Services to the Community

Welcome to the UC San Diego Library. These outstanding collections and services have been designed for UC San Diego faculty, students and staff. The Library collects, organizes, preserves and provides access to a diverse array of information resources in support of the University's goals of excellence in research and teaching.

While the UC San Diego Library is staffed and funded to serve the scholarly needs of the University of California faculty, students, and staff, we welcome visitors to the Library. We are proud to be able to provide the San Diego community with access to a major academic research library. Since priority is given to UC San Diego's faculty, students, and staff, services for our visitors are provided subject to availability of staff and resources. Visitors are subject to additional restrictions on their use of the Library in addition to observing the UC San Diego Library’s Use and Conduct Code.

Collections are selected to support the instructional and research needs of the UC San Diego academic community. Visitors may not find the same kinds of information or resources that they encounter in a neighborhood library. While it is the policy of the UC San Diego Library to provide reasonable access to the collections for all categories of users, the UC San Diego Library makes a distinction between access (library use) and borrowing (home use) privileges.

Using the Print Collections: In general, visitors may use the collections within the Library’s buildings but cannot borrow materials for use at home without a library privilege card. Borrowing privileges are accorded to visitors only by policy or by specific arrangement. Residents of California, 18 years of age or older, may apply for a library privilege card.

Using Licensed Databases: UC San Diego has entered into license agreements with the producers of various copyrighted databases, many of which limit use of their services to University faculty, staff, and students. Visitor use is either prohibited or limited to incidental on-site use for non-commercial purposes. Remote access to licensed databases is not available to visitors. Brief use restrictions are posted on opening screens for all databases. Please ask at one of the reference desks if you require additional information about license restrictions.

Services Available to Visitors:

  • Assistance using the online catalogs
  • Access to many library resources on a self-help basis
  • Brief answers to user reference queries (for queries that require extensive research, please see suggestions below)
  • Assistance in locating appropriate collections and services
  • Limited telephone and e-mail assistance. Telephone and e-mail requests will be handled along with in-person requests in the order received.

For more extensive service than the Library’s staff can provide, visitors should consult their own institutions' libraries or their public libraries.

The UC San Diego Library does not provide document delivery services (providing copies of materials in our collections) for our community users.  There are other commercial document delivery services available with differing prices and areas of specialization. For a selective list, go to:  Please contact these services directly to learn more. Please note that we neither endorse nor specifically recommend any of these services. This list is provided as a courtesy.