The HSU Library is dedicated to supporting your research and learning needs as the campus transitions to online instruction. Learn more about how we can help.

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Research Help

Get help from Library staff about your project or finding an item

Can I check out books and other materials?

Currently we provide access to thousands of ebooks via our OneSearch on the library homepage. Once you search your topic, you can filter your search results to "Full-text online" (see below) to see what eBooks are available from our collections.

Screenshot showing location of full-text filter option to the left of the search results in OneSearch.

If you have any trouble finding them or accessing them, please email

You can also make a request for articles and chapters from books through InterLibrary Loan (ILL). Follow the link, sign in with your HSU login. If this is your first time using ILL you’ll have to fill out some contact information (make sure you use your HSU email). Once you’re logged in, on the left hand side of your screen you will see the options to make a “New Request”. Select the type of material you are requesting and complete the required fields indicated by the red asterisks and submit.  Usually, articles or book chapters are delivered online as a .pdf within 24-48 hours. It may take a little longer due to the limitations of access to physical libraries by staff at other libraries fulfilling your request. If you don’t get an email letting you know your request has arrived in a few days, please email the InterLibrary Loan Staff for assistance. 

At this time, we are not able to provide physical copies of ILL materials. We hope to resume these services in Fall via mail.

Do I need to return my library books (or other materials)? Will I get any fines?

The HSU Library has temporarily suspended overdue fines as of March 18, 2020. All due dates are currently extended to August 31st, 2020.

View your account to see what you have checked out and to verify the due dates.

For items borrowed through InterLibrary Loan prior to the pandemic, check the due date in your InterLibrary Loan Account. The due dates may be sooner than HSU Library’s extended due date. To see what you have borrowed and to renew items (where possible) go to the “View” section on the left hand side of the screen and select “Checked Out/ Renew Items”. See the next question for information on how to do returns on physical items. 

How can I return items to the Library?

Both library drop boxes on campus are still open for you to return physical items.  There is one drop box at the front of the library by the entrance and one near the library circle.

If you aren’t currently near campus or won’t be back by the extended due date of August 31st, 2020, you can return HSU Library items: 

  • To other CSU Campus Libraries (they will forward items to us). 

  • By mail to:  

    • HSU Library
    • 1 Harpst St.
    • Arcata, CA 95521

We can also send you a box with a return mailing label in it so you can send the book back to us free of charge. Please let us know the address where we can send you shipping materials by emailing

Can I come to the library to use computers?

The library is temporarily closed to all visitors. We will make an announcement on the library website and through other communication channels when we are able to open again for access to computers and other services provided in-person at the library.

WiFi is freely available on campus and at Humboldt County Libraries. HSU students can request WiFi hotspots from campus ITS (Information Technology Services).

If you need basic access to the internet and don’t have a device that you can use to connect to wi-fi, you have a few local options, although they do charge a fee:

  • FedEx at 2021 5th St in Eureka

  • Staples at 3300 Broadway St Eureka, CA 95501

Can I check out a laptop?

We have a limited number of Chromebook computers available for students long term checkout. To have a laptop shipped to you, please email and include your name, student ID#, and mailing address. 

Can I check out textbooks on reserve?

This depends on which textbook(s) you need. You can look in the Library Catalog to see if we have an ebook version of your text available. Search by the title and filter your search results to "Full-text online" (see below) to see what eBooks are available from our collections. 

Screenshot showing location of full-text filter option to the left of the search results in OneSearch.


You may be able to find your textbook through Redshelf:  Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that your textbook is available in this database, and the vendor of that company will only allow us to have access to it through May 25th (4 more days). 

If you only need a chapter or two from the textbook and not the entire text, you can try requesting the chapter through InterLibrary Loan. Once you have logged in and have setup your account, look on the left hand side and under "New Request" select the link for "Book Chapter" and fill out the red * for required fields. We aren't able to do physical lending at the moment, but we might be able to scan specific chapters out of the physical book.

If you have a specific title and aren’t sure if it is available, you can Ask-a-Librarian for assistance.

Alternatively, if we can't find access to the texts you need, you might consider reaching out to the instructor in your class to see if they might be able to provide you access to the text.  Perhaps they already have a digital copy in their Canvas Course that they could share with you, or if you still have access to the Canvas course, try checking there to see if the resource was made available by your instructor as they transitioned to teaching online.

Can I check out Digital Media Equipment (cameras, microphones, etc.)?

We are currently working on developing a plan for Fall 2020 and will update this page when we have more information. 

If you have any requests or questions, please contact the Digital Media Lab at

I need a book (or other item) that isn’t showing up in the Library catalog, but I need it for a class. How can I get access to that item?

If the HSU Library doesn't have a physical copy or an electronic version of the item you need and it isn’t showing up in the catalog, you can acquire a copy (or portions of a book) through InterLibrary Loan (ILL) if you have the bibliographic information for the item you would like to access. Another library with access to this text should be able to share a digital copy. This process may take a while, depending on the item you are requesting, so please make your requests well in advance of when you need the item.

On the left hand side of the Interlibrary Loan page there are links to make a "New Request". Select the appropriate option and complete the red * fields in the form. You'll get an email at the address listed in your account when it's ready for you. You can change your email address and other personal information under the “Change User Information” link in the left-hand menu.

Can I access the Special Collection?

The Special Collections Reading Room is temporarily closed to ensure the safety of our patrons during the COVID pandemic. We recommend that researchers conduct research online or contact the Special Collections Librarians for research help. 

Visit the Special Collections website to find more information about our collections and digital content.  The Special Collections Remote Research Tools Guide will have the most up-to-date information about access to Special Collections. Please contact Carly Marino if you have questions or need research help.

Can I access the newspaper archive?

The Library Special Collections reading room is currently closed to researchers. When the Library is open, we do have most local newspapers available on microfilm on the second floor of the library, as well as some print copies of newspapers in the Library Special Collections. More information can be found on the Humboldt Room Newspaper Collection website

Visit the Humboldt County News Online website to see what local media is available on the internet. Other newspaper sites to search are the Library of Congress' Chronicling America and the California Digital Newspaper Collection.    

If you have a specific request for a project, you can contact Carly Marino, Special Collections Librarian, for research help.

Are SkillShops still being offered?

We are currently planning for Fall 2020, but we do intend to continue SkillShops programming with some synchronous sessions as well as an expanded selection of Online SkillShops that can be completed at any time.

Will information literacy instruction be available remotely in fall?

We are currently planning for Fall 2020, but we will continue information literacy instruction and programming (which currently appears to be limited to online instruction). Some of these offerings will be synchronous sessions, while others will be part of our Online SkillShops offerings which can be completed at any time.