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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General Library Information

The COS Library is located on the Weed campus in Building 2, which is called the Learning Resource Center (LRC). The Library is also online from anywhere, at anytime, with online articles, ebooks, and more

Please visit our Hours page for our current hours. This page will also list any exceptions such as special events and holidays.

You will need to:

It is the mission of the College of the Siskiyous Library to meet the learning needs of students and the learning and instructional needs of faculty and staff by providing access to information and knowledge. The Library provides the best possible collections, support services, training, technology and facilities to assist students and staff in achieving success in accordance with the overall mission of the College. In addition, the Library works cooperatively with local public and school libraries and other organizations to serve the information and cultural needs of the community.

The COS Library has three student learning outcomes. It is our hope and goal that:

  • Students who receive formal research instruction provided by the COS Library will be able to effectively locate needed information using a variety of library resources.
  • Students who participate in formal research instruction will be able to evaluate for credibility information provided by the library, Internet resources, and other information sources.
  • Students who use the COS Library and utilize its resources, services, and formal instruction will appreciate the value of libraries in supporting academic and/or career success and in supporting life-long learning.

Getting and Using a Library Card

We no longer use library cards for COS students or employees. If you are a COS student or employee you automatically have an account with the library.

  • To check out computers, reserve textbooks, or other library materials, we will ask for your student number (a.k.a. your "S" number) or for your name and birthday.
  • To log in from off campus to use our ebooks, streaming videos, and article databases, you will use your COS email address and password.

Residents of Siskiyou County who are 18 years or older may open a COS library account and get a COS library card.

  • Cards cost $10 (cash or check)
  • Cards are active for six months from the date of purchase
  • Community members must apply for the card in person; please bring a photo ID and proof of residency in Siskiyou County (such as your driver's license or a recent piece of mail)
  • Cards allow you to use our computers on a regular basis and to check out our materials
  • Cards cannot be used to access our databases from off-campus or for interlibrary loan services

If you would like to check out our books but do not wish to purchase a card, you can request our materials for free through your local Siskiyou County Library branch. It may take up to a week to receive your book.

You are welcome to use our books, databases, and other materials for free when you visit the library in person.

Your library account username and password are your COS email address and password. If you are having trouble with your COS email account, please visit the Student Email Support page.

For password help, please visit the Student Email Support page for assistance.

You can see a list of all the items you have checked out and their due dates by logging into your library account.

  1. From the Library's home page, click on Search the Library (left sidebar)
  2. Click on Sign In link in the upper right corner
  3. Sign in with your COS email address and password
  4. The Sign In button should now say your name; click on your name
  5. Choose Library Card or My Loans from the drop-down menu

You are allowed to check out up to 10 items in total. Because we are a small library, you may only check out 5 items on the same topic at one time. You may check out up to 5 magazines at one time (they are included in your 10 total items).

Please note that most Reserve books, local history materials and audiovisual materials, as well as all reference books, microfilm, and bound magazines, are for in-library use only and may not be taken from the Library.

Community borrowers are limited to 5 items total at their first checkout. If you are in good standing after your first checkout, you will be allowed the regular maximum of 10 items total

Most circulating books and other materials can be checked out for three weeks. The library stamps the due date in the book when you check it out (or you can check your account online).

  • Regular books: 3 weeks
  • Reserve books: most reserve books are for 2 hours, in-library use only (a few titles check out for 2 days or 3 weeks)
  • Cameras: are due on class days (either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday)
  • Anime DVDs: 1 week

Books and other library materials may be returned to the outside book drop anytime or placed in the book return slot at the Library desk during open hours.

The outside book drop is in the "courtyard" area of the LRC where the main entrance doors are located. It is a big blue mailbox-shaped box that says "please return books here"—it's hard to miss!

The Library does not offer a waiting list system at this time. Please ask us if you would like a checked out item—we may have some options for getting you the item.

Yes! Don't be scared by the lengthy information below: having books sent to Yreka is really easy.

