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How to & Tutorials

Answers to commonly asked questions about the Library.

How do I find sources about my research topic?

Use our QuickSearch, located on the Library's homepage, to quickly and easily find books, articles, government documents, videos, and much more.

Quick Search Screen Image

For additional help, visit the Finding Information page of our Tutorials Guide or Ask a Librarian for help.

How do I get help with my research?

You can get help in multiple ways.

  • Ask a librarian for research assistance at the Library Services Desk or online.
  • Schedule an appointment with your Subject Librarian for course specific assistance.
  • Consult a research guide developed by librarians for your subject area.
  • Visit our Tutorials Guide for videos designed to help you at each stage of your research.

How do I find ... ?

Articles: Use our QuickSearch, located on the Library's homepage, to quickly and easily find articles (and much more) about your topic.

Quick Search Box on Briggs Library Homepage

Books: Use our QuickSearch, located on the Library's homepage, to find books available in Briggs Library by checking the "Catalog Only" box.

Search by keyword or for a specific title.

QuickSearch of Briggs Library's Catalog

A Specific Article: Click on the "Find a Journal" button on our QuickSearch box, located on the Library's homepage, to search for the title of the journal the article was published in.

This will tell you whether we have access to that journal, and if so, where.

Quick Search of Briggs Library's Journals List

A Specific Database: Click on the "Databases A-Z" button on our QuickSearch box, located on the Library's homepage, to search for the name of the database.

Quick Search of Briggs Library's Databases

If you can't remember the name of the database you need, you can also browse an alphabetical list or find databases listed by subject area.

If you have trouble finding what you need, Ask a Librarian for help.

How do I cite my sources in APA, MLA, Chicago, etc?

Citation help is available from our friendly Librarians and from online guides found at:

How do I reserve a study room?

Reservations are made online through our room booking system.

How do I login to use library resources (databases, articles, etc.) from off-campus? Why do I need to?

Briggs Library’s electronic resources/databases are licensed for use by the SDSU community only.

  • SDSU Employees: Enter your SDSU network-login username and password.
  • SDSU Students: Enter your MyState Online username and password.

Visit our Off-Campus Access to Briggs Library page for more information.

Contact the SDSU Computer Support Desk at 605-688-6776 if you have login problems.

How do I print in the Library?

Step-by-step instructions for printing from Library computers can be found online.

Additional help with printing is available at the Library Services Desk.

Black and white pages cost $0.05 per page and color pages cost $0.15. You pay for printing via Hobo Dough loaded on your SDSU ID card.

How do I read a call number?

Briggs Library uses three different systems of call numbers to organize our collections: Library of Congress, Dewey Decimal, and SuDocs.

Books are organized according to the Library of Congress system. The following video explains how LC call numbers work and how to use them.


Journals are organized according to the Dewey Decimal system. The following slideshow explains how to use Dewey call numbers.

Government Documents are organized according to the Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) system. The following video explains the meaning of SuDoc numbers and how they are organized.


How many books can I check out?

The number of books you can check out from the Briggs Library depends on your role at the University.


Loan Limit

Undergraduate Student


Graduate Student


Staff Member


Faculty Member


Guest Borrower


How do I renew my books?

Renew books belonging to Briggs Library from "My Library Account" on the library home page. Step-by-step instructions can be found online.

Renew your Interlibrary Loan books by logging into your ILL account and requesting a renewal.

How do I download an e-book?

It depends on where you are downloading it from and what type of device you want to download it to.

Visit our E-books Guide for detailed instructions for finding and downloading e-books

How do I get a book or article the library doesn't have?

Briggs Library works hard to get materials you need as quickly as possible. Step-by-step instructions are available online.

I'm having problems accessing a journal article -- the system says it's not available or asks me to pay for access. How can I get help with this?

It is likely that we can get you access, and you won't have to pay for it.

Ask a librarian for assistance with Journal access problems or with questions about requesting articles through interlibrary loan.

How do I apply for a job in the library?

Go to our Employment Opportunities page for information on library employment.

Where is Room 130? Room 125? International Affairs? CETL?

Consult Library floor plans available online, ask at the Library Services Desk, or Ask@Briggs.

How do I put materials on Reserve?

Faculty members who want to place books or other physical materials on reserve for their classes should contact Adam Hybbert at the Library Services Desk: 605-688-5108 or

For help placing online materials on reserve through D2L, visit our Reserve Materials Guide or contact Instructional Design Services

Where are Reserve materials located?

Reserves are located behind the Library Services Desk, which is near the entrance to Briggs Library. Ask at the Desk for help with accessing reserves.

How can I donate books to the Library?

Contact Mary Caspers-Graper (, Head of Technical Services, or your Subject Librarian about book donations.