and the hardware and software available. With 8 individual 27-inch iMac computers available via reservation, students can visit the Creative Media Studio to learn how to utilize software programs in creating videos, digital audio recordings, and other multimedia projects. Reservations are required to use the computers and/or book the recording studio. The Creative Media Studio Service Desk also has several items available for student checkout at the front desk. These items include: headphones, cameras, digital audio recorders, tripods, green screen, scanner, command keyboard covers, memory card readers, and external hard drives.

Government Documents

The Library is a selective depository for government documents published by the U.S. government and the state of California. (Note: Most documents are issued only in electronic format.) Free public access to government documents is assured by state and federal law. Documents are listed in the Library catalog, and finding guides are available online at Government Publications.

Guest Services

The Guest Services staff in the main lobby checks out, renews, checks in and places holds on library resources. This area also is where fines are paid and photo ID cards can be issued. Most items ordered from automated storage (ASRS) are picked up here as well.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

This service permits faculty, students and staff to obtain materials from other libraries that are needed for research, but are not available in the Oviatt Library. ILL resources are found within the CSUN Interlibrary Loan “network,” which includes the other 22 CSU campuses, a large number of reciprocal libraries and various document suppliers. Items can be ordered by using the online service. The ILL office is located in Oviatt room 109 on the first floor. For complete information about the Library’s Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services, see Interlibrary Loan.

Music and Media

The Music and Media Collection consists of CDs and LPs, including jazz, international, classical and contemporary genres supported by music scores and books on music history and theory. It also contains DVDs ranging from instructional programming to feature films. In addition, patrons have access to more videos online through Films on Demand. Music and Media supports the music, cinema and theater curricula at CSUN, and provides instructional media complementing many other disciplines. Most of the collection is available for checkout and patrons can view or listen to all material in the area’s media carrels or review room. Music and Media is located on the second floor, east wing and provides a welcoming environment for course study and research, or for simply relaxing and personal enjoyment in the lounge areas.

Online Catalog and OneSearch

In addition to searching the Library’s online catalog, one of the easiest ways to find out about the Library’s holdings is to use OneSearch. OneSearch lets users search for books, articles, videos, music, and almost everything else the Library holds using one search box. OneSearch is connected to most of the Library’s databases and the catalog and content can be accessed directly from search results. OneSearch can be accessed from any on- or off-campus computer or mobile device connected to the Internet. Users who prefer to search only the Library’s online catalog, can access it on the Library website.

Reading and Study Areas

In addition to the general reading and study areas available on all floors, the Library also offers private study areas. Group study rooms and individual study rooms are located on all floors. Rules for their use and group size are posted in the rooms and are on the Library’s website at Study Rooms and Lockers. Most study rooms have to be reserved using the Library’s online reservation system. Faculty and graduate student study rooms, located on the lower floor, west wing, are available on a day-to-day basis. Inquire at the Guest Services Desk about availability. In addition, the Gohstand Reading Room on the second floor west wing provides quiet space specifically designated for leisure reading.

Reference and Research Services

The Library maintains a large electronic and print collection of reference materials providing factual information or directing patrons to further sources for that information. Such materials include, but are not limited to, encyclopedias, dictionaries, almanacs, atlases, handbooks, directories, style manuals, and bibliographies.

Resources are available in print or electronic formats–sometimes both. Electronic reference materials can be accessed through the Library Catalog. See Finding Sources–Reference Books for more information. Print reference sources are indicated by “Learning Commons” or “Ref” under LOCATION in the Library Catalog record.

When the catalog indicates “Learning Commons” as the location, the item will be found in the main floor, Learning Commons. Reference materials with the catalog LOCATION code “(Ref)” (example: Floor2 (Ref)) are shelved on the upper floors alongside the circulating collection. Reference materials marked as STORED in the catalog must be requested through the Library’s Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). Requests for stored items can be made electronically via the catalog, or in person at the Guest Services Desk.

As general policy, library reference materials are not allowed to circulate outside of the Library.

Reference librarians from the Research, Instruction and Outreach Services department staff the Research Consultation Desk in the Learning Commons during most of the hours the Library is open. They can help students use OneSearch and the online catalog to find books, articles, videos and journals; assist in finding peer reviewed/scholarly articles using subject specific databases; answer complex research questions; show students how to use appropriate search strategies and techniques; and provide basic citation help.

Appointments may be made with subject specialist librarians for lengthier consultations on a topic or reference source. You can find your subject specialist and his or her phone number at Subject Specialists.

In addition, we provide reference assistance by telephone, text message and through our online reference services. To learn more about these options, go to Ask a Librarian.

Reserves, Periodicals and Microform (RPM)

Reserve materials are located primarily in RPM (fourth floor, east wing). Music course reserves and multimedia reserves are located in Music and Media (second floor, east wing) and children’s literature reserves and education course reserves are located in the Teacher Curriculum Center (TCC, lower level, room 26). Reserve materials are listed by course number and instructor’s last name and can be searched by visiting Course Reserves.

Titles of all magazines, journals, e-journals, serials and newspapers owned by the Library can be found through the Library online catalog at by clicking on the Journals tab. To search for individual articles, use the Databases by Subject webpage.

Current periodical and newspaper print titles are also found in RPM. Recent issues of magazines and journals are shelved in call number order. Back issues of newspapers are retained for several months until they are discarded or until the microform subscription copies arrive. Retention length differs with each title.

Older issues of magazines and journals are bound into volumes and can be retrieved from ASRS storage systems, usually within 10 minutes. Use the Library online catalog to request stored volumes. Stored periodicals will be delivered to the RPM service desk, fourth floor, east wing. Please return the materials to the service desk. Almost all microform titles are stored in the ASRS. Ask for assistance at the RPM service desk.

Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and Archives houses rare and unique collections and provides opportunities for scholarly research and publication. Material is available for onsite research in the Special Collections and Archives reading room, west wing, second floor. While in the reading room, researchers can make their own duplications using a scanner with the capability to save scans to their own USB drives, or emailing scans to themselves. Those who are unable to visit the department can order photocopies, scans, or other duplications. To find archival and manuscript collections which are a part of Special Collections please visit the Finding Aid Database, search the Library Catalog, or the Library’s Digital Collections. For more information about how to access these collections, please read more about Using the Collections. There are no browsing stacks. All Special Collections and Archives material, including material stored in the ASRS, must be requested through the Special Collections and Archives reading room reading room. None of this material may circulate out of the Library. Scheduled hours are Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Wednesday -Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Call (818) 677- 2832 for more information.

Teacher Curriculum Center

The Teacher Curriculum Center features a collection of pre-school through grade 12 curriculum-oriented materials. It is located on the lower level of the Oviatt Library building, room 26. Included in the TCC collection are selected California state-adopted textbooks, the juvenile and young adult collection (Sharon Fogarty Young Readers’ Collection), CD-ROMs, educational games, curriculum guides, recordings, videotapes and DVDs. All are listed in the online catalog. These items must be checked out and returned directly to the TCC.