The University Library welcomes on and off-campus groups to schedule library tours. Tours can be tailored to meet the needs of each tour group and enable students and community members to see the state-of-the art facility which houses a physical collection containing 1.4 million volumes. We receive many tour requests throughout the year and we make every effort to accommodate them. However, tours are not available during the months of May and December due to final exams. Please note that visiting areas such as the Creative Maker Studio must be requested and coordinated in advance. Visitors are welcome, and all visitor groups are encouraged to fill out a tour request form ahead of their visit.
Touring the University Library
Library tours include some of the following areas:
The Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS). Built in 1991, the University Library's ASRS was the world's first robotic library storage and retrieval system. It consists of 13,260 steel bins on a rack structure that occupies 8000 sq. ft., with a capacity of 1.7 million volumes. During the Northridge Earthquake on January 17, 1994 much of the library's openstack collection had fallen to the floor with many books damaged. However, the materials in the ASRS remained completely intact.
The Learning Commons. The Learning Commons opened in August 2013 to provide a flexible dynamic space for collaboration and innovation. The Learning Commons include the ASRS viewing room and media wall, Library Technology Services (LTS) desk, reference desk, Creative Maker Studio (CMS), assistive technologies, and collaborative study spaces.Popular services include our open computer lab with PCs and Macs including visitor stations, laptop and tablet lending at the LTS desk, group study rooms equipped with screen-sharing and write-on walls, and configurable furniture.
The Creative Maker Studio. The Creative Maker Studio (CMS) was added to the Learning Commons in Fall 2014 and is a space for multimedia design and production that encourages student creativity and innovation. The CMS includes 18 powerful PC and Mac computers loaded with professional software for media creation and editing, 3D modeling, and more. The CMS offers a variety of services and workshops, all accessible to CSUN students for no charge. In Fall 2022, the CMS expanded to include reservable spaces for sewing, audiovisual production, and VR gaming. CMS services also include multimedia equipment checkout, audio recording studio, 3D printing and scanning, sewing machine/kit checkouts, a craft corner for vinyl cutter and button maker reservations, and peer-to-peer software help. Please note, the CMS is a CSUN student space and is in high demand; please make arrangements ahead of time before planning a tour stop at the CMS.
The Robert and Maureen Gohstand Leisure Reading Room. The Robert and Maureen Gohstand Leisure Reading Room provides an attractive space for the enjoyment of the quiet pleasures of reading and a collection of works intended to encourage reading for recreation and pleasure, for an appreciation of good and exciting writing, for introspection and insight, and for the acquisition of general knowledge. Renovation funded by a generous gift from the Gohstands.
Special Collections and Archives. Special Collections and Archives is the home of CSUN's rare book and periodical collections, as well as its archival and manuscript collections. Archival and manuscript collections can consist of many different kinds of materials, including correspondence, diaries, maps, university records, organizational records, photographs, and audio or video recordings. Any current exhibits may also be included on the tour.
Teacher Curriculum Center and Music and Media (TCC/M&M). A collaborative space which supports the music, cinema and theater curricula at CSUN, and provides instructional media complementing many other campus disciplines. The department holds the Library’s collection of music books and scores, plus instructional videos and DVDs, CDs, LPs and audio books. Patrons can checkout items or view or listen to all material in the area’s media carrels or review room. In addition, The Teacher Curriculum Center (TCC) is the K-12 curriculum materials library for California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and as such serves as a resource for instructional materials to CSUN students, faculty, and community educators. As a curriculum library within the University Library at CSUN, the TCC specializes in providing access to both print and nonprint materials that would actually be used within an elementary or secondary school classroom. We are located on the 2nd floor East Wing of the Library.
- Audio Tour with transcriptions: A custom tour experience, available anytime! CSUN visitors and prospective students can take a self-guided audio tour of the Library during their campus visit. Current CSUN students can use the audio tour and transcripts to learn more about Library services.
- Library Services for Faculty: The University Library offers many services in support of teaching, research, and student learning, including affordable learning solutions, research help, and information literacy instruction.
- Overview of Library Services
- Overview of Library Collections
- Floor maps
All student groups interested in visiting or coordinating with the CSUN University Library should contact Outreach Librarian Brianna Limas.
Tours for CSUN students focus on familiarizing students with the University Library and our many resources and services. Tours generally run 45-55 minutes in length and can be tailored as needed. Please book two weeks in advance for groups of 20 students or less; four weeks in advance for groups larger than 20.
CSUN students and student groups can also reach out to their subject specialist(s) for information about library instruction and research practice.
Or contact the Research, Instruction, and Outreach Services (RIOS) Office
Non-CSUN & K-12 Students
Tours for non‐CSUN students (including K‐12 Schools) last approximately 45-55 minutes and can be tailored as necessary. In order to ensure the best possible experience, tour groups should not exceed 20 students. Please schedule at least three weeks in advance. If your group is larger than 20 students, please contact the library at least four weeks in advance to make appropriate arrangements. For groups in the eighth grade or younger, one adult per 10 students is highly recommended.
The Friends of the Library provides docent-guided Library History and Culture Tours for community groups and visitors. During these tours, you will hear about the history of the library and its various areas, such as the Learning Commons, the automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) and the Teacher Curriculum Center (TCC).