DISTANCE EDUCATION: BASICS

THE BASICS

What resources are available to me as a Distance Education student?
As a CSM distance education student you have access to all the same library services that a student attending classes on campus has. Students can access articles, research guides, reference sources, and many books from any computer with internet access. Please visit When you are NOT on campus for more information on the CSM Library's online resources.

Although the library provides online access to many resources, all of the library's resources are not available online; there are certain resources the library provides (such as reserve textbooks, DVDs, etc.) that can only be accessed in person at the library. As a distance education student you are welcomed and encouraged to visit the library in person at any time. Please visit When you ARE on campus to find out more about CSM Library's on site resources for students.

How do I get a library card?
If you have a library card for any San Mateo County public library then that works as your CSM Library card.

If you do not have a library card for any of the public libraries in San Mateo County, then you can complete the Online Library Resource Access Application. Upon verification of your enrollment status as a student enrolled exclusively in online courses we will e-mail or send you a library barcode number that will enable you to remotely access the CSM Library's online research databases until the end of the current semester.

Please note that you will not be able to check out physical library books or other physical materials with this number. To borrow books and other library materials you must successfully apply for a library card which requires that you come into the College of San Mateo Library or any other PLS Library and present a photo ID and proof of your current mailing address. You may receive a new library barcode number when you receive a regular library card.

How do I talk to a librarian?
To talk to a librarian in real time, use the Zoho widget on the right or IM directly using one of the IM clients and user names listed here. To contact a librarian in person, on the phone or via email, see our Ask a Librarian page.