California State Library
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|California State Library|
|California State Library Logo|
|Size||Over 5 million items|
|Director||Gerald Maginnity, Acting State Librarian|
The California State Library collects, preserves, generates and disseminates a wide array of information. It was founded in 1850 by the California State Legislature . Today, it is the central reference and research library for state government and the Legislature. The California State Library advises, consults with and provides technical assistance to California's public libraries. It directs state and federal funds to support local public libraries and statewide library programs. The California State Library's mission is to serve as "...the state’s information hub, preserving California’s cultural heritage and connecting people, libraries and government to the resources and tools they need to succeed and to build a strong California." With the exception of the Sutro Library in San Francisco, all branches are located in Sacramento, California, at 900 N Street and at the State Capitol.
The Stanley Mosk Library & Courts Building is closed for renovation until Summer of 2013. During the renovation, all collections and staff offices formerly housed in that building have been relocated, either to California State Library at 900 N Street, Sacramento, or to a warehouse facility in West Sacramento.
Services to the public
The California State Library makes a wide range of services available to Californians. The library provides reference services to visitors of the library, as well as those contacting the California State Library via phone, fax, letter, email or TDD. Visitors are welcome to use the California State Library collections on site. The California State Library's circulating materials are loaned to the public through local libraries. Other services include Braille and recorded books, use of computers with internet access, online access to the library catalogs, and California state information.
Information services for the Witkin State Law Library, the Information Services section, and Government Publications section are available at the Braille and Talking Book Library, 900 N Street, Room 100.
The library uses the OCLC Symbols CAX and SUTRO.
There are eight sections of the California State Library: the Bernard E. Witkin State Law Library, Braille and Talking Book Library, the California History Room, the California Research Bureau, Government Publications, the Information Resources, the Library Development Services Bureau, and the Sutro Library.
Bernard E. Witkin State Law Library
The Law Library collection contains standard primary and secondary legal resources in American law. Materials in the collection include federal and state appellate court decisions, session laws, codes/statutes, federal agency decisions, and Attorney General opinions of the U.S. and the fifty jurisdictions. These primary sources are supplemented by federal digests, the Pacific Digest, federal and regional citators, legal encyclopedias, law journals and periodicals, and current practice materials.
Braille and Talking Book Library
This service is affiliated with the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped of the Library of Congress. It loans recorded and Braille books and magazines to Northern Californians who cannot read standard print due to visual or physical limitations. Special players to listen to the books are also loaned. The reading room houses assistive devices such as print magnifiers and scanners with voice output. The borrowing of materials in this collection is limited to eligible customers specially registered for the service.
California History Room
The California History Room has current and historical information on California people, places and events. Materials in the collection include California phone books and city directories, California periodicals, newspapers and newspaper indexes, information files, pioneer letters, and information on California genealogy. One special collection available here that is not limited to California is the American Haiku Archives, which includes books, papers, letters, and other material relating to haiku poetry by poets from around North America. This archive is the world's largest public collection of haiku and related materials outside Japan.
California Research Bureau
The California Research Bureau prepares in-depth research reports on policy questions of interest to state officials. The reports are strictly non-partisan and examine a broad spectrum of research and policy options, and do not advocate a particular viewpoint. Each report includes essential background information, key data developed by CRB and other researchers, and a summary of the policy debate.
The Government Publications section also includes a full federal depository library and the state’s largest collection of California state government publications. The section serves as the sole regional depository for, and largest collection of, federal documents in California. It receives all publications distributed by the U.S. Superintendent of Documents to federal depository libraries, along with purchasing supplementary microfiche collections relating to federal reports, studies and documents. The Information Resources and Government Publications section is also responsible for managing the California State Depository Library Program.
The Information Services staff manages the State Library’s general, circulating and reference collections. Materials in the collection are primarily in subject areas of interest to State government such as business, education, environment, industry standards, personnel training and development, management, public policy, social sciences and technology.
Library Development Services Bureau
The Library Development Services Bureau provides state and federal financial assistance to California libraries and provides technical consulting assistance to help local libraries extend and improve services to all Californians.
The primary assistance programs of the Library Development Services Bureau include: Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), a federal program which provides grants to libraries for innovative library services, technological development, services for underserved populations, library networking and resource sharing; Public Library Fund, a funding program under which the state contributes funding for basic local library services under specified conditions; California Library Literacy Services, which works to enable Californians of all ages to reach their literacy goals and use library services effectively; and California Library Services Act (CLSA), a program that helps public libraries and cooperative public library systems provide coordinated information services, supports communication and delivery among libraries, and provides reimbursement for interlibrary loans of materials and direct loans to non-resident borrowers.
Apart from genealogical records for California, Sutro has records for all other states, including the U.S. Census from 1790 to 1920 (on microfilm) and materials helpful in tracing genealogy in foreign countries.
The collection was built upon the donation of Adolph Sutro, and contains many rare books. Sutro further emphasizes British studies of science, voyages and travels prior to 1900, Mexican history, and Hebraica.
Sutro Library is located on the 5th Floor of the J. Paul Leonard Library on the San Francisco State University campus.
- California State Library homepage
- California State Library catalogs
- State Symbols (state flower, motto, etc.).
- California Research Bureau Reports
- Directions to the California State Library
- Locations and Service Hours
- Past State Librarians
- Official blog
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: California State Library
- Howser, Huell (January 8, 2000). "State Library Treasures – California's Gold (2010)". California's Gold. Chapman University Huell Howser Archive.