We can send the following types of materials to you at the Yreka campus for pickup:

  • circulating books (both fiction and non-fiction)
  • overnight reserve textbooks
  • some magazines issues
  • audiobooks
  • anime DVDs

We want to share as many of our materials with you as possible, so if you have a question about having something sent to Yreka, please ask!

Step 1: Please text or call (530) 938-5331 or contact us online to request materials. We will need to know:

  • Your name
  • How to contact you (phone or email)
  • The title of the item(s) that you would like sent to Yreka
  • If you have a specific subject you need information about, we can send up a small selection of items on your topic for you to choose from

Step 2: We will send your materials to the Yreka Campus Registration office (a.k.a. the Yreka Student Support Services Center) for pick up.

  • We will let you know when your materials are on their way
  • It may take a few business days for your items to arrive in Yreka
  • You can call the Registration office at (530) 938-5833 to find out if your item has arrived
  • You will have one week to pick up your library item(s) in Yreka

Step 3: When you pick up your item at the Yreka Campus, it will already be checked out to your library account.

  • Keep track of the item's due date so you can renew or return your materials on time; due dates will be on the item itself and in your online library account
  • You can extend the due date by texting or calling the Library at (530) 938-5331 or by renewing your materials online
  • Return materials to the Yreka Campus Registration office or to the Library on the Weed campus when you are done
  • Please be aware of the Yreka Registration office's hours if you are picking up and dropping off materials with them

Renewals may be made in person, by text/phone (530) 938-5331, or online using your library account or by contacting library staff. Materials may be renewed twice if no one else is waiting for them.

To renew your books online, follow these steps:

  1. From the Library's home page, click on Search the Library (left sidebar)
  2. Click on Sign In next to the Library Links button (upper right corner)
  3. Sign in with your COS email address and password
  4. The Sign In button should now say your name; click on your name
  5. Choose My Loans from the drop-down menu
  6. Click on the Renew button for each title you wish to renew
  7. Make sure renewal was approved and note the new due date

Materials not returned to the library by closing time on the due date are subject to a fine of 20 cents per item per day up to a maximum fine of $5.00 per item. Fines on Reserve books and cameras are $1.00 per item per day up to a maximum of $5.00 per item.

Payment options:

  • Cash
  • Personal check
  • Non-perishable food for the local foodbank ("Food for Fines")*

*Each non-perishable food item will reduce your overdue fines by $1.00

For lost, damaged, or unreturned materials, you will be billed for:

  • the cost of the item
  • a processing fee of $10.00
  • any overdue charges

If you have unreturned materials or large outstanding bills on your account, you may be blocked from registering for classes until it has been taken care of. You can pay your bill using cash or personal check; you cannot pay for lost, damaged or unreturned items using the Food for Fines program.

Important: If you have overdue materials, you may not be allowed to check out additional materials until the overdue items are returned. If you do not return your overdue materials or pay your fines, you may lose your borrowing privileges. The library reserves the right to suspend the borrowing privileges of anyone who repeatedly has overdue materials.

You can pay your late fees by bringing in nonperishable food items for the local foodbank, Siskiyou Food Assistance. Each non-perishable food item will reduce your overdue fines by $1.00—and help out local residents in need. It's a win-win!

Fees for lost, damaged of unreturned materials cannot be paid for using the Food for Fines program.

The Library's Collections

The Library collection has information on a wide variety of topics to help you with your assignments. We have:

  • print books
  • ebooks
  • articles from magazines, journals, and newspapers
  • streaming videos and DVDs

A large part of the Library is now online. Our databases collection gives you access to:

  • over 100 million full text articles
  • over 60,000 full-text ebooks
  • over 35,000 streaming videos

Online materials are available 24/7 through the library catalog and on our website's Articles and Databases page. You will need to login with your mySiskiyous username and password to access online materials from off campus.

The COS Library also has over 36,000 books on the shelves. Books are organized using the Dewey Decimal system, which groups them together by subject. The Library has many other types of materials as well, including newspaper and magazine subscriptions, pamphlets, plays, maps, movies, music, and audiobooks.

