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Library Access, Borrowing, and Resources for Friends, Alumni, CSUN Affiliates, and Visitors

As a California State University library and selective federal and State of California government depository, most of the Oviatt Library’s print and electronic resources and many of its services are available in-person to all, with some restrictions.

Many special programs are available that offer a fee-based or courtesy (free) library card, depending on eligibility, which enables borrowing of up to 10 circulating print books for 14 days, which can be renewed once, unless otherwise indicated.

Any adult with a valid government-issued or school picture ID can have in-person access to a variety of electronic journals, books, and media by requesting a visitor workstation at the Library Technology Services desk in the Learning Commons, first floor. In addition, many library resources are searchable and/or accessible remotely/off-campus. See Research for more information.

Remote/off-campus access to the Library’s subscription databases and electronic resources is only available to current CSUN students, faculty, emeritus faculty, and staff, unless otherwise indicated. See Research for more information.

See the Restrictions section on this page for the complete list of restrictions.

Questions about available library card programs and electronic resource access may be directed to Library Guest Services on the main floor, Oviatt Library, and at 818-677-2274.

Courtesy and Fee-Based Library Card Programs

  • Membership is open for a fee to any individual, and to businesses or organizations in the local area. A mail-in application may be obtained at the Guest Services Desk or Library Administration.
  • Issuance of cards takes 5 to 10 business days.
  • Current members may borrow up to 10 circulating print books for 14 days, which may be renewed once, unless otherwise restricted.
  • Access to Oviatt Library databases and electronic resources is only available in-person as per publishers’ contracts.
  • Current members who present their Alumni Association membership card at the Guest Services desk on the main floor may obtain a library card.
  • Current members may borrow up to 10 circulating print books for 14 days, which may be renewed once, unless otherwise restricted.
  • Access to Oviatt Library databases and electronic resources is only available in-person as per publishers’ contracts.

CSUN Emeritus Faculty continue their full library privileges, including 365-day loans, Interlibrary Loan, off campus/remote access to library databases and electronic resources with CSUN user ID and password, and faculty study rooms that may be reserved for a semester, subject to availability.

  • Other CSU campuses’ current faculty, staff, and students, and retired faculty and staff, with valid campus ID cards, may borrow books from the Oviatt Library in-person or via their home campus’ OneSearch CSU+ resource sharing service.
  • Access to Oviatt Library databases and electronic resources is only available in-person as per publishers’ contracts.
  • CSUN books circulate for 16 weeks to current CSU students and one year for current CSU faculty and staff.
  • Retired CSU faculty and staff may borrow up to 10 circulating print books for 14 days, which may be renewed once, unless otherwise restricted.
  • Members of alumni associations of other CSU campuses may obtain an Oviatt Library card by presenting a current, valid membership card at the Guest Services desk, which allows borrowing up to 10 circulating print books for 14 days, which may be renewed once, unless otherwise restricted.

Courtesy cards are issued for a one-year period with proof of current status or membership. Courtesy cardholders may borrow up to 10 circulating print books for 14 days, which may be renewed once, unless otherwise restricted. Courtesy cardholders are also limited by other restrictions as noted below.

Eligible categories of Courtesy Cardholders include:

  • Retired CSUN staff
  • Adults living with and sponsored by a current CSUN faculty or staff member
  • Faculty members from non-CSU universities, colleges, and other post-secondary educational institutions
  • CSUN Sage Society members
  • CSUN campus ministers
  • Members of CSUN's Foundation Board of Directors, President's Associates, Heritage Society and other volunteer leaderships boards
  • The Arts Council for CSUN members
  • Master teachers and other members of the Los Angeles Unified School District identified by the College of Education as directly connected with CSUN's student teaching program.
  • Advanced Placement High School Students from San Fernando Valley area schools and referred by their librarian (Borrowing limited to three print circulating books, non-renewable).

Research

Anyone may search the Oviatt Library’s OneSearch catalog and discovery system to identify needed resources. However, for the cardholder groups listed above, unless otherwise indicated, due to publishers’ contractual restrictions, access to the Library’s databases and full-text electronic resources is only available in-person from the library’s visitor workstations.

Once logged on to a visitor workstation, open a browser, and from the Library’s homepage, click on OneSearch to locate/access print and electronic books, articles, journals, media, government documents, etc.

Use of visitor workstations, including downloading full text resources to flash drives and emailing is free; self-service photocopying and printing are available for a fee, all of which are subject to publishers’ restrictions and US Copyright law. For more information, please see Visitor Computer Access and Printing.

Help is available in-person at the Learning Commons Reference Desk, located on the main floor, or by email, chat, or text via the Library’s Ask a Librarian services.

Restrictions

All users of the Oviatt Library are expected to follow its Policies and adhere to its Code of Conduct.

For cardholders listed above, except CSUN emeritus faculty, access to the Library’s full-text electronic resources is only available in-person from the library’s visitor workstations due to publishers’ contractual restrictions.

Note: during busy times, CSUN students, faculty, staff, and any user needing access to government documents have priority access to visitor workstations, printers, and scanners.

The following services are only available to current CSUN students, faculty, staff, and Emeritus faculty: Interlibrary loan/CSU+ resource sharing, Creative Media Studio (students only), laptop and tablet checkout, book and other materials on course reserve, library computer labs, and individual and group study rooms requiring reservations.