Information for New Library Users
The Library Building is closed. Many resources and services will be unavailable until regular building access resumes. For more information, please see our Library Resources and Services Available During Fall guide, or contact the Library using our 24/7 Ask a Librarian service.
The J. Paul Leonard Library is located on the Ground through 4th Floors of the Library Building. In general, the lower floors are busier and noisier and more appropriate for groups, while the upper floors are quieter and better suited for individuals looking for a more peaceful study environment. The 5th and 6th Floors house the Sutro Library, part of the California State Library.
See the Library Hours for the details on which parts of the Library are open when, including holiday exceptions. But if you're a current student, faculty of staff member interested in evening and weekend hours, note that during the regular Fall and Spring semesters there is generally study space and computers available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. But there are exceptions! Be sure to check the Library Hours before coming out to the Library.
Your Library Card
Your First Trip
You've already got a paper due next week! To find books on your topic, you'll need to search OneSearch, starting with Books & Media (SF State), at top of every Library page! To find journal articles, you can also use OneSearch, or if you need to do a more focused search, select a database on your subject from the database subject list. Also, see the Finding Articles quick-guide for information on how to get started finding articles for your paper.
Research Assistance Desk
Need help with your research for a paper or project? Stop by the Research Assistance desk near the Book Checkout & Pickup Desk area on the 1st Floor to talk to a Librarian. You can also text, IM, email or call us for help.
Research Guides & Tutorials
Computers & Printing
The Library’s print collections, including books, magazines, journals and government publications, are either on the open shelves on the 3rd and 4th Floors or stored in the Library Retrieval System (LRS). Use OneSearch to request items stored in the LRS. Once requested, these items will be delivered to the Book Checkout & Pickup Desk on the 1st Floor under the name you entered in the request form within 15-20 minutes when the Library is open.
Campus instructors may place copies of articles, books, or other items, on reserve for use by students in their class. Hardcopy reserves (i.e. books) are kept at the Book Checkout & Pickup Desk. Electronic copies of articles and book chapters are put in the E-Reserves area of iLearn. And Media Reserves are kept in Media & Equipment Distribution on the Ground Floor.
If you have more questions, stop by the Research Assistance Desk, call us at (415) 338-1974,
or contact us electronically (IM, text, email).