Yes! The Reserve Collection is a collection of textbooks, assigned class readings, cameras, and audio and video materials. Reserve materials are located behind the Library desk and typically check out for 2 hours, for in-library use only. Ask at the desk to find out if we have the materials required for your class.

The Library has over 60,000 ebooks in four collections that you can read for free.

  • Ebook Central: general nonfiction
  • EBSCO eBook Collection: general nonfiction
  • The Oxford English Dictionary (OED): dictionary famous for tracing the history of words
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL): reference books*
  • Credo Reference: reference books*

* "Reference books" are encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. and are useful for looking up quick facts or brief background info on a topic.

You can search for and link directly to our ebooks using the library catalog. You can also visit the ebook collections individually from our Articles and Databases page. Searching these collections individually from the databases page (rather than through the catalog) allows you to search the full text of the ebooks for your search terms.

You do not need a special e-reader or device to read these ebooks (unless you want to). You can read them on any device with a screen and an internet connection such as your PC, laptop, tablet, or even your smartphone.

For projects involving local history, the COS Library has the Mount Shasta Collection. This collection of thousands of books, articles, manuscripts, photographs, maps, prints, and audiovisual materials is the largest known collection of information and documents about the Mount Shasta volcano and the surrounding region.

Yes, while some of our fiction books are literary classics, we also have many contemporary books for fun too, including thrillers, mysteries, romance, and a special collection of manga and other graphic novels. Suggestions for new titles are welcome.

Also for fun are our audiobooks on CD and magazines such as Outside, People, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated, Sunset, and Time (you can check the older issues out to read at home).

Library Research

Yes, Library staff are available to help you find information during all open library hours. Working together, we can find materials for your assignment.

If you can't make it to the Weed campus, you can:

  • text or call us during open hours at (530) 938-5331
  • ask us questions online through our web site

There are many ways that you can contact us, so please do not hesitate to ask. We are here to help you!

Searching the catalog and in the Library's databases isn't always quite as easy as searching with Google. The Library has many handouts and video tutorials on how to use the library catalog and databases, and many more research tips on our Research Help page. As always, library staff is also happy to answer questions.

To find books (or any other item physically in the library), you will need to use the library catalog which is the handy search box in the middle of our home page. Take a few minutes and watch the video tutorials on using the library catalog on our Research Help page to see how it works.

You can search for and link directly to our ebooks using the library catalog. You can also visit the ebook collections individually from our Articles and Databases page. The names of our ebook collections are:

  • Credo Reference
  • Ebook Central
  • EBSCO eBook Collection
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL)

Searching these collections individually (rather than through the catalog) allows you to search the full text of the ebooks for your search terms.

There are three ways:

  1. Most efficient: You can visit the Library's Articles and Databases page and choose the individual database you want to search. This gives you the most powerful search options and you will find more information than you would by searching in the library catalog. There are database searching tips on the Library's Research Help page.
  2. You can search for articles online through the library catalog. The Library has a video tutorial on finding articles in the catalog on our Research Help page.
    Please note that the catalog cannot find all available database articles. If you are not happy with your search results through the catalog, or if you want to do a comprehensive search right from the start, visit the Library's Articles and Databases page and search the databases directly (see #1).
  3. Least efficient (but fun): You can come to the Library, find a comfy chair in the Lounge, and browse through our print magazines for interesting articles. The current magazine issues must be used in the Library but older issues can be checked out and taken home; they can also be sent to the Yreka campus on request.

The Library has current subscriptions to:

  • The Siskiyou Daily News
  • The Weed Press
  • The Mount Shasta Herald
  • The Dunsmuir News
  • The Record Searchlight (Redding)
  • The San Francisco Chronicle

We have microfilm copies of these and many older local newspapers. Please contact the Library if you have any questions about finding local newspaper articles.

You can look at our A-Z List of Print Journals to find out if we have a paper copy, or our library catalog to see if we have access to through our online databases. Look at the appropriate list to see if we have the journal title you want, then check to see if we have coverage for the date of your article. As always, feel free to contact the Library for help!

