Department of Archaic Terminology
Most spaces in the Library on floors Ground, 1 & 2 will be open to SF State faculty, students and staff for Fall Semester 2021 starting Monday, August 16, 2021. Please be prepared to show the GHG Ambassador the green dot for your daily health screening.
Please see our guide to how to access our services and collections and contact us with any questions you may have here.
While the Library is continually evolving, and developing new services, it is not always possible to leave the old ones behind. Or the old web pages. Or even the old buildings.
San Francisco State Normal School was created by the Legislature on March 22, 1899. There have been other names and locations over the last century, but there has always been a Library to help students, staff and faculty in their study, research, connection and growth. This page will direct you to current services and places that have updated or replaced the old ones. Please let us know if you need help finding an archaic Library service or Department you're sure must be there.
Some of the Library Services and Departments that no longer exist in their old form, but which linger in memory, or on outdated campus web pages, include:
Accessible Technology Commons
The Accessible Technology Commons was a computer lab on the Ground Floor of the post-2012 Library for students registered with Disability Programs and Resource Center. There were computer stations with assistive technology and software. Currently, DPRC has collaborated with the Library to integrate assistive technology into stations in the Research and Study Commons. In the old Library what was then called adaptive technology was found in the Maurice K. Schiffman Room for Print Handicapped Students on the Ground Floor. We acknowledge the ableist language used during that period to describe the service, and the placing of services for people with disabilities in a far corner of the old Library, a strategy that might be seen as segregating and isolating.
Room 426C (Faculty Reading Room)
In the old Library building, Room 426C was both a silent study area for faculty and graduate students, and an occasional venue for presentations. While there are no silent study areas in the new Library, there are several Quiet Study rooms or areas, indicated in blue for the sighted on the floor maps. The list of Quiet Study areas includes LIB 41 (Ground Floor), LIB 124C (1st Floor), LIB 480 and 485 (4th Floor) and the Faculty / Graduate Reading Room in LIB 490. Presentations are now offered in a variety of locations, including the Events Room (LIB 121), Faculty Commons (LIB 286), and Special Collections & Archives (LIB 460). Scheduled events might be found in the Library Spotlight or University Calendar pages, and you can browse events on the EMS/LibRooms website.
Basic Information Competence Requirement
The Basic Information Competence Requirement, a Baccalaureate graduation requirement established by Academic Senate Policy #S99-207, could have been met by several means, and was most often fulfilled by completing the the online tutorial and test OASIS (2001–2014), the paper Library Research Guide (1998–2000), and before that, the Library Resources: a Self-Paced Workbook (1981–1998). This requirement went away with Academic Senate Policy #S15-255, which amended many graduation requirements. The Library Requirement Office service window was next to the Information Desk in Lib 106.
The Library used to host many online readings for classes, using the ERes system. This resource was phased out with the advent of the course management system iLearn, which hosts digital materials directly, and is a major service of Academic Technology, also residing in the Library. The Library is still very active in digitizing resources. Contact the Digital Scholarship Center for more information.
The Library has been a member of the Federal Depository Library Program since 1955, agreeing to maintain and make available Government Printing Office (GPO) documents from Federal agencies, Congress and many other sources. In the old Library, the Government Publications department included the whole 5th Floor (now part of the Sutro Library branch of the California State Library). We still maintain access to these publications, many now available online, but most of the paper items are in the Library Retrieval and Storage system (LRS) on floors Ground through 2 in the Library Addition and must be paged through OneSearch and collected at the Book Checkout Counter on the 1st Floor. The Government Information Collection on the shelf you for to browse is on the 3rd Floor of the Library.
The Information Commons
The Information Commons was the large computer lab in Library Annex I during the renovation and reconstrution of the J. Paul Leonard Library, from 2010–2012. Currently, the Library has several computer labs for the campus, the largest of which, the Research Commons, is open 24/7 while classes are in session.
In December, 2012, the CSU began what became ULMS, the Unified Library Management System. This would ultimately bring the OneSearch bibliographic discovery system to all 23 campuses of the CSU, and replace InvestiGator as our library catalog, on June 27, 2017. Just as InvestiGator and its predecessors replaced the card catalog and many reference books for finding material in the Library, so OneSearch has replaced InvestiGator. Although it can be sad to lose the familiar interface, we see each development as an improvement in service and access, and we invite your feedback on anything in the Library.
