Skip to Main Content
Caltech Library logo

Introduction to Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Library FAQ

Research and library resources for students taking ESL/Wr 107, Wr 109 and SEC 111 at Caltech.

Getting Started at the Caltech Library

How can I borrow items from the library?

If you are a member of the Caltech community, you will automatically have borrowing privileges connected to your account, but you must log in to the Library Catalog once to activate them. You will not be able to check out materials from the Library until you do so.

  1. Visit, and click the top banner link "Sign in with your access.caltech credentials for full access."
  2. You will be prompted for your access.caltech credentials. Enter them.
  3. You will return to the Catalog homepage, and you should now be logged in.
  4. Click on my loans to see if you have any items checked out.
  5. Log out of your account and close your browser window when you are finished, especially if you are on a shared account, to ensure your account security.

If you have any questions or run into any problems, please do not hesitate to contact me.

How can I access electronic resources from on- and off-campus?

You can access electronic resources (e-books, journals, and databases) on-campus by logging into a campus computer with your access.caltech credentials. If you are off campus, you will be prompted to log into the library proxy when accessing electronic resources through library website or catalog links. Only current Caltech students, faculty, and staff have remote-access privileges to Caltech-licensed library resources. More information about off-campus access can be found here.

How do I know to which journals Caltech subscribes?

A listing of electronic journals can be searched here. PLEASE NOTE: For some journals, we may not have older (pre-1997 or thereabouts) issues online - search the Library Catalog to see if we have older issues in print.

How do I know what books are in the Library?

Print books and journals that the Library owns, along with electronic books and journals to which the Library subscribes, can be found by searching the Library Catalog.

What if the library doesn't have the book or journal article I need?

You can request book loans or electronic copies of journal articles and other publications via DocuServe. There is no charge to request items to which we do not have access (journal articles, book chapters, physical book loans, etc.), or to have Library Staff scan items which are in the Library collection. Requests for theses, patents, technical reports, and standards may still be subject to a cost, and this can be charged to either a PTA account or your Bursar account if you are a student (enter your UID).

Where can I print or scan?

Sherman Fairchild has four Xerox multifunction printer/photocopier/scanner/fax machines - two on the first floor, and one each on the basement and third floors. There are also two flatbed scanners connected to workstations on the first floor. More information - including printing policy and allowances, additional locations, and detailed instructions - can be found on the Library Printing Page.