Yes, libraries call this type of borrowing Interlibrary Loan (ILL). For more information about the types of materials you can borrow, how long it might take, and other questions, read our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) FAQs.

To use the databases from off campus, you need to log in with your COS email address and password. Here are some trouble-shooting tips:

  • You must be a current COS student. Your account will be deactivated any semester you are not taking classes (including summer and winter sessions) and during time off between semesters.
  • Check our home page for an "outage" message. Sometimes our databases are down for maintenance.
  • For help with your COS email address and password, please visit the Student Email Support page for assistance.

Still having problems? Please stop by, text or call (530) 938-5331, or contact the library online. We'll be glad to help you.

The Library does not currently offer a class for credit. If you are in a class with a research assignment, your instructor may arrange for a visit by a Librarian. You are always welcome to contact the Library for more information: we are happy to share what we know about the research process, our collection, and how to use it to find materials. Just ask!

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

If the COS Library does not have the book, article, or other material in our collection we can try to borrow it from another library. Libraries call this borrowing service Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

The Library is happy to try to borrow any "traditional" materials you might need such as:

  • Books
  • Articles from newspapers/journals/magazines
  • DVDs
  • Audiobooks on CD/cassette
  • Music CDs and cassettes

We probably cannot borrow e-audio (music or books), LPs, rare books, or ebooks (although we can sometimes obtain copies of individual ebook chapters). We do not accept requests for textbooks or for items already in our collection.

The COS Library catalog offers a great way for you to search the database of "traditional" items potentially available through ILL.

  • Go to the Library's home page.
  • Type in your search (our Research Help page has catalog search tips).
  • From the results list, look for the Library limiter in the left sidebar; check the box next to Libraries Worldwide (instead of "College of the Siskiyous Library")
  • You tell if the COS Library has an item from the results list because it will say "held by College of the Siskiyous Library" (online items will have a "View" button instead). You can also click on the title and look in the "Check Availability" section to see if the COS Library has it on the shelf or online (our Library Catalog Basics video will give you a demo).
  • If we don’t have it, ask us about ILL.

Library staff is always happy to help you find the materials you need so don't hesitate to ask!

To submit an Interlibrary Loan (ILL) request, please contact the Library in person, by text/phone at (530) 938-5331, or by email (ill@siskiyous.edu). We do not have an online form at this time.

You library account must be in good standing (no overdue items or fines) before we will process your request.

Student may request up to three interlibrary loan items per semester. This includes both borrowed items (such as books) and copies of items (usually articles).

  • Books and other items that will be mailed to us can be requested up until 3 weeks before the end of the semester.
  • Articles maybe requested up until 2 weeks before the end of the semester.

Faculty and staff may make up to five requests per semester at any time.

Typically, it takes about 2-3 weeks for materials to arrive via mail (books, audiobooks, DVDs, etc.). Items that we can receive electronically, such as articles, usually arrive more quickly.

Usually you can have the item for 1-3 weeks. The due date is determined by the library that sent us the materials.

It is very important that materials borrowed through ILL be returned by the stated due date. By turning materials in late you jeopardize our borrowing relationships with other libraries. You also will be responsible for any overdue fines the lending library may charge us.

If you would like to renew an item, you need to contact us at least two days before the due date. Renewals are at the discretion of the lending library and are not guaranteed.

Hopefully nothing! The Library will make every effort to borrow items for free. If the only way we can borrow an item is for a charge, we will contact you to see you are willing to pay the fees. We will not proceed with the request until we have contacted you and you have agreed to pay the fees.

If an item is damaged or lost while checked out to you, you are responsible for paying any fees the lending library may charge us. You will also be responsible for any overdue fines the lending library may charge us if you turn in your materials late.

Library Facilities

The Library has 19 computers available for use.

Community Borrowers and visiting guests may also check out computers if they are not needed by students.

Yes. It is at computer station #19. Instructions for use are posted near the scanner. Ask a staff member if you have questions about using the scanner.

