About the Library Collections

The Library provides access to over 230 subscription databases, approximately 60,000 journals, 300,000 eBooks, 700,000 print volumes, over 1 million digitized dissertations and theses, as well as special collections covering all subject disciplines to support teaching, learning, research, creative activities, community engagement, and career development.


Books & eBooks

The Library has close to 600,000 print books for circulation. These books are shelved in Library of Congress call number order as shown below.

Call Numbers and Location
Call Number begins with Shelving Location
A - HT 1099 Level 2 North
HT 1100 - HZ Storage - Request in OneSearch
J - PZ Level 3 North
Q - Z Level 3 South
Oversize A - Z Level 2 North oversize books area

To learn more about the Library of Congress Classification system, visit the Library of Congress Classification outline.

The Library has approximately 300,000 eBooks for online access.  You can access these eBooks by doing a search on your topic using OneSearch or by going directly to the A-Z Databases page and selecting the appropriate database(s).

For more information on the library’s eBook collections, please see our eBook Guide.


Electronic Resources

The Library’s electronic resources include scholarly/peer-reviewed reviewed journal articles, newspaper and magazine articles, eBooks, book chapters, primary sources, streaming media, data and statistic resources, and reference sources covering all subject disciplines offered at Cal State LA. OneSearch (the library’s online discovery catalog), Newspaper Search, and the A-Z Databases page are all great places to begin your search, and can all be accessed from the Library homepage.

To search for journal and magazine articles, eBooks, book chapters, and more:

  • Recommended: start with OneSearch.
  • Go directly to the A-Z Databases page and select appropriate database(s) to conduct your searches.

To search for newspaper articles:

  • Recommended: start with Newspaper Search, in OneSearch.
  • Go directly to the A-Z Databases page and select appropriate newspaper database(s), or select “Newspapers & Magazines” from the All Database Types box to conduct your searches.

To search for primary sources, streaming media, data and statistic resources, and reference sources:

  • Go directly to the A-Z Databases page and select appropriate database(s) or select Primary Sources from the All Database Types box.

Digital Repository Collections

ScholarWorks@CalState LA

ScholarWorks, Cal State LA's Institutional Repository, provides open access to Cal State LA faculty, students, and staff research, including theses, dissertations, research projects, publications, presentations, data sets, and Open Educational Resources (OER). For more in-depth information about ScholarWorks, including instructions on how to submit your work, please see our ScholarWorks Guide.

Local Digital Collections

We feature digital archival collections from the local and campus community such as the College/University Times Newspaper Collection, the Compton Communicative Arts Academy (CCAA) Archive, and the Mel Weisburd Poetry Collection among others.

Explore the Special Collections and Archives website for more. Archival materials are showcased in our Digital exhibits


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 Level 3 North. 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).

The DVD and CD collections are used by faculty in the classroom and professors can also request to have them placed on Course Reserve. Students can also check-out DVDs/CDs for a limited loan period. They are available at the Library Service Desk (Library North, 1st floor). Check the Library Borrowing page for information about Media Loan Periods. To use a DVD/CD in the library, check-out a set of headphones from the library Service Desk (Library North, 1st Floor) and use any library computer.

To see what DVDs and CDs are available in the library, use  OneSearch and choose “Material Type” = Audio CDs OR DVDs.

Please do not place media materials in the book drop

Information for Faculty

All media materials (DVDs, Music CDs, & Media on Course Reserve) are housed and available for check-out at the main Service Desk (Library North, 1st floor

Faculty may request to have media materials (library-owned or your personal copies) placed on Course Reserve for one semester. Items on reserve are restricted to library use only. If an item is on course reserve, a faculty member may borrow the item for use in a class, but you are encouraged to return it immediately after use. To place media materials on reserve, please visit the Course Reserves page.

If you would like to request the purchase of media materials for the library's collection, please send an email to Library Faculty Liaison with the title, format, and vendor (if known).

Visit our Library Media Accessibility Guide for information about ensuring that media you use in the classroom is accessible to all students.


Reference Sources

Many of our reference sources (encyclopedias, dictionaries, statistics, etc.) are available online.  For more information, visit the Reference Sources page.  To access the library's Reference Databases, visit the Databases page.


Special Collections & Archives

A number of unique/rare collections as well as Cal State LA archival material is housed here on site in Special Collections and Archives, located on the second floor of Library South.  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 dissertations are submitted electronically and available online:

Theses & Dissertations (2011 - Present)*

*To access a Cal State LA Thesis prior to 2011, visit Special Collections & Archives

Thesis Guidelines

Office of Graduate Studies


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 your Library Faculty Liaison. Please be sure to let the librarian know if your requested item is to be placed on reserve in the library.


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 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 revised its collection development policy in 2020. The revised Collection Development Policy articulates the Library’s commitment to student success, faculty excellence, inclusion, and the local community. It includes guiding principles, scope, and selection criteria. The Policy will guide Library resource development, and how library faculty work with campus faculty and students collaboratively in developing library resources and collections.

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.


Gifts of Books

Gifts of books or other materials can enhance the Library’s impressive collections. Books must align with current Cal State LA curriculum. Learn more about donating books or other materials for our collections.