Services for State Employees

California state government officials and employees may access California State Library catalogs, online resources and services through their worksite computers or by visiting the State Library. To access these restricted resources from your personal computer or smartphone, as well as to request and borrow books and state workforce training videos and guides, apply for a State Library Card.

Who may apply for a State Library Card? California State employees, state legislative staff, appointed state officials and board members, officials and employees of the State Court, and faculty and staff of the University of California or California State University. Obtain a State Library Card by applying online or calling (916) 323-9843.

State Library Card

Gives you access from your personal smartphone or computer to the State Library’s online catalogs of historical photos, documents, and books as well as access to restricted online resources and databases. A State Library Card also allows you to request and borrow current books, journals, and magazines from the State Library or from most California public universities and libraries through our Interlibrary Loan Service.

Online Resources

Get access to online resources and searchable databases of full-text articles of newspapers, magazines, and journals; e-books from industry-leading technical publishers; ordinances from California cities, counties, and the state; U.S. and state demographic and government statistical information and data tools; and many more resources that augment the collections of the California State Library.

Interlibrary Borrowing

California State Library cardholders may request items not available in the California State Library’s collections from other libraries through the Interlibrary Loan Service. Other libraries will generally loan materials that they circulate to their own borrowers. Often excluded are: textbooks, reference books, course reserve books, rare books, recently published books, microfilm, dissertations, technical reports, and audiovisual material. Libraries usually supply a scanned PDF copy of a journal article rather than loan a journal.

Employee Training Collection

The California State Library provides state trainers and other workforce leaders with access to an extensive collection of books, videos, civil service exam study guides, and other training materials on interviewing skills, supervision, motivation, communication skills, management techniques, teamwork, presentations, and many other workplace topics.

California Research Bureau

Provides nonpartisan, confidential legislative and public policy research and analysis under tight deadlines, and rapid State Library reference help for the Legislature and Governor’s Office. The Research Bureau also provides public policy reports, assessments of third-party data, 50-state reviews of policies, interactive district profiles, and more. The bureau is also home to the California Homeless Youth Project, which is funded by grants to produce research and policy initiatives that include the voices and opinions of unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness.

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 Print Disabled, and more in the collections of the California State Library, including the Sutro Library in San Francisco.

Borrowing Library Materials

Those with a State Library Card may borrow books and other materials directly from the State Library. The loan period for most books is five weeks and for most periodicals, three weeks. Some legal materials have one-week loan periods. Special extended loans are also available for many materials.


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.

State Documents

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. For more information on State Documents, please contact the Government Publications Section by telephone at 916-323-9845 or by e-mail at

Art For Legislators

At the request of California legislators, the California State Library can provide reproductions of images from its collections that can be used to adorn the walls of your office. View a sampling of the images that can be duplicated at your request and for information on requesting an image.