Getting Started

Need help finding materials, using the libraries, or navigating the research process? We've created this guide to help you learn more about the library and the research essentials available to our students, faculty, and staff.

For additional information, students can learn more in our FSU Libraries Orientation and FSU Libraries for Students.

Finding and Borrowing Books

Thousands of books from every discipline, right at your fingertips.

  • Differentiating collections: Circulating collections are items available for you to borrow, like books, laptops, and DVDs while Special Collections and Archives contain rare and unique items that require scanning or access through our Digital Library or scheduled visits.
  • Finding books: Use OneSearch, our Libraries' discovery tool for finding books in our physical collections. Watch this video tutorial on finding books & eBooks for further guidance. Check out books using your FSUID at our library service desks.
  • Using call numbers: A call number is the code that shows you where something is on the shelf. They organize things by things like topic, region, year, or format. FSU Libraries uses Library of Congress classification and you can use charts, maps or staff ready to answer questions in each library to get to the right place. Additionally, you can always request a book for pickup in OneSearch and pick them up from a library's main desk. Watch this tutorial on requesting materials for more information.
  • Getting connected: If you're off-campus, connect to the Libraries using your FSUID and password to access our collection of articles, databases, journals, and more. Learn more about accessing library resources online.
  • Databases: If you need focused results and specialized search options, the best tool for your research may be a specialized search engine, known as a database. You might have heard of JSTOR or Academic Search Complete, but we have access to hundreds more. Find the best databases for your research on our Databases guide.
  • Find scholarly or peer-reviewed articles: We make it easy to find peer-reviewed articles with our databases and OneSearch tool, available at no-cost to students, faculty and staff. Look for the 'Peer-Reviewed' filter to limit your results to scholarly sources and watch this tutorial on finding peer-reviewed articles using OneSearch.
  • Locating journals by title: Use the Journal Search to locate journals by title which is helpful when browsing for relevant sources or locating specific articles.
  • Accessing popular resources for free: Did you know FSU Libraries provides you access to resources such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, The Economist, and more? Available to all current students, faculty, and staff.
  • Finding course materials: FSU Libraries facilitates access to textbooks and required course materials through our eTextbooks and Course Reserves. Search for your course code or instructor to see if FSU Libraries have the materials you need for your classes. If your instructor assigns course readings, use OneSearch to search for articles or other resources.
  • Finding media: We offer many resources beyond books such as DVDs and streaming media collections. Limit your search in OneSearch to videos, images, audio, and more depending on what you are looking for. Check out this guide for more information on finding films at the Libraries.
  • Which library is right for you?: While all of our libraries are open to all, many find themselves preferring one over another due to personal preference, how close it is to their residence hall or apartment, or where most of their classes are. You'll learn to love your Libraries and find out which library works best for you
  • Swiping in and out of the libraries: Your FSU card lets you in and out of the libraries, so make sure you keep it handy at all times. It is your key to checking items out from the library. This includes borrowing books, media equipment, and accessing copy/print stations. 
  • Find and reserve a study space: We offer rooms for individual and group study equipped with various technology support in our libraries. Learn more about our spaces and reserve a room at study spaces.
  • Copy, print, and scan: Find information about our copying, printing, and scanning services. 
  • Using the library as an alumni or visitor: FSU Libraries welcomes visitors to our physical locations where all have access to our OneSearch, online resources, and government information. While our licensed eResources such as databases and eBooks are not available off-campus to alumni or visitors, there are several open resources available online such as our Diginole repository and many of our digitized special collections
  • Evaluating sources: Evaluating the sources you find on a topic is an important part of your research activity. Not all information you find is valid, useful, or accurate. Learn more about searching for and evaluating resources on this guide.
  • Citing and using sources: Properly citing and using sources is an important part of the research process. Learn more about popular citation styles as well as citation tools that can help you organize your sources and create your bibliography on our citation guide.
  • Finding your subject librarianOur subject librarians have extensive knowledge of disciplinary information sources and research methods. They are the primary contact between the Libraries and your department. Schedule a consultation for assistance finding a book, article or database; completing a research assignment; or guidance in navigating the range of Libraries resources available to you.
  • Looking for general help? Ask Us: Any time our library is open, a member of our team is available to answer your questions through our on-demand chat service.
  • Exploring resources with Research Guides: Created and maintained by our subject librarians, our research guides curate resources across disciplines. Browse by subject, type, or subject librarian.
  • Theses & Dissertations: The Libraries maintains our Diginole Research Repository, a free, open access repository of FSU research, and provides access to and assistance with ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, a commercial repository and database of dissertations from institutions around the world.
  • Research data services: FSU Libraries provides research data services to support and collaborate with scholars in areas related to data analysis & visualization, digital humanities, GIS, and research data management. 
  • Workshops & training: Join one of our workshops on a variety of topics relevant to research, teaching, and learning.