Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Caltech Library logo

Library Resources for SEAL Students: Welcome!

A short guide to using Caltech Library resources for Solar Energy Activity Lab students

Getting Started at the Caltech Library

When is the Library open?

There are several Library locations on campus – if you need print resources, they will likely be in Sherman Fairchild Library (SFL). There are also computer workstations that you may use to do library research or work on your presentations and papers. You will need to know your IMSS username and password to log into the computers. All libraries are open Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm, and some are open later. You will need your Caltech ID card to get into SFL after 5pm. Check the full schedule for regular hours as well as holiday hours.


How do I know what's in the Library collection?

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. If you are specifically looking for an electronic journal, a more complete listing can be searched here. Remember that we may not have electronic access to every volume of a journal, especially for volumes published before 1997. We might have them in print - so if you can't find them in the Find Ejournals link, check the catalog.


How can I access electronic resources?

You can access electronic resources (e-books, journals, and databases) on-campus by logging into a campus computer with your IMSS credentials. If you are off campus, you will be prompted to log into the library proxy when accessing electronic resources through catalog, library website or LibGuide links - links you find through Google won't be proxied and you may not be able to access the website. So, if you can't access something, try looking for it in a library resource. More information about off-campus access can be found here.


How do I find journal articles?

Check out some search tips on the Finding Articles page. Some databases are listed on the Article Databases page. Web of Science is usually a great place to start. We have a nice Getting Started Guide for you too.


Can I borrow print items from the library?

Yes – you can check out a maximum of five items (books or journals) at a time.


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. This service is free for books we don't own and journals to which we don't subscribe. You'll need to fill out a brief registration form before requesting things. More information about DocuServe can be found here.


What software is available on the library computers?

All machines have Microsoft Office, R, Mathematica, Maple, MATLAB, and EndNote. Some machines have SolidWorks, ChemOffice Ultra, and Adobe Creative Suite. A more complete list of software (including which computers have which programs) can be found here.

Where can I print or scan?

Sherman Fairchild has three RICOH multifunction printer/photocopier/scanner/fax machines and two flatbed scanners connected to workstations. More information - including printing policy and allowances, additional locations, and detailed instructions - can be found on the Library Printing Page.


Any tips on keeping a lab notebook or organizing my references?

Sure! Check the Research Tips page!