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

As a California State University library and selective federal and State of California government depository, most of the University 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, University Library, and at 818-677-2274.

Courtesy and Fee-Based Library Card Programs


Anyone with Internet access may search the University Library's OneSearch catalog and discovery system to identify needed resources, and also access "open access" electronic resources, University Library Digital Collections, ScholarWorks Open Access Repository (SOAR) of scholarship created by the CSUN community, and electronic government documents. 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.

Please note that the Library's visitor workstations are not connected to the campus' printing system; visitors are welcome to email or save full-text online resources and print elsewhere. Also, the Library no longer has photocopiers. Visitors without a CSUN Library card to checkout circulating materials and anyone using non-circulating materials may use the Library's free public scanners.

Use of visitor workstations, including downloading full text resources to flash drives and emailing is free, subject to publishers' restrictions and US Copyright law. For more information, please see Visitor Computer Access.

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.


All users of the University 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 only 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 and scanners.

The following services are only available to current CSUN students, faculty, staff, and Emeritus faculty: Interlibrary loan/CSU+ resource sharing, Creative Maker Studio (students only), laptop and tablet checkout, book and other materials on course reserve, library instruction computer labs when not in use, and individual and group study rooms requiring reservations.