Covid-19 Information

The California State Library is committed to serving the California library community, state employees, and residents we serve and is closely monitoring information and guidance offered by California’s Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization. We encourage everyone to take preventative steps such as covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, hand washing, and social distancing to protect themselves and our communities from the spread of COVID-19. You may monitor up-to-date information about the disease in California via the California Department of Public Health and on California’s main COVID-19 site. Please also follow information provided by your local public health agencies. The California Library Association and the State Library also offer a resource page for public libraries.

Reading Rooms Open by Appointment

As of July 8, patrons will be able to visit California State Library reading rooms and libraries by appointment.

Appointments are available in Gillis Hall, California History Room, Braille and Talking Book Library (BTBL) and Sutro Library. Hours and appointment types vary by location.

Make an appointment

To maintain the safety of staff and patrons, appointments are required. Visitors must agree to follow COVID-19 safety precautions. To serve a greater number of visitors, patrons are limited to one appointment per day.

Research assistance is offered via phone, email, virtual appointment or in person with prior arrangement. Use Ask a Librarian to request help.

Visiting Sutro Library

Sutro Library is located on the campus of San Francisco State University. While the campus is closed, visitors to Sutro must be escorted by staff through the building. Please meet staff five minutes before your scheduled appointment time at the concrete tables to the east side of the building facing 19th Avenue.

Services to BTBL Patrons

Circulation of library materials to Braille and Talking Book Library patrons has resumed. Blind or otherwise print disabled patrons should submit requests to the Braille and Talking Book Library general email inbox.

Services to State Employees

The State Library is committed to providing relevant online resources for California state government employees that can be accessed remotely on any device. California State employees, state legislative staff, appointed state officials and board members, and officials and employees of the State Court may obtain a State Library card to access subscription databases by applying online. After obtaining a State Library card, state employees may visit the Online Resources web page to browse, select, and use available library resources. State employees will be prompted to login using library borrower card credentials for subscription databases. For additional information, email

Circulation of library materials has resumed. Circulation for all sections is in Gillis Hall inside the Stanley Mosk Library and Courts Building (914 Capitol Mall). Make an appointment to pick up or drop off library materials.

Email reference services are still available in all Library sections, and requests may be submitted via Ask-A-Librarian.

Services to General Public

The California State Library loans books, magazines, government publications, and other materials to the public through the interlibrary loan program. Please contact your local public, academic, or workplace library to request an interlibrary loan.

Email reference services are still available in all Library sections, and requests may be submitted via Ask-A-Librarian.

Services to Libraries

The State Library has released guidance for the re-opening of California libraries for in-person services including currently published library re-opening plans, related public health research, feedback from library directors across the state, and guidance published by the State of California for industries that share like issues.

Browse a database of online and distance friendly programming ideas contributed by public library staff members throughout California, and submit your own ideas!