Access to the libraries of Caltech varies based on day of the week and specific library. For the most up-to-date library hours, please visit the hours page.  The Caltech Library provides a safe space for its community to study or work on academic endeavors.  Behavior contrary to this principle will not be tolerated and Campus Security will be notified immediately.

All categories of borrowers, once registered, are