Learning Support

Academic Support and Learning Technologies

CSM Learning Center

The CSM Learning Center (LC) is host to a variety of services and resources to assist students in acquiring the skills and knowledge to achieve academic success. The LC offers academic peer tutoring, supplemental instruction student success workshops and access to computers with course software in Digital Media, CIS, Accounting, and Assistive Technology. In addition to electronic resources, the LC has a textbook reserve program, plus provides a quiet space for individual and group study.

For more information, visit the CSM Learning Center website (College Center Building 10, Room 220, (650) 574-6570).

When using the CSM Learning Center, students will:

  1. Have knowledge of the CSM Learning Center resources, including how to use them.

CSM Library

The CSM Library, an organizational unit under the division of Academic Support and Learning Technologies, provides human, material, and technological resources to support the Mission and Strategic Goals of College of San Mateo. The Library collections include a well-balanced selection of print, electronic, and microform resources that have been specifically selected to support the academic, workforce development, and basic skills curriculum of the college and to encourage the development of life skills that foster success beyond the academy.

When classes are in session, faculty librarians are available to provide research assistance in person, by phone, email, chat, text, and via other social media networks during all of the Library’s open hours. 

The online catalog represents nearly 64,000 items in the CSM Library and information about the collections of the 32 other libraries in the Peninsula Library System (PLS). Specialized holdings include a small collection of academic level books in the Spanish language for several disciplines and a variety of resources to support ESL students. Additionally, laptops, tools, and other equipment are available for loan.

A delivery system within PLS makes it convenient for faculty and students to request that items located in other PLS libraries be sent to the CSM Library for pickup. Also, items that have been checked out from any other library in the PLS system can be returned to the CSM Library. A book drop, located near the accessibility ramp in front of the Library, is available for dropping off materi­als when the Library is closed.

The Library also provides free access to thousands of subscription and fee-based online information resources that are usually not available without a charge on the open Internet. This includes access to more than 322,000 e-book titles, as well as academic journal articles, streaming videos, high quality art images, and more. While on campus, faculty, students, and staff can easily access the Library’s online resources from any computer that is connected to campus networks.

Many Library services and most online information resources are also available away from campus 24 hours a day via any computer that is connected to the Internet. A current Peninsula Library System (PLS) library card and PIN or an alternate remote authentication process is required for off-campus access to subscription or fee-based online databases and information resources.

The Library provides students with access to over 50 open access computers: 44 Windows PCs, 2 Apple Macintosh desktop workstations, and 9 Windows PC laptops. In addition to providing open access to the Internet, the Library’s computers are loaded with Microsoft Office software. Computers are also loaded with website and advanced graphic design software including Adobe Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat Professional. Assistive technology is available on select computer workstations. Students can print in black and white or color from library workstations or from their own personal laptops. Alternatively, students may can make digital scans of books, or other printed material and save to a USB personal storage device or email. The Library also offers a tool and equipment lending library, 3-D printing services and laser engraving and cutting services at its Makerspace. 

Collaboration and Support for Classroom Instructors 

CSM librarians are members of the faculty and are always interested in working with classroom faculty to support curriculum and student success. Librarians are available to present Library information literacy orientations or instructional workshops specifically tailored to support a course’s overall objective or a particular research or class project. Orientations generally take place in the Library classroom, which is equipped with computer workstations and a projection unit.

Librarians welcome opportunities to collaborate with faculty in academic, workforce development, and basic skills programs to design learning activities that foster development of core information research competencies.

Librarians can create online library research guides (LibGuides) expressly for classes or programs. Examples of librarian created research guides can be found at the Library website.

To inquire about scheduling an instruction session or requesting the development of a research guide, please contact the Library Reference Desk at extension 6232 or email csmlibrary@smccd.edu. One can also schedule an orientation online by filling out the request form on the Faculty Services page on the Library website. Special arrangements can be made to schedule orientations for evening, Saturday, and distance education classes.

Librarians can collaborate with faculty to create assignments that will help students produce better papers and projects. The Library also solicits faculty input in reviewing Library collections in their teaching areas and making recommendations for additional resources.

Privileges and Services for Faculty 

  • Borrowing Privileges: The Library extends a special loan privilege to classroom faculty. Faculty members may borrow most books in the CSM circulating collection for an extended loan period of up to one semester. Extended loan requests must be made in person. Faculty must present a PLS Library Card to borrow all Library materials. The Library also waives CSM fines and fees for faculty.
  • College Reserves: To improve student access to supplementary material or materials with limited availability, the Library maintains the College Reserves Collection. College Reserves help students by enabling instructors to place copies of textbooks, past exams, quizzes, solution manuals, article reprints, etc., in a restricted access collection held behind the circulation desk. Borrowing limits for these materials are set by classroom instructors.

The Library encourages faculty to request copies of course textbooks from publishers for the Library’s College Reserves Collection. To learn more about placing materials on reserve, please contact the Circulation Desk at extension 6548. The Course Reserves Request form is available online. Copies of the form are also available in the Library. Bring your item(s) and a completed Course Reserves Request form to the Circulation desk near the entrance of the Library.

  • Intra-Library Loan: The PLS integrated Online Public Access Catalog and delivery system enables easy access to materials available in all public and community college libraries in San Mateo County. Faculty and students with a valid PLS library card can place a hold on almost all circulating items at any PLS library and ask that it be sent to CSM for pickup. For more information, see the ILL Service webpage.
  • Inter-Library Loan (ILL): The Library can also borrow materials from public and academic libraries that are not in the PLS system. The CSM WorldCat catalog provides an easy interface to search for items in PLS libraries and to extend the search to libraries throughout the world. Visit the Library Faculty Services webpage to locate forms to request books, articles, or other resources that are not available in the PLS system. You may also call the Library Reference Desk at extension 6232 for assistance.
  • Recommending Items for Purchase: The Library welcomes faculty input and suggestions for additions to collections to support the curriculum. The Library does not purchase materials to support post-graduate level academic research but can aid researchers in borrowing material through ILL. Please contact the Director of Library and Learning Services or visit the online purchase suggestion link on the Library Faculty Services webpage.

Library and Information Competency

As of Fall 2010, Information Competency is a graduation requirement for all CSM students. Infor­mation about courses, tutorials, and information competency is available on the Library website. The Library offers for-credit courses, orientations, and online tutorials that promote student success through information competency.

Courses from any division that meet the criteria developed by the Curriculum Committee can sat­isfy the college’s information competency graduation requirement. Courses that satisfy the require­ment are listed on the Information Competency webpage. Faculty that are interested in modifying an ex­isting course or creating a new course that can satisfy the requirement should contact their division’s representative on the Curriculum Committee.

For information about Library services, policies, resources, classes, programs and current hours visit the Library website (Building 9, (650) 574-6100).