Information for New Library Users


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.

Information for Faculty

Your Library Card

Your OneCard / SF State ID is your library card. Use your ID to check out books and to pay for printing and making copies. 

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

The Librarians have created a large number of research guides and tutorials that will give you helpful tips on how to do research in various subjects and for specific courses.

Computers & Printing

There are a mix of PCs and Macs for students, faculty and staff in the Study Commons, Research Commons and Digital Media Studio. We also provide both Mac and PC laptops for checkout.

You can print at any of these locations, as well as in the Print/Copy areas on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Floors. Printing costs 7 cents a page and requires a OneCard / SF State ID, or Guest Card.

Print Collections

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.

Electronic Collections

We have a large and growing collection of electronic journals, articles, newspapers, eBooks, music, films and images accessible through OneSearch, or Articles & Databases.


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.

Contact Us

If you have more questions, stop by the Research Assistance Desk, call us at (415) 338-1974, 
or contact us electronically (IM, text, email).