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 online. Visitors are welcome to use our collections on site and our 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, and more in the collections of the California State Library, including the Sutro Library in San Francisco.

Genealogy materials

Genealogy

Access our genealogy toolkit to start your family history research with helpful advice and links. Visit one of our public reading rooms to access California county genealogy indexes, files about Californians throughout history, or third party genealogy databases.

Research

Research

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.

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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.

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Internet Computers, WiFi and Scanners

Internet workstations, Wi-Fi, and scanners for books and digital microform are available in our 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 California State Library Building at 900 N Street in Sacramento and the Sutro Library in San Francisco.

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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 about specific California topics, such as railroads, Native Americans, land grants, mining, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, and much more.

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Government Publications

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

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K-12 Online Content Project

All K-12 students and educators in California have access to quality content resources online (aka “school library databases”) for homework, research, the classroom – even just for fun!