[La Sierra University Library]

Library Services for Students


The La Sierra University Library is an information center that exists to support the teaching, learning, and research activities of the students, faculty, and staff of the University and serves the general interests of its local community. The Library maintains an appropriate collection of print, audio-visual, and electronic materials; provides access to remote electronic databases and texts; obtains materials from other libraries; and offers a setting for study. In providing these services, the library staff is committed to meeting the needs of clients through integrity, competence, and efficiency in a context of caring, patience, and understanding.

Quick Guide to Services

The most common questions students have are:

  • Can we borrow books or articles from other libraries? Yes, see our interlibrary loan forms.
  • How many books can I check out? For students, usually 40; see our borrowing policy for more details.
  • Does the library have a particular book? See our online catalog.
  • I need help with an assignment! Ask a librarian.
  • My teacher put something "on reserve." Where can I find it? At the circulation desk, on your left as you enter the library.
  • How do I reserve one of the group study rooms? Go make a reservation.

Information and other public services

General reference assistance

The Reference Desk is the front-line service for information assistance to library users. Any time you are not sure which library department to contact, start with the Reference Desk. The librarians working in this area are prepared to respond to a variety of general and specialized information needs. If we cannot answer your questions with our own collection and online services, we will do our best to direct you to other libraries or resources that can meet your needs.

Reference services are available when the library is open, except lunch (noon-1 PM) and dinner (5-6 PM) hours and after 10 p.m. You may request information in person, by e-mail (library@lasierra.edu), by phone (x2396), or by our online form (http://www.lasierra.edu/library/forms/refquestion.html).


We have five laptops (four PCs, one Mac) with Microsoft Office software which can be checked out for a two-hour period. These are at Media Services on the first floor of the library. They can only be checked out for use inside the library. There is no charge, but patrons are responsible for returning the laptop in good condition and will be liable for the replacement cost if they are not returned.

E-mail information delivery service

Since e-mail allows you to send your question at any time of the day, the e-mail reference service is particularly useful for distance education students or those needing a fast and inexpensive method of receiving library support. Use our online form at http://www.lasierra.edu/library/forms/refquestion.html or e-mail reference@lasierra.edu. We check our mailbox at the beginning of each shift (usually three times per day). We aim to answer all questions within 24 hours; please allow extra time for questions submitted over weekends or holidays.

Library online catalog

Nearly all library resources are now included in the online catalog, which can be searched from terminals throughout the Library, or on campus, or connected to the Internet (the URL is http://sierr.iii.com/screens/opacmenu.html). You can search, among other ways, by author, title, subject, (key) words in title, or call number, as well as by name of teacher for materials on reserve. More than 15,000 electronic books are also available through the online catalog.

Database searching

The Library has more than 140 online databases available, covering almost every field of knowledge such as: education, religion, biology, chemistry, applied science and technology, law, medicine, business, economics, literature, art, biography, history, news and current events, consumer affairs, psychology, and social sciences. See our databases page at http://www.lasierra.edu/library/onlinedb_enc/index.html

Some of these databases include the full text of articles in them; others have only citations or abstracts. The Library web page indicates full-text databases with "(FT)" after the name of the database.

These databases can be searched free of charge in the library, anywhere on campus, or even from home; go to the library home page and click on the "Off-campus access" link. The reference librarian on duty will assist you with your search if you need help (x2396).

Information retrieved may be printed out, downloaded to your own disk, or (in most cases) sent to your e-mail account.

Fee-based computer literature searches

Through DIALOG, the Library provides access to hundreds of databases in many subject areas, such as Grant Resources, the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), the Science Citation Index (SCI), and many others. A list of databases is available at the reference desk. This service is recommended when all the print sources and free databases available in the Library have been exhausted. Charges vary according to the databases selected, the time required to complete the search, and the number of citations downloaded or printed. An average search may be in the range of $20 to $30. Payment can be made by cash or personal check, or with an interdepartmental charge voucher, which should be brought to the Library at the time the search is requested. Requests for this fee-based service can be made in person at the reference desk or by phone at x2396.

In the case of Social Sciences Citation Index and Science Citation Index, the Library provides faculty and graduate students one free search per year, limited to a maximum of $40; undergraduate students will receive the same privilege with a written recommendation from their teacher. You will need to make an appointment with Hilda Smith (x2165) to perform this search.

Article delivery by e-mail

For online learners, the Library will provide copies of articles available in the Library collections. You may make requests by filling out the online form at http://www.lasierra.edu/library/forms/articlerequest.html or by fax to x2445. We can scan the article and deliver it to you by e-mail, or photocopy it and send it through campus mail. There is no charge for this service, but we do not deliver articles longer than 25 pages. We can only copy 1 article/issue due to copyright restrictions.

Circulation and reserve services

The Library’s collections include more than 200,000 books and 46,000 bound journal volumes. The stacks are open access and most library materials may be checked out at the Library Circulation Desk. A complete current list of policies is at http://www.lasierra.edu/library/info_serve/circulation-policies.html. You can contact the Circulation Supervisor, Sandy Hartson, at x2044 or e-mail shartson@lasierra.edu.


