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Welcome to Caltech Library: COVID-19 Services

New to Caltech? Learn about all the library resources, services, and staff available to you.

Caltech Library Services for Fall Term During COVID-19

Electronic Access to Library-Subscribed Materials (journals, books, databases)

  1. Please visit our Off-Campus Access page for information about accessing resources through the Library proxy and the VPN.
  2. If you have questions or problems, please contact us.

Pickup Times for Physical Items:
Monday - Friday: 11am - 4pm
Saturday: 11am - 2pm
Sunday: 1 - 4 pm

Checking Out Physical Books and Other Items

We are providing access to our physical books (as well as some of our electronic equipment) in a mediated fashion.

  1. Log in to the Library Catalog.
  2. Place a hold on the item of interest.
  3. You will receive an automatic notification from our Circulation staff that your request has been received.
  4. Staff will then physically retrieve the requested item, from any library on campus, and will process it for pickup.
  5. You will then receive a second notification when the item is ready for pickup at the Sherman Fairchild Library, and will be asked to schedule a pickup time during one of the Pickup Times for Physical Items listed above.
  6. Once your pickup time is confirmed, you will be able to pick up your item during your scheduled pickup time at the Circulation Window on the west side of the Library. You must wear a face mask and observe posted social distancing rules in order to pick up your items.

Note: Due to COVID we are currently facilitating loans to Caltech members with an active Caltech ID ONLY. If you have any questions please feel free to email us at or call the 626-395-3405.

Course Reserves

If Course Reserves are not accessible through the "Course Reserves" section in your Canvas class, you may search for your class in the Library Catalog. It is best to search using the abbreviated course subject, i.e. "Ch 1" or "Ma". If you do not see your course listed, check with your instructor.

The Library has tried to purchase electronic versions of requested materials wherever possible. However, some publishers simply do not make electronic books available for purchase that multiple people can use at once. If the Library does not have an ebook for your class, check the Caltech textbook store, MBS Direct or the book publisher for an individually-licensed version that you may purchase.

Physical Reserves (Books and Media) Guidelines:

  • Physical course reserves can only be checked out from the Sherman Fairchild Library service window during the pickup times listed above.
  • At the window, notify library staff by ringing the bell or calling the phone number on the posted sign, and let them know you are there to check out a course reserve.
  • Items cannot be put on hold. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Items can be checked out for 24 hours.
  • Once items are returned, they cannot circulate again for another 24 hours due to COVID-19 precautions.

Physical Access to Library Spaces

Come enjoy the temperate Southern California weather and study safely with our public health precautions. 

The Caltech Library is offering outdoor study space to Caltech students in adherence to the “Public Health Reopening Protocol: Institutes of Higher Education” guidelines issued by the Pasadena Department of Public Health. The outdoor study space is located on the east side of the Sherman Fairchild Library, and it is open Monday through Friday 9am to 4pm.

For additional information and to book your space go to

Paper Printing

Starting September 29th, the Library will offer mediated paper printing services.

  1. Submit your print request following these instructions.
  2. You will receive a notification to schedule a pickup time at the Sherman Fairchild Library (see Pickup Times for Physical Items listed above).
  3. You must wear a face mask and observe posted social distancing rules in order to pick up your items.
  4. Items not picked up after five days will be shredded.

Techlab Mediated Printing

The Caltech Library Techlab is providing a mediated printing service.

  1. Submit your request.
  2. When your print is ready for pickup, you will be contacted and asked to schedule a pickup time at the Sherman Fairchild Library during the Pickup Times for Physical Items listed above. You must wear a face mask and observe posted social distancing rules in order to pick up your items.