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 Guest Services desk, located in the lobby, checks out books from the Library’s main collections, and books and textbooks on Reserve for classes. The Library also houses the Freudian Sip, a café located in the lobby. The Learning Commons, a large open area on the main floor of the building, is dedicated to collaborative learning and group study in a relaxed and friendly environment. The Creative Maker Studio, a space dedicated to the creation of digital media, virtual experiences, physical crafting, including 3D printing, and multimedia equipment checkout is located on the main floor, west wing. The Library Technology Services desk, where students can check out laptops, tablets and hotspots, is located on the main floor in the Learning Commons. Students can also get help from librarians located at the Reference Desk in the Learning Commons and online via 24/7 live chat and text on weekdays. The second floor houses the Library Exhibit Gallery, Robert and Maureen Gohstand Leisure Reading Room, 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. While seating for collaborative or individual study is offered on the main, second, and third floors, the fourth floor is designated for quiet, individual study. Individual and group study rooms can also be reserved on the second, third, and fourth floors by students. Graduate students have a designated group and individual study rooms. 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 1.75 million book titles, of which more than half are electronic; 157,000 serials and journals, 84 percent of which are electronic. The Library’s media collection totals about 120,848 titles, of which half are available online. Access to the Library’s physical and electronic collections is provided by the OneSearch system and/or 278 online databases, and access to these search tools and all full text and streaming electronic resources is available remotely to current CSUN students, faculty, emeritus faculty, and staff. Less frequently used physical books, bound periodicals, all microfilm and the majority of archival collections are stored in the Library’s Automated Storage and Retrieval System (AS/RS). These resources can be requested from OneSearch and are available 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 84 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 owns by using a single search box, and electronic content can be accessed directly from search results. OneSearch also acts as the Library’s online catalog, indicating the location of physical materials in the Library, 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. OneSearch also allows users to request that books be paged from the stacks and placed in exterior lockers for checkout or held at the Guest Services desk for pickup.
In addition to OneSearch, approximately 270 Library Databases allow CSUN students, faculty (including emeritus), and staff to perform specialized searches for individual articles from journals, magazines and newspapers, books, book chapters, dissertations, streaming media, data sets, reference resources and other 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 with their CSUN user ID.
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, including correspondence, diaries, maps, CSUN’s University Archives, organizational records, photographs, and audio and video recordings.
Access to these materials 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.
Special Collections & Archives also curates and mounts regular exhibitions from its collections in the Library Exhibit Gallery, located on the second floor, east wing. The Gallery is open to the public during library hours.
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 student and faculty researchers and the general public. 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, such as 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, duplication services, and access to software for conducting GIS research. The Map Collection 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.
Teacher Curriculum Center/Music & Media
The Teacher Curriculum Center (TCC), located on the second floor, east wing, 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, and videotapes and DVDs (The Dr. Karin J. Duran Teacher Curriculum Center Collection). In addition, the children’s and young adult fiction and nonfiction 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.
Music & Media, also located on the second floor, east wing, 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 physical collection of music books and scores, instructional videos and DVDs, CDs, LPs and audio books, and all are listed and searchable in OneSearch. Most of the collection is available for checkout to CSUN students, faculty and staff, and users can view or listen to all audiovisual materials 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 Music & Media area. The Library also subscribes to thousands of electronic resources, including streaming video and databases that provide access to electronic books, scores, music and videos, most of which are also listed in OneSearch and are also available remotely to CSUN students, faculty and staff.
The Teacher Curriculum Center/Music & Media (second floor, east wing) also provides a welcoming environment for study and research, or for relaxation and personal enjoyment.
Course reserve materials, including many course textbooks, are located primarily at the Guest Services desk (main floor, lobby). Music books and media, DVDs, CDs, 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 can be searched or browsed from the course reserves search page. Linked articles in the CSUN electronic databases may be found in the reading list for each course listed on the course reserves search page. Electronic course material can often be accessed from the instructor’s Canvas page for the course.
Periodicals and Microform
A small collection of current print periodicals (magazines and journals) and newspapers are located in the Learning Commons (main floor). Back issues of a few print newspapers are retained for two months. Note: The vast 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 or available electronically can be found through OneSearch or specific Databases.
Older issues of some print magazines and journals can be retrieved from the AS/RS automated 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 Learning Commons.
“Ask a Librarian” Services and Library Instruction
Reference librarians from the Research, Instruction and Outreach Services department provide reference assistance in person at the Reference Desk in the Learning Commons, and 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 and credible 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. Online Research Guides by major, special topics and specific types of resources 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 instructional 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, and Laptop Checkouts
The Library provides CSUN students, faculty and staff access to Windows desktop PCs and iMacs, scanners, and printing via LabPrinting@CSUN. More information about available computer hardware, software, printing and scanning is available from Library Technology Services.
Most computer workstations are restricted to current CSUN students, faculty and staff; however, community members with appropriate identification may use a desktop PC visitor workstation for up to 2 hours per day, subject to availability.
Note that photocopying is not available in the University Library, but free scanners are available in the Learning Commons. Printers are only available to current CSUN students, faculty, and staff through LabPrinting@CSUN; printing is not available to the general public but electronic documents can be emailed or saved to a USB drive from scanners or visitor workstations.
The Library Technology Services desk, which is located in the Learning Commons, loans out laptops, tablets, and hotspots for the semester, and graphing calculators for 2-weeks. Other items such as chargers, adapters, headphones, and webcams, are loaned out to use within the library for 3-hours.
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 three dedicated assistive technology study rooms (AT rooms) located in the Learning Commons, main floor, 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. Library Systems 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 via OneSearch and placed on hold and checked out from the Library’s outdoor Lockers or in-person at the Guest Services desk. Service desk personnel will also help patrons retrieve other items from the stacks 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 Maker Studio (CMS)
The Creative Maker Studio is a space for all CSUN students to engage in multimedia design and production, physical crafting and virtual experiences, which is funded by grants from the Campus Quality Fee. The recently expanded space features PC desktops and iMacs with media editing or digital design software, such as the Adobe Creative Cloud, AutoCAD and more. The CMS also provides students access to an audio recording studio and multipurpose production room, in addition to providing free 3D printing services. The CMS Service Desk loans out media equipment to CSUN students, including DSLR cameras, microphones, lighting, tripods and green screens. They also have equipment for students to check out and use within the department, including a scanner, headphones, drawing tablets and MIDI keyboards. Students can also use the CMS’ vinyl cutter and button-maker, and sewing machines are available to use on-site or take home.
Guest Services is responsible for circulating and maintaining books and other materials shelved in the main collection, which is located on the upper floors, Course Reserves, and materials housed 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 are checked out with a CSUN MataCard, which is CSUN’s digital ID card. Legacy Alumni Members, members of the Friends of the Library, and others eligible for courtesy library book checkouts may obtain a University Library card 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 CSU+ services is available via the OneSearch system when CSUN’s library does not have the book or media.
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 students. This includes Interactive Display Group Study Rooms, which are equipped with a large touch-screen display and built-in computer to collaborate on group meetings, interviews, or small presentations. 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, and the fourth floor is a designated quiet study space.