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College of San Mateo Library
Services

Borrowing Items & Circulation Frequently Asked Questions

Please note: As of January 2020 the CSM Library has switched from a catalog shared with PLS libraries to a catalog shared with SMCCCD libraries only. During this transition some of our circulation policies are being revised. If you have questions about this change not answered by the questions below please visit our FAQ page or contact the Circulation Desk directly at (650) 574-6548.

Fall 2020 Shelter-in Place/COVID-19 UPDATE

  • The CSM Library building and all services are closed including the library stacks, computer labs, archives, and other physical collections and locations.
  • CSM Library items may be reserved and checked out using the library's new curbside pick-up services. Please see the CSM Library Curbside Guide for details and FAQs about the process.
  • If you checked out items during the Summer semester check your campus email (@my.smccd.edu for students) for updates about returns
  • If you have a laptop or other technology checked out from Summer please contact the ITS helpdesk at helpdesk@smccd.edu or (650) 574-6543
  • Due dates for most materials borrowed from any of the SMCCCD libraries have been extended
  • Check your OneSearch account to see what items you currently have checked out
  • There will be no fines or late fees during this period for regular overdue items; technology and reserves may accumulate fees after the end of term
  • Please use the Library's Connect services if you would like to speak to the library directly about any additional issues

Applying for a Library Card

  1. How do I borrow books from CSM Library?
  2. How do I get a library card at CSM?
  3. I have a library card from the City of San Mateo Public Library (or other public library in San Mateo County). Can I use this library card to check out books at CSM Library?
  4. I am a distance education student who cannot physically get to the CSM campus to obtain an ID card. How do I get a library card, or access to the Library's online databases?

Borrowing, Renewing, and Returning Library Materials

  1. How many books may I borrow at one time from CSM Library?
  2. Can I return books at CSM Library that I borrowed from another library in San Mateo County or vice versa?
  3. How long may I borrow books from CSM Library?
  4. What if I lose or damage a book or other library item that I borrow?

Requesting Library Items (Placing Holds)

  1. What is "placing a hold" or "requesting an item"?
  2. How will I know my hold is ready to pick up?
  3. I've already placed a hold on an item, but now I want to change where I pick it up.
  4. I'm having trouble getting email notification of holds and overdue materials. What do I do?
  5. I placed a hold on a title in the Online Catalog but when the hold was filled it was for a different volume than the one I wanted. How can I place a hold on a specific volume?

Paying Fines and Fees

  1. How much are fines for overdue books and magazines at CSM Library?
  2. How do I pay my fines online?
  3. Is there a minimum amount for payment?
  4. What will show up on my credit card statement?
  5. What forms of payment are accepted online? What about PayPal?

Other Questions

1. Applying for a Library Card

How do I borrow books from CSM Library?
You can use your student or staff ID to check out items from the CSM Library. All current SMCCCD students, faculty, and staff have library accounts that allow them to check out items from the CSM Library. PLS Library cards are no longer used for check out.

How do I get an ID card to check out books?
If you already have an SMCCCD student, staff or faculty ID card then this is your library card. Students who need an ID card can visit the Center for Student Life in Building 12 to get a student ID card. Staff and faculty should contact CSM security to inquire about getting a staff ID card.

I have a library card from the City of San Mateo Public Library (or other public library in San Mateo County). Can I use this library card to check out books at CSM Library?
As of January 2020 the CSM Library is no longer using San Mateo City, County, or other PLS library cards for access; a current SMCCCD card is now the lending card for CSM Library. For information about your current PLS library card please visit our FAQ page. If you are a community member interested in using the CSM Library's resources please contact the CIrculation Desk at (650) 574-6548.

I am a distance education student. How do I get a library card, or access to the Library's online databases?
If you are a current SMCCCD student then you can access our online resources from off-campus using your OneLogin account. Your OneLogin account uses the same username and password as your Canvas account and will allow you to access all of the CSM Library's online resources. When accessing our online resources: select SMCCCD Login or OneLogin when prompted, and contact the librarian if you have any trouble with access.


2. Borrowing, Renewing, and Returning Library Materials

How many books may I borrow at one time from CSM Library?
TBD

Can I return books at CSM Library that I borrowed from another library in San Mateo County or vice versa?
TBD

How long may I borrow books from CSM Library?
Regular circulating items check out for a period of 3 weeks.

What if I lose or damage a book or other library item that I borrow?
TBD

3. Requesting Library Items (Placing Holds)

What is "placing a hold" or "requesting an item"?
TBD

How will I know my hold is ready to pick up?
TBD

I've already placed a hold on an item, but now I want to change where I pick it up.
TBD

I'm having trouble getting email notification of holds and overdue materials. What do I do?
TBD

I placed a hold on a title in the Online Catalog but when the hold was filled it was for a different volume than the one I wanted. How can I place a hold on a specific volume?
TBD

4. Paying Fines and Fees

How much are fines for overdue books and magazines at CSM Library?
The CSM Library no longer charges fines for overdue items. Items that are kept out past the due date may receive a replacement bill; this can typically be waived once the item is returned.

How do I pay my library fees online?
TBD

Is there a minimum amount for payment?
TBD

What will show up on my credit card statement?
TBD

What forms of payment are accepted online? What about PayPal?
TBD

5. Other Questions

The question I had in mind does not appear in this list. Where can I get more information?
A librarian or other staff member of College of San Mateo Library will be happy to provide additional library-related information at (650) 574-6232, or via email, chat, or text.