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Information for New Library Users


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The J. Paul Leonard Library is located on the Ground through Fourth 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 fifth and sixth floors are occupied by the Sutro Library.

Extended Hours

See the Library Hours for the details on which parts of the Library are open when. 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 to check the Library hours before coming out to the Library.

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. You should also set up a Library PIN so that you can renew books, check on requested items, and access electronic resources from off campus.

Your First Trip

You've already got a paper due next week! To find books on your topic, you'll need to search the Library Catalog or use OneSearch. 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 quickly 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 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 the Library Catalog to request items stored in the LRS. Once requested, these items will be delivered to the Book Checkout & Pickup counter 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, the Library Catalog, the Electronic Journal List, or Articles & Databases.

In order to use any of our electronic resources off-campus you need to setup a Library PIN.


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 Counter. 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 Ground.

Contact Us

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

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J. Paul Leonard Library, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132 - 415.338.1854 -
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