About the University Library

The University Library (UL) is located in the center of campus. Librarians and other library personnel are committed to helping students achieve their educational goals. The Library has extensive collections and services, both in-house and online. Reading, individual study and collaborative areas, as well as computers, are located throughout the building. The Learning Commons, a large open area on the first floor of the building, is dedicated to collaborative learning and group study in a relaxed and friendly environment. The Library also houses the Freudian Sip, a café located in the lobby. The Creative Media Studio, a space dedicated to the creation of multimedia, including 3D printing, and the Library Technology Services Office, where students can check out laptops and tablets, are also located on the main floor. The second floor houses the Library Exhibit Gallery, Special Collections and Archives, and Teacher Curriculum Center/Music & Media collections. The Learning Resource Center (LRC), which offers tutoring, workshops, writing help and a testing lab, is located on the third floor. The fourth floor includes the Reserves department, where students can access course readings, including many textbooks. Library hours vary by time of the academic year and at different service points. Hours are posted at the Library’s entrance and can be found on the Library Hours webpage.

Collections and Services Overview

The University Library’s collection consists of approximately 1.65 million book titles, of which half are electronic; 197,500 serials and journals, the majority of which are electronic; and 262 online databases. The Library’s media collection totals about 149,700 titles, of which two-thirds are streaming. Less frequently used books, bound periodicals and microforms are stored in the Library’s Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). They are identified and requested from OneSearch and available for pickup at the Guest Services desk in approximately 10 minutes. The University Library is also a selective depository for government publications from the United States and the State of California. Free public access to government publications is ensured by law; printing and photocopying is self-service and incurs costs.

Open an average of 90 hours per week during the academic year, the Library had approximately 1.34 million visits last year. Librarians answered about 8,000 reference questions in person and virtually via email, text and chat, and they provided library research and information literacy sessions to more than 800 CSUN classes, or 23,500 students.


The Library provides access to 201 Windows desktop PCs and 23 iMacs, and it checks out 75 HP laptops, 20 MacBook Pros, 40 iPads and 5 Surface Pros. Other equipment includes headphones, mobile hotspots, chargers, adapters and graphing calculators, some of which can be checked out for a week and others for in-library use only. Printing from desktop computers and wireless devices is available, as well as public scanners.

Most workstations and equipment are restricted to current CSUN students, faculty and staff. Non-CSUN users with appropriate identification may use a desktop PC workstation for up to 2 hours per day, subject to availability. The Library’s computers and laptops provide access to productivity software, and specialized software is available on workstations in the Creative Media Studio. The Library Technology Services Office, located in the Learning Commons, main floor, offers computer assistance and loans out laptops, tablets and related equipment. Students can obtain help with their computer accounts and other related questions from the Campus IT desk, also located in the Learning Commons. Wireless access to the campus network and the Internet is available throughout the library building and on campus via Eduroam.

Copying, Printing and Scanning Services

Self-service photocopy machines are located on each floor of the Library. Photocopying requires a copy/print debit card, which is purchased from a vending machine next to the Library Technology Services desk in the Learning Commons, main floor.

The Library offers printing for CSUN students, faculty and staff through Lab Printing @ CSUN. Lab Printing @ CSUN utilizes a print management system called GoPrint. This system supports campus-wide efforts to go green and helps track print usage to aid in allocating costs for printer services on campus. Lab Printing @ CSUN is available on the main floor and fourth floor, east wing. CSUN students receive $10 (approximately 100 pages) of printing each semester, which is posted to their individual GoPrint accounts. Once these funds have been used, students have the option to add money to their accounts.

The Library also provides free self-service scanners. A flatbed scanner is located in the Learning Commons next to the main floor Core printers. Multifunctional scanners with page feed and overhead scanning capabilities, in addition to the flatbed scanner, are located in Teacher Curriculum Center/Music & Media (second floor, east wing) and at Reserves, Periodicals and Microform (fourth floor, east wing). A photo and film scanner can also be checked out to CSUN students for use in the Creative Media Studio (Learning Commons, west wing).

Assistive Technology Rooms and Library Services for Students and Others with Disabilities

As part of our commitment to excellence through diversity and inclusion, CSUN strives to ensure that campus communication and information technology is accessible to everyone.

