About the Library Collections


The Library has a circulating collection of more than 850,000 books. These books are shelved in Library of Congress call number order as shown below.

A - H North 2 Books that are OVERSIZED (too tall or wide) are shelved separately on special bookshelf ranges located AT THE END of regular call number ranges. There are oversized ranges ON EVERY FLOOR.
J - QE North 3
QH - Z South 3

To learn more about Library of Congress Classification outline.

Cal State LA Digital Repository Collections

Online collections in the Digital Repository include Faculty Publications, Special Collections & Archives material, and student Theses & Dissertations.  Access the Digital Repository

Electronic Resources

The Library has a vast collection of online periodicals and full-text e-books available online. Find e-books by using Advanced Search and selecting the Material Type = Electronic Books.   You can locate articles in Journals and Magazines using OneSearch and selecting "Articles" or by visiting our Articles & Databases page where you can search individual databases.  

Children's Books (aka:  The Juvenile collection)

The Library maintains a small collection of juvenile books for children and young adults. This collection is located on the 3rd floor of Library South. These books are classified in the Dewey Decimal Classification System. You can search for Children's Books by using OneSearch and typing the name of the title or author.   On the left side of the search results page, select Location = Children's Books.


The Library's microforms are housed behind the Service Desk on the 1st floor of Library North. To use items from this collection request them at the Service Desk.

Music & Media

The Library has a collection of DVDs and audio CDs (located at the Service Desk, Library North, 1st floor) as well as a growing number of online media resources (streaming video and audio collections).  For more information, visit the Music & Media page.

Reference Sources

Increasingly, our collection of reference sources (encyclopedias, dictionaries, statistics, etc.) are available online.  For more information, visit the Reference Sources page.

Special Collections & Archives

The library has a number of unique/rare collections as well as Cal State LA archival material.  For more information, visit the Special Collections & Archives page.

Theses & Dissertations Collection

The Library maintains copies of print Masters theses (in our Special Collections & Archives department) written by Cal State LA Graduates up to the year 2011.  Beginning in the Fall of 2011, all master's degree theses, projects, and doctoral disserations are submitted "electronically" and available online in the CalStateLA Digital Repository.

How to Recommend New Titles for the Library to Acquire

Anyone in the Cal State LA community can recommend that a new book is purchased by the Library. Although the Library reserves the right to make all decisions on what to purchase, it will try to fulfill as many appropriate requests as possible, budget permitting. Requested books should be academic in nature, support the curriculum, and be reasonably priced. Popular or highly specialized titles are of lower priority. Priority will always be given to curricular needs over other pursuits.  Use this Online Form to submit your recommendation(s).

Faculty should submit materials requests via an email to their Library Faculty Liaison. Please be sure to let the librarian know if your requested item is to be placed on reserve in the library.

Guide to Collection Development

Collection Development is the function that selects the books, periodicals, and electronic resources to be made available to Library users and the campus community.

In its Collection Development activities, the Library respects the principles of intellectual freedom espoused in two American Library Association documents, the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement.

The responsibility for developing the Library's information and bibliographic resources is divided among the Library faculty based on subject knowledge and experience. Department Library Coordinators are named from among the faculty in the Colleges to serve as liaisons for their Departments with the Library Faculty Liaisons. Working together, they strive to provide information resources which meet the needs of the campus community.

The Library faculty have developed a set of Collection Development Guidelines which define the levels and scope of collection development for all Cal State LA disciplines.

Faculty who have questions or comments about the Library's Collection Development activities should consult the appropriate individuals on the list of College, Departmental, & Program Library Faculty Liaisons.

About Donating Materials to the Library

The University Library accepts donations of materials which fall within the scope of our Donation Guidelines (below). While we appreciate our patron′s interest in supporting the library with donations, the review and processing of gift books can be quite costly and is therefore limited.

Gifts - Books

Generally, current non-fiction books which fall within the scope of the current Cal State LA curriculum are the most appropriate materials to donate for the collection of the University Library.

With few exceptions, the following types of material will not be added to the Library's collection:

  • Subjects/areas that are outside the curriculum
  • Textbooks not in use
  • Self-help or do-it-yourself books
  • Mass market/trade paperbacks
  • Duplicates and/or earlier editions of titles owned by the library (unless they're high use titles or in pristine condition)
  • Materials in very poor physical condition and/or beyond repair
  • Professional libraries (e.g., superseded legal or medical materials)
  • Media materials in formats not collected by the library (i.e. audio cassettes, 8mm & 16mm films, L.P. records, VHS videocassettes, etc.)
  • Most popular periodicals & short-runs or individual copies of journals
  • Foreign language publications in languages not included in the curriculum

Faculty who feel that their donation has special merit should consult with the appropriate liaison on the list of College, Departmental, & Program Library Faculty Liaisons.

Upon receipt, materials donated to the Library become the property of the University. Gifts are assumed to be given without condition; any conditions placed upon an offered gift must be negotiated before delivery. The Library reserves all rights to determine addition to the collection or disposal of gifts. Items not added to the collection may be given to other libraries, sold to raise money to purchase other items, or given away for free to patrons at the Cal State LA Library. If you have any questions about donations of books to the library please contact Alicia Guzman.

Acknowledgments & Appraisal of Value

Upon request, an acknowledgment of a donation will be sent to the donor several weeks after its receipt. The acknowledgment confirms the gift only -- It is not an inventory and does not place a value on the gift for tax or other purposes. We are not qualified to provide tax advice, and it is considered a conflict of interest for the library to appraise the gifts we receive.  Appraisals, if desired, must be conducted by a third party prior to the delivery of the gift.

If an acknowledgment is desired, provide a filled out copy of the Gift Book Acknowledgement Form (PDF) at the time you drop off the gift books at the Library or fill out a form at the time of drop off.


All gift donations must be delivered to the Library. Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to pick-up items.

Gifts of less than 100 items may be left at the Service Desk, 1st Floor, Library North. Gifts of more than 100 volumes must first be reviewed by a Library representative prior to being accepted/delivered.

Gifts - Periodicals

Anyone interested in subscribing to a journal on behalf of the Library should contact Frances Loera. Subscription prices for institutions are often much higher than they are for individuals.

Gifts - Archival or Special Collections

Proposed gifts of archival-type material (i.e. files, personal papers, manuscripts, rare books, ephemera, etc.), should be directed to Azalea Camacho.

Gifts - Monetary & Other Donations

For inquiries concerning other kinds of donations, such as monetary contributions, endowment funding, bequests, and gifts of art, furniture, equipment, etc., please contact Mr. James Loduha (323-343-6151).