  • Checkout
    1. Students may borrow books from the general stacks for 28 days; these should be returned on or before the due date.
    2. Some items, such as Reference or Heritage Room books, cannot be checked out, unless special need is demonstrated. These show up on the library catalog with a status of "Library Use Only".
    3. Your student I.D. serves as your library card, and is required for checking out materials.
  • Renewals
    1. One renewal is allowed via telephone, online, or in person granting an additional 28 days of use.
    2. Books having been put "on hold" will not be renewed. You may receive a "hold" notice when someone else requests a book you have checked out. In that case, it would be helpful if the book were returned as soon as possible since someone else is waiting for it.
  • Overdues, Lost Books, Blocked Privileges
    1. Overdue notices are routinely sent out via intercampus mail at the beginning of the quarter for books due at the end of the previous quarter.
    2. When books become more than one quarter overdue, borrowing privileges will be blocked until the materials have been returned or replacement fees have been paid. A bill with a replacement fee of $50 per book will be sent. (The fee is waived if the book is returned.)
    3. If the cost of a lost item is significantly greater than $50, the Library reserves the right to charge a fee based on the actual replacement cost.


  1. Journals do not circulate. Under special circumstances, such as in-class use or special research projects, an exception may be made.
  2. A request for permission to check out a journal should be made at the Periodicals Department, Monday through Friday, during office hours. At other times, ask the reference librarian on duty.


Faculty members occasionally place materials on reserve, to ensure that they are available to the entire class. These materials will be available at the Circulation Desk, on your left as you enter the library.

Graphics Lab

The Library Circulation Desk maintains a small graphics lab. Campus departments find this useful, for example, in preparing bulletin boards. Supplies and equipment available include butcher paper, a 24" wide laminating machine, an Ellison lettering dye cutter, and a transparency maker. There is a nominal fee for some supplies.

Study areas

There are six study rooms available for reservation:

Graduate students may reserve individual study carrels in the Library.

Borrowing from other libraries

If you need something not in the Library, we can borrow it for you from another library in the United States. We have obtained books, dissertations, reports, microfilms, periodical articles, and other things.


The Library is a member of the Link+ network, which includes more than twenty California libraries with more than five million volumes. This allows you to request books from other libraries in the consortium, which usually arrive within three days. You can also borrow books using your La Sierra University student ID while visiting other Link+ libraries.

To search Link+, start your search in the Library's online catalog, then click the "Search LINK+" button that appears with your results list. For more information, see our Link+ page.

Interlibrary loans for students

You can fill out a request form in person at the reference desk or online at http://www.lasierra.edu/library/ill/index.html. The form is also available from the library catalog page.

We will notify you when the requested materials have arrived. This usually takes 8-10 days. Interlibrary loan materials should be picked up from and returned to the Circulation Desk. Please note the due date on interlibrary loan materials and be certain to return these on or before that date.

We do not charge for our own services, but we do pass on any charges from the lending library. These generally cannot be determined in advance, but range from zero to $10, and occasionally more.


Photocopy machines are located on each floor of the library. In addition, the Periodicals Department has a microfilm reader/printer/scanner to make either paper or electronic copies of items in the Library’s microfilm collection.

Personal photocopies

Each photocopy machine is equipped with a card control device. You may use your student ID card, or get a courtesy card from the Circulation desk. You may add credit to your card at the Circulation desk. Copies are 7 cents per page with your student ID, or 10 cents per page with a courtesy card.

Media Services

The Media Services Department provides a wide range of circulation, instructional, and event support services to the campus. Chris Drake, the Media Services supervisor, can be reached by phone at x2190 or by e-mail to cdrake@lasierra.edu.

Circulation and reserve

Media Services provides regular and reserve circulation services for the Library’s non-print collections (videotapes, audiotapes, film, DVD, and related material). These materials are expected to be used in Media Services with the equipment made available for this purpose. Media also loans and delivers audio, video, and projection equipment for classroom and teaching support, duplicates audio and video tapes (within U.S. copyright restrictions), and provides sound and video services for campus events.

Educational production services

Media Services can provide a studio as well as audio and video recording and editing, production, and post-production services. Computer-generated slides and graphics can also be produced upon request.

Satellite video downlink

A satellite downlink for teleconferences and other purposes is available. A video feed is available in Room 121 of the Library, as well as in the School of Business and Management, Room 205. For more information call Chris Drake at x2190.

Curriculum Resource Center (CRC)

The CRC houses the Library’s teaching materials collection. This includes textbooks for elementary and secondary grades, curriculum guides, instructional activity books, and audiovisual teaching materials. The CRC primarily serves faculty and students in the department of Curriculum and Instruction, but other programs such as English as a Second Language find some of these materials useful as well. Most of the CRC materials are available during library hours.

Hilda Smith is responsible for the CRC. Please call her at x2165 or by e-mail to hsmith@lasierra.edu if you have any questions.

Heritage Room

The Heritage Room contains special collections and archival materials by or about Seventh-day Adventists and La Sierra University. These have been collected from official and unofficial sources and appear in a wide variety of formats. The materials available include books, periodicals, microforms, manuscripts, photographs, and memorabilia. The Special Collections Librarian, Chelsi Cannon, administers the Heritage Room. She can be reached by phone at x2518 or by e-mail to ccannon@lasierra.edu


We will assist faculty in locating information and resources for classroom instruction, assignments, and research projects. We have the fifth largest collection of Adventist-related material in the world, and will also contact outside sources of information when necessary, including the Ellen G. White Estate, the archives of the General Conference, the Andrews University and Loma Linda Heritage Rooms, and other SDA institutions.


Heritage Room materials do not circulate. If a circulating copy of the material is not available, requests may be made to photocopy certain materials. All requests will be subject to copyright law, as well as consideration of the physical condition of the materials.

Library Undergraduate Research Prize

If you have written a paper with the aid of library research, you can submit it for the Library Undergraduate Research Prize.

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Last updated August 28, 2013