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Rules of Access

Access to the libraries of Caltech varies based on day of the week and specific library. For the most up-to-date library hours, please visit the hours page.

All categories of borrowers, once registered, are granted library access according to their borrowing privileges.

Access to Online Resources

For access to online journals and databases, if you do not have an access.caltech account, please consult the Computing Resources Policy for guidance.

Guest Reader Cards

The following groups are granted library access for reference use of the collections only:

Users with a legitimate need to use the specialized collections at Caltech may apply for a Guest Reader card. Graduate level status and the recommendation of two members of the Caltech Faculty or administration is required. Application is initiated at the Sherman Fairchild Library circulation desk between the hours of 8am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. Please call ahead (626-395-6401) to verify staff availability. Applicants will be notified by mail following review of their application (approximately two weeks from date of application).

External Researchers

Because these libraries have small, heavily used, highly specialized collections, and very limited seating, they are largely unsuitable for access to general information. For those services, we highly recommend visiting other local libraries. The Caltech Library is primarily for the Caltech community, but external reseachers may have limited access to SFL between 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday. Access to other libraries must be by appointment. Contact Us for more information.