Services To the Public

A wide range of services are available to Californians through the California State Library. The library provides reference services to visitors of the library, as well as those contacting us. Visitors are welcome to use our collections on site. The State Library's circulating materials are loaned to the public through local libraries. For more information, please contact one of our information desks.

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Online Catalogs

Find books, documents, legal materials, magazines, journals, photographs, manuscripts, maps, videos, audio books available to eligible users of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, and more in the collections of the California State Library, including the Sutro Library in San Francisco.

Genealogy materials


Access our genealogy toolkit to start your family history research with helpful links and a chart creator. Visit one of our reading rooms open to the public to access California county genealogy indexes, files that contain information on people in California history or third party genealogy databases.



Find research resources and help, as well as information on the California Research Bureau, which provides independent, nonpartisan, timely and confidential policy research or analysis to our clients: the Legislature, the Governor's Office and other Constitutional Officers.


Borrowing Library Materials

The California State Library loans books, magazines, government publications, newspapers on microfilm, and other materials to the public through the interlibrary loan program. Please contact your local public, academic, or workplace library to request an interlibrary loan. Interlibrary Loan departments should review our Interlibrary Loan instructions.


Internet Computers, WiFi and Scanners

Internet workstations, WiFi, and book and digital microform scanners are available for use in the California State Library's public service locations on the 3rd floor of the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts building at 914 Capitol Mall, the California History Room on the 2nd floor of the Annex Building at 900 N Street in Sacramento and the Sutro Library in San Francisco.


Services to People with Disabilities

Learn about the free services and vast, searchable catalog available to eligible readers through our online directory of services and information about the Braille and Talking Book Library.

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California History Information

Our librarians have spent hundreds of hours developing research guides to help you find information and materials in our collection for specific California topics, such as railroads in California, California Native Americans, land grants, mining, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, and much more.


Government Publications

Since 1850, the California State Library has collected legislative proceedings, hearings, and research reports; state agency reports; environmental impact reports; budgets and financial reports; statistical compilations; directories and organization charts; and periodicals.

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K-12 Online Content Project

Every K-12 student in California can get access to quality content resources online (aka “school library databases”) for homework, research, the classroom – even just for fun! (Public school educators too.)