Library @ HSS
Library @ HSS was the umbrella term for the various services offered outside the current building in HSS — closest campus building to 19th & Holloway — during the renovation and reconstrution of the J. Paul Leonard Library, from 2010–2012.
The Library Annex
During the Library Building Project, 2003–2012, the J Paul Leonard Library planned and carried out a seismic retrofit, and while the building was under construction, most library services were offered in HSS, or in Library Annex I, known to the University as Temporary Library (Annex I), but known to everyone else as "the Big Bubble." Library staff and faculty worked side by side in the smaller bubble, Temporary Library Administration Building (Annex II). The new Library building has been open since April 2012 and the temporary sites in HSS and Annex I (now the Student Event Center) are no longer there. All in one place now in its historic location, the Library is open to serve you. On the Campus Map of the Southeast Quadrant, the Library is found in grid I/7, at 1630 Holloway Ave.
Library Media Services
Library Media Services provided access to non-print materials as part of Library @ HSS during the renovation and reconstrution of the J. Paul Leonard Library, from 2010–2012.
Link+ is a union catalog of contributed holdings from participating libraries in California and Nevada. Until May, 2017 the J Paul Leonard Library was a member of this program, always lending more books across the state than we borrowed. With the arrival of OneSearch, which can be used as a union catalog of all 23 campuses of the California State University, the CSU+ Resource Sharing System will facilitate students, staff and faculty gaining access to books from other libraries. Link+ continues to lend books to people in California and Nevada, through their affiliation with, for instance, San Francisco Public Library.
Media Access Center
The Media Access Center (MAC), on the 3rd Floor of the old Library building, served as the central distribution point for the University's non-print materials, and whose adjacent MAC Computer Lab provided access to computers, Laptop Checkout, printers, scanners, media editing machines, software, music scores and ADA compliant workstations.
OASIS (On-line Advancement of Student Information Skills) still exists as a library tutorial, but since Fall 2014 it is no longer a test, and no longer a graduation requirement. OASIS was the simplest way to fulfill the Basic Information Competence Requirement, which also went away as of Fall 2014.
"opac.sfsu.edu" was the web address of the InvestiGator Catalog, that saw its last day of service on June 26, 2017. If you have any bookmarks with this domain, please search for your item again in OneSearch! You can Ask a Librarian for help finding materials in and beyond the Library.
Rapid Copy Center
Rapid Copy Center was the service in the old Library building Lib 111 where instructors would have photocopied class readers prepared, and where anyone could request a variety of printing, copying and binding services. It was run by the Library and there was often a line out the door during the busy season. Now, the Ctrl+P digital print shop, in the Cesar Chavez Student Center Room M110, Mezzanine Level, serves the campus printing needs. The Library still offers self service printing and copying on most floors, and large format color poster printing in the Digital Media Studio.
Reserve Book Room
The Reserve Book Room, on the Ground Floor of the old Library building, housed the Course Reserves Collection, which is currently available from the Book Checkout & Pickup Desk on the Library 1st Floor. You could also work in the RBR Quiet Study Area after the rest of the Library closed, just like you can currently in the Research Commons.
The Sutro Library / LARC on Winston Drive
Third Floor Help Desk
Today's Research Assistance Desk is on the 1st Floor, across from the Book Checkout & Pickup Desk and next to the main elevator lobby. That means it is far from the books on shelves. For several years until Summer 2019 there was a staffed desk on the 3rd Floor visible when you got off the elevator, a place where you could get Research Assistance in the midst of the busy Study Rm 360. It was also a place where staff, especially the large number of staff who have Masters of Library and Information Science degrees, could refine their skills helping students with research and directional questions. Once we elected to be more evidence-driven in our provision of services, the usage figures dictated that we close the Help Desk and replace it with a OneSearch station for catalog access. And thus ended a long-standing tradition of allowing back-of-house Library staff the opportunity to interact with the public directly, the community they still serve in less visible ways every day.
Old Library Ground Floor (pre-2012)
Old Library First Floor (pre-2012)
Old Library Second Floor (pre-2012)
Old Library Third Floor (pre-2012)
Old Library Fourth Floor (pre-2012)
Old Library Fifth Floor (pre-2012)
Old Library Sixth Floor (pre-2012)
Pre-2012 Library Locations
Library @ HSS (2010-2012)
Old Library Annex (2010-2012)