The CSUN University Library is committed to providing equal access to library materials, programs and services to all of its users. All personnel working in public services areas of the Library are responsible for helping to resolve access barriers and making the provision of accommodation for qualified users as smooth as possible.

The Library has four dedicated assistive technology study rooms (AT rooms) that students may “check out” for 3 hours at a time, featuring sophisticated hardware and software for CSUN students registered with and trained by the Disability Resources and Educational Services (DRES) office. The AT rooms are located on the main floor, west wing. Library Technology Services personnel may troubleshoot technical problems in the AT rooms, but are not authorized to do any training. All other computers in the library have built-in software for screen reading and other assistive needs.

Many circulating Library materials can be requested in advance through the OneSearch system and picked up at Guest Services by 3 p.m. the next day. Service desk personnel will help patrons retrieve other items as necessary. Same-day assistance retrieving physical library materials is available from the Guest Services desk and other service desks as staffing allows. Reference librarians and others can help users identify alternative and accessible formats for library materials.

Creative Media Studio (CMS)

The Creative Media Studio is a space for student multimedia design and production, funded by the Campus Quality Fee. The recently expanded space features 12 HP computers with 32GB RAM and six 27″ iMacs all loaded with media-editing software, such as the Adobe Creative Cloud and more. The department also features an audio recording studio and 7-day equipment checkout, in addition to providing free 3D printing services for CSUN students. The Creative Media Studio Service Desk has several items available for students to check out for 1 week, including DSLR cameras, microphones, tripods and green screens. The service desk also has items available for students to check out and use within the department, including a scanner, headphones, drawing tablets and MIDI keyboards.

Guest Services

Guest Services is responsible for circulating and maintaining books and other materials shelved in the main collection located on floors three and four, and in the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). Guest Services staff assists CSUN students, faculty and staff from their service desk located in the lobby on the main floor. Books and other materials available for borrowing must be checked out with a CSUN photo ID card, which is obtained at University Cash Services, Bayramian Hall Lobby. All items requested from the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) are picked up at the Guest Services desk. Staff at Guest Services can also assist users with basic questions about library resources and services, as well as campus information, and they are responsible for ensuring access to individual and group study rooms reserved for CSUN students via the online reservation system, Graduate Student study rooms and faculty carrels, and Assistive Technology Rooms. Guest Services staff help enforce Library rules related to noise and other issues, and they are available all hours that the library is open.

Interlibrary Loan (ILL) and CSU+ Resource Sharing

The Interlibrary Loan service allows students, faculty and staff to obtain materials from other libraries that are not available in the University 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 are requested through the online Interlibrary Loan service. CSU+ is a resource-sharing system that allows students, faculty and staff to request books and media from any of the 23 California State University libraries and have them delivered to their home campus within 2-5 days. Access to ILL and CSU+ services is available via the OneSearch system.

“Ask a Librarian” Research Services

The Library maintains a large electronic and print collection of reference materials that provides information or directs users to further sources of information. As a general policy, print library reference materials are not allowed to circulate outside of the Library. Electronic reference materials can be accessed through OneSearch and Library Databases.

Reference librarians from the Research, Instruction and Outreach Services department staff the Reference Desk in the Learning Commons during most of the hours the Library is open. They can help students use OneSearch and Library Databases to find books, articles, videos and journals; assist in finding peer reviewed/scholarly articles; answer complex research questions; teach appropriate search strategies and techniques; and provide basic citation help. In addition, reference assistance is available by telephone, text message, email and chat (Ask a Librarian). Online Research Guides by major, special topics and specific resource are also available for independent help. Self-guided tutorials cover the basics of using the library. Appointments may be made with subject specialist librarians for lengthier consultations on a research topic.

OneSearch and Library Databases

OneSearch allows users to search simultaneously for books, periodicals, individual articles, media, archival collections and almost everything else the Library holds by using one search box, and online content can be accessed directly from search results. OneSearch also acts as the Library’s catalog, indicating what physical and electronic materials are owned, where physical materials are located, and if they are checked out. It also allows requesting of materials held at the other CSU libraries and beyond via CSU+ and Interlibrary Loan.

