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Library Resources and Services for Students

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Learn About CSUSM Library!

CSUSM Kellogg University Library

This guide will provide you with the tools you need to get started using the University Library's resources for your research and class assignments. Whether you’re on campus or attending classes from home, librarians and library staff are here to support you. We know that using library resources can be tricky and may be different from what you’ve used before, so we want to make sure you have the information and help that you need. Read on to learn more about the many resources that are available to you as a CSUSM student.

  • Our FAQ page has answers to many of the library's frequently asked questions.

Library Exhibits and Events

We encourage you to join us for the many events and exhibits the library offers - whether online or in person. Here's more information about what's happening at the library:

Context Library Series - Every semester, the Library features a new art installation that provides a visual and cultural representation of what you’re learning in your classes.
Common Read - The Common Read brings the campus together to read the same book and discuss its themes.  
Library Research Award - The Library Research Award recognizes excellence in undergraduate research and creative activity. Please consider submitting your research - we love to see what you create!


You can keep up with our latest happenings through social media or by subscribing to our Library's Email List:

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Contact Us

Finding the information you need can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We are here to help you at any time of the day, any day of the week!

Research Help

Having trouble using the library to do research for your courses?  CSUSM librarians can help you with that and are available to help you in-person as well as via chat, telephone, and email during the hours of operation listed on the Library Hours and Events webpage. All other times, librarians from our partner libraries can help you through chat! Keep in mind that your CSUSM librarians are more familiar with your assignments and CSUSM resources, so our partner librarians may forward your after-hour questions to us for follow up on the next business day.


Have a question that needs a bit more time and attention? Make an appointment with a subject librarian. Subject librarians know how to find the best information for your projects and papers because they are familiar with the databases, books, and resources for that subject.

Library Services Help

If you have general library questions regarding your library account, access to textbooks or media, requesting and borrowing materials, contactless locker pick-up, and more, you can get in touch with library staff during the University Library's hours of operationOur library staff are available to help you via phone and email.

Off-Campus Library Access

Sign in with your CSUSM Username and Password

Even when you’re not on campus, you can easily access online resources such as library databases, ebooks, articles, or even films from off-campus. All you need is your campus username and password, which you will be asked to input when you try to open an online resource from off-campus.

Hint: Your username and password are the same ones that you use to check your campus email account. 

For further help, contact the Student Technology Help Desk:

Kellogg Library 2013, 760-750-6505,

Research Tools and Resources

Research and Course Guides are developed and maintained by CSUSM librarians to help you navigate through the research process. In these guides, you will find recommended resources and materials, search strategy tips and tricks, and more. 

Research Guides are made for a general subject and Course Guides are made for specific classes.

Library homepage with research guides and course guides highlighted


CSUSM students have access to over 200 databases containing full-text articles, e-books, videos, and more! There are a few ways to find the best databases for your research. You can browse the databases by Most Popular, By Subject, or Title. As you do more and more searching, you will become more skilled at using the databases, but you can always contact a librarian if you would like some extra guidance.

Links to Databases: Most Popular, By Subject, Title

Not surprisingly, the library has lots of books! You can find both hard copy books and ebooks by searching the library catalog (OneSearch). Many of our books are only available as a hard copy, so to check one out, you’ll either have to stop by the library to pick it up, request for it to be placed in a Library Locker on campus, or request for it to be sent to you. If you’re short on time, finding an ebook might be the way to go for you. Our eBooks Guide provides instructions on how to find and download them.

Citation is an important step in the research process -- it shows that you are part of a scholarly conversation by acknowledging and crediting the researchers whose work you are building upon.

You’ll learn how to cite in different citation styles while you’re at CSUSM. The CSUSM University Library Citation page links to many helpful guides for these various styles, including APA, MLA, Chicago, ASA, and more. 

The Special Collections department manages resources that are important to our university and region's cultural, intellectual, and historical heritage. These records including photographs, records, artifacts, artwork, and the intellectual output of our students and faculty. If you're looking for information about local or university history or culture, please visit our Archives Search. If you're interested in scholarship produced by CSUSM students and faculty, search CSUSM's Scholarworks. We have some digital collections available, including the Brewchive® (San Diego's craft brewing archive), The Paul Ecke Ranch, Inc. Business Records and Family Papers (floriculture and development in North County), and our digitized CSUSM Student Newspapers (1990 - 2015).

