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 & 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; 212,000 serials and journals, 90 percent of which are electronic. The Library’s media collection totals about 129,760 titles, of which 70 percent are streaming. Access to the Library’s physical and electronic collections is provided by the OneSearch system and/or 262 online databases, and access to these search tools and all full text and streaming electronic resources is available remotely to current CSUN students, faculty, and staff. Less frequently used physical books, bound periodicals, microfilm and archival collections are stored in the Library’s Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS). They can be requested from OneSearch and are available for pickup 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; and scanning, emailing, and saving to a USB drive is free.
Open an average of 83 hours per week during the academic year, the Library averages approximately 1.4 million visits per year. Librarians typically answer about 8,000 reference questions in person and virtually via email, text and chat, and they provide library research and information literacy instruction to more than 800 CSUN classes, or about 20,000 students per year.
OneSearch, Library Databases and Digital Collections
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 electronic content can be accessed directly from search results. OneSearch also acts as the Library’s online 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.
The University Library also has extensive digital collections that are freely available on a wide range of topics, including historically significant documents, photographs, oral histories, artistic works and exhibit materials selected from the Library’s Special Collections & Archives. Additionally, the ScholarWorks Open Access Repository (SOAR) contains scholarship created by the CSUN community, including faculty publications and reports, student theses and dissertations, university archives and open access journals.
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 & 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, use the Finding Aid Database, or search OneSearch or the Library’s Digital Collections. Read about Using the Collections or call (818) 677-2832 for more information.
University Library Map Collection
The University Library Map Collection holds a research-level collection of approximately 400,000 historical and government maps, aerial photographs, atlases and geospatial data that support research on campus. While holdings are international in scope, the collection emphasizes Western Americana, particularly maps of California, Los Angeles County and the San Fernando Valley. Users can find a variety of primary and secondary resources, such as historical maps, and topographic, geologic and bathymetric maps from federal agencies like the USGS, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. National Park Service.
The Map Collection is a comprehensive service point whose staff provides subject expertise in cartographic resources, general and complex reference services, and GIS research and technical support. The Map Library Reading Room (UL 26) is an open study space available to all users and includes a scholarly collection of books and atlases available for browsing.
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 check out to CSUN students, faculty and staff, and users can view or listen to all material in the area’s media carrels. In addition, faculty can check out DVDs to show on the computer equipment in their classrooms and/or put them on reserve for their students to view in the Library. The Library also subscribes to many streaming video databases that are available remotely to CSUN students, faculty and staff. 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 pre-K 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 (The 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 (The Sharon Fogarty Young Readers’ Collection), and all are listed in OneSearch and can be checked out.
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 are received. 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 held by the Library can be found through OneSearch or specific Databases.
Older issues of periodicals (magazines and journals) received in print are bound into hardcover volumes and can be retrieved from the AS/RS storage system via OneSearch and delivered to the Guest Services desk on the main floor, usually within 10 minutes. All microform titles are stored in the AS/RS and can be viewed, saved to a USB drive or emailed via the microform reader/scanner available in the RPM.
“Ask a Librarian” Services and Library Instruction
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 and provide assistance via email, text, chat and phone. They help students, faculty, staff and community members learn how to effectively use OneSearch, library Databases and other resources to find relevant resources to support research and general inquiries; pinpoint peer reviewed/scholarly journal articles; critically evaluate information resources; formulate effective search strategies; and provide basic citation formatting help. In addition, reference assistance is also available by telephone, text message, email and chat (Ask a Librarian). Online Research Guides by major, special topics and specific type of resource are also available for independent help. Appointments may be made with subject specialist librarians for lengthier consultations on a research topic.
Librarians also offer a range of instructional services to CSUN students, faculty and staff, including course-related sessions and consultation services. Faculty members are encouraged to consult with their discipline’s librarian (see Librarians’ Subject Specialties) and/or find out about Library Instruction Support. Self-guided tutorials covering the basics of library research are also available.
Computers, Printing and Scanning
The Library provides CSUN students, faculty and staff access to Windows desktop PCs and iMacs, and it checks out for one week HP laptops, MacBook Pros, iPads and Surface Pros. Other equipment includes headphones, mobile hotspots, chargers, adapters and graphing calculators, some of which can be checked out and others are for in-library use only. Printing from the Library’s desktop computers and wireless devices, as well as scanning, is also available. More information about available computer hardware, software, printing and scanning is available from Library Technology Services. Note that photocopying is not available in the University Library.
Most workstations and equipment are restricted to current CSUN students, faculty and staff. Non-CSUN users with appropriate identification may use a desktop PC visitor workstation for up to 2 hours per day, subject to availability. Note that public printing and photocopying are not available; however, documents can be emailed or saved to a USB drive from visitor workstations, and the Library’s scanner is available to the public. 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.
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 CSUN students may reserve for 3 hours at a time, featuring 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 they are not authorized to do any training. All other computers in the library have the same productivity and accessibility software except for speech recognition, which is available only in the AT rooms.
Many circulating Library materials can be requested in advance and placed on hold through the OneSearch system and checked out 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. More information on library Services for Users with Disabilities is available.
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 HP computers and iMacs with media editing or digital design software, such as the Adobe Creative Cloud, AutoCAD and more. The CMS also provides CSUN students access to an audio recording studio and provides 7-day equipment check out, in addition to providing free 3D printing services. The CMS 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 is responsible for circulating and maintaining books and other materials shelved in the main collection, which is located on the upper floors, and in the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS). Guest Services staff assist CSUN students, faculty, staff and community members 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, or a University Library card, which is issued at the Guest Services desk. All items requested from the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS) are picked up at the Guest Services desk. Staff at Guest Services can also assist users with general information 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.
Individual and Group Study Spaces
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 by CSUN users only. 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 a quiet space specifically designated for reading.