In addition to OneSearch, Library Databases allow CSUN students, faculty and staff to search in general and specialized databases for individual articles from magazines, journals and newspapers; book chapters, dissertations, streaming media, data sets, reference resources and other knowledge sources.

CSUN students, faculty and staff from any on- or off-campus computer or mobile device connected to the Internet can access OneSearch, library databases and full-text electronic resources.

Individual and Group Study Areas

In addition to the open reading and study areas available on all floors, which have variable noise policies, the Library also offers private individual and group study rooms on all floors, which can be reserved online. Faculty and graduate study rooms are located on the Garden level via the west wing staircase and elevator, and individual graduate study rooms are available on the fourth floor. Inquire at the Guest Services Desk about availability. In addition, the Gohstand Leisure Reading Room (second floor, west wing) provides quiet space specifically designated for reading.

Special Collections & Archives

Special Collections & Archives (second floor) is the home of CSUN’s rare book and periodical collections, as well as its archival and manuscript collections. Archival and manuscript collections can consist of many different kinds of materials, including correspondence, diaries, maps, university records, organizational records, photographs, and audio or video recordings. In Special Collections & Archives, users can perform research, engage in classes using primary sources or view exhibitions in the Library Exhibit Gallery.

Material is available for on-site use in the Special Collections and Archives reading room. Researchers can make their own copies with a scanner and save to a USB drive, or they can email scans. Those who are unable to visit the department can order photocopies, scans or other reproductions. To find archival and manuscript collections that are a part of Special Collections, please use the Finding Aid Database, or search OneSearch or the Library’s Digital Collections. For more information about how to access these collections, please read more about Using the Collections. Call (818) 677-2832 for more information.

Music & Media

Music & Media supports the music, cinema and theatre curricula at CSUN, and it provides instructional media complementing many other campus disciplines. The department holds the Library’s collection of music books and scores, instructional videos and DVDs, CDs, LPs and audio books, and all are listed in OneSearch. Most of the collection is available for checkout, and patrons can view or listen to all material in the area’s media carrels or preview room. In addition, faculty can reserve DVDs to show on the computer equipment in their classrooms and put them on reserve for their students to view in the Library. The Library also subscribes to many streaming video databases. The Teacher Curriculum Center/Music & Media (second floor, east wing) provides a welcoming environment for study and research, or for relaxation and personal enjoyment.

Teacher Curriculum Center (TCC)

The TCC collection is located in the Teacher Curriculum Center/Music & Media department on the second floor, east wing, and features a collection of preschool through grade 12 curriculum-oriented materials. Included in the TCC collection are selected California state-adopted textbooks, educational kits and games, big books, curriculum guides, recordings, videotapes and DVDs (Dr. Karin J. Duran Teacher Curriculum Center Collection). In addition, the children’s and young adult book collection is shelved next to the TCC collection (Sharon Fogarty Young Readers’ Collection), and all are listed in OneSearch.

Reserves, Periodicals and Microform (RPM)

Course reserve materials are located primarily in RPM (fourth floor, east wing). Music books and media, DVDs, children’s books, and K-12 curriculum materials held on reserve for courses are located in the Teacher Curriculum Center/Music & Media (second floor, east wing). Course reserve materials, both print and online, are listed by course number and instructor’s last name, and they can be searched online. Electronic course material may also be accessed through an instructor’s Canvas page for the course. Linked articles in the CSUN electronic databases may be found in the reading list for each course in the course reserves search page.

Current periodicals (magazines and journals) and newspapers received in print are located in RPM. Back issues of newspapers are retained for several months, until they are discarded or until the microform or online subscription copies arrive. Retention length differs with each title. Note: The majority of the Library’s periodicals and newspapers are available online. Titles of all magazines, journals, e-journals, serials and newspapers owned by the Library can be found through OneSearch. To search for individual articles, use OneSearch or search specific Databases by Subject.

Older issues of periodicals (magazines and journals) received in print are bound into hardcover volumes and can be retrieved from the ASRS storage system, usually within 10 minutes. Use OneSearch to request stored volumes, which will be delivered to the Guest Services desk on the main floor. All microform titles are stored in the ASRS and can be viewed, printed, saved or emailed via the microform reader/printer/scanner available in the RPM. Ask for assistance at the RPM service desk.