Special Collections resources take a long time to process, so there may be resources in our collections that are not yet findable via our Archives Search. If you have a question pertaining to local history or cultural heritage, or wish to schedule a research consultation, feel free to contact Special Collections at

Borrowing Library Materials


You can use OneSearch to help you locate hard copy books, eBooks, articles, DVDs, streaming media, etc. You can find OneSearch on our library homepage or you can start searching in the box below.


You will find that the Library has many items available online, but there might still be times you might need to borrow a hard copy book, DVD, or other item. You can visit us at the Circulation & Reserves Desk on the 3rd floor or the Media Library Desk on the 2nd floor of the Kellogg Library building to check out or return library materials.

Depending on the type of item and where it came from, the loan period will vary. The types of items you may encounter include:

  • Local Materials: Materials from CSUSM’s general collection of items;

  • CSU+ Materials: Materials from other CSU libraries;

  • Library Reserves Materials: CSUSM Library "Reserves" are frequently-used books that are set aside for a particular class;

  • InterLibrary Loan (ILL) Materials: Materials borrowed from other non-CSU libraries.

To learn more about the loan periods for these materials, visit Borrowing Books and Media.

Checking Out Materials

Once you’ve found a book or other library item that you would like to check out, you can place a request to pick it up from the Circulation Desk on the 3rd floor of the Kellogg Library or from the Library Lockers at the Kellogg Library's 2nd floor entrance or to have it sent to you. You can pick up materials from the Circulation Desk during University Library operating hours, and you can pick up materials from the Library Lockers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To place a request from the library catalog, click on the item title and select a delivery method.

If you are visiting the library in person and find a book or other library materials that you would like to check out, you can take the item to the Circulation Desk on the 3rd floor or the Media Library desk on the 2nd floor of the Kellogg Library building to check out.

Returning Library Materials

You can return any library books to the curbside library return boxes located in Craven Circle, to the Circulation Desk on the 3rd floor of the Kellogg Library, or to the Media Desk on the 2nd floor of the Kellogg Library. 

We ask that you do not return library equipment, reserves, and media materials to the library return boxes. Instead, please return these to the Circulation Desk (3rd floor) or Media Library Desk (2nd floor).

If you have any questions, the Circulation & Reserves staff are here to help. They can be reached by phone, email, or chat.

Library Reserves

In order to successfully complete your courses, you’ll need to have access to course materials such as textbooks, articles, streaming videos, equipment, and more. Many of these items (but not all) will be freely available to you through a services called "Library Reserves." The physical textbooks and media materials that are available for checkout can be found near the Circulation & Reserves desk located near the Library’s 3rd floor entrance. Just make sure if you rely upon these physical textbooks or DVDs on reserve that you build in enough time in your schedule to make sure you have access to them, since there are usually only one or two copies available for the entire class, and the time you can check them out for is usually limited to 2 hours at a time (though sometimes more depending on what your professor determines is best).

Please check the Library Reserves list for your course materials (this list is updated throughout the semester).

For questions, please review the Reserve FAQs or email

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

When you’re doing library research, it’s likely you’ll come across items that our library doesn’t own. We can easily get these for you from our partner libraries for free -- whether it’s a book, DVD, electronic journal article, or something else. This service is called Interlibrary Loan or ILL.

Making ILL Requests

Whether you’re searching the library catalog for a book or trying to find an article in a database, look for a “Request Access" button. Clicking this will take you to a form where you can add additional details and submit the request. You will receive an email notification when materials become available - for journal articles, this is usually a day or two; for books and other items, this can take a week or more.

If you know exactly what you’re looking for, you may also submit requests by going straight to the Interlibrary Loan form.

Loan periods for books and media requested through Interlibrary Loan vary and are dependent on the lending library. You may request renewals by logging into your Interlibrary Loan account or emailing Interlibrary Loan staff.

For questions and/or additional assistance, you can reach out to Interlibrary Loan staff at