All Library computers are networked to a black & white printer. Printing in the Library is currently a free service. We ask that you be conservative with your printing to help keep Library costs for paper, toner, and equipment low so that printing can stay free.

  • If you need to print more than 20 pages, please ask at the Library desk for permission.
  • If you want to print double-sided but aren’t sure how, please ask us to show you how.
  • If you are not sure how long your printout will be, we would be happy to help you figure this out.
  • If you are printing a web site and only need specific pages, we can show you how to limit your printing.
  • If you are printing a PowerPoint presentation, we can show you how to fit multiple slides per page.

You cannot print from your laptop or wireless device in the Library at this time.

A color printer is also available in the Library. Color printing is 25 cents per page and is only available from select computers. Please ask at the Library desk about color printing.

The library has a black & white photocopier. Photocopying in the Library is currently a free service. We ask that you be conservative with your copying to help keep Library costs for paper, toner, and equipment low so that printing can stay free.

The Library has both. The equipment cannot be checked out but is available if you want to bring in a movie or view one of the Library's movies (including movies on reserve). DVDs can also be watched on a Library computer. If you want to watch a movie with a small group, you may be able to use the Study Room, which has a large-screen TV, VCR and DVD player.

The Library has both. The equipment cannot be checked out but is available if you want to bring in a movie or view one of the Library's movies (including movies on reserve). DVDs can also be watched on a Library computer. If you want to watch a movie with a small group, you may be able to use the Study Room, which has a large-screen TV, VCR, and DVD player.

The Library has a microform reader, which allows you to read microfiche and microfilm materials, such as old newspapers. The microform reader is attached to a printer; this printer costs 25 cents a page. It is not a digital machine.

The Library has a limited supply of headphones that you may borrow. These headphones are of varying quality but can be helpful in a pinch. Please ask at the desk if you would like to use a pair. If you want, you can purchase a pair of inexpensive earbuds at the desk for $1.00. Better quality headphones can be purchased at the Weed campus bookstore.

The library has a wheelchair accessible desk and computer station (computer station #7). Computer station #7 is also equipped with:

  • Kurzweil 3000
  • Zoom Text Xtra
  • TextHELP

There is an elevator lift to the Lounge area where you will find additional study tables as well as paperback fiction, the manga and graphic novel collection, audiobooks on CD, and our magazines and newspapers.

Ask at the Library service desk if you would like to use the variable-speed cassette player.

The Library has one group study room (LRC 8).The study room has:

  • Seats for 10-12 people
  • Computer with a large flat screen monitor and wireless keyboard/mouse
  • VCR/DVD player
  • Whiteboard and markers

Library films and reserve textbooks can be checked out and used in the study room. The study room cannot be booked in advance.

The Library serves as a quiet place on campus for students to study and do research. We have many tables, study carrels, and comfortable armchairs. Please help us maintain a quiet atmosphere by keeping voices low, using headphones (with the volume at a reasonable level), and taking your cell phone conversations to the LRC lobby or the Lounge.

If quiet isn’t your thing, we offer the Library Lounge where food, drink, and conversation are allowed. It can be a great space to meet with friends or with a Student Club. We also have a group study room with computer and whiteboard.

The Library Lounge is an area of the Library where students can gather and where food, drink, and conversation are allowed. It can be a great space to meet with friends or with a Student Club. The Lounge has tables and chairs (great at lunchtime), comfy armchairs, magazines, audiobooks, DVDs, and board games.

Food and drinks are allowed in the Library Lounge area. The Lounge has a mix of tables and chairs, as well as comfy armchairs. Covered beverages are allowed everywhere in the Library.

The Library Lounge is a great place for some events. We have a portable projector with laptop and wall-mounted screen, as well as a sound system, available for presentations or movie nights. Because sound carries well in the Library, events are currently limited to times when the Library closed. The space is available for free to campus groups such as Student Clubs but must be pre-arranged in advance with Library staff.

Individuals and community groups may request rental of the space through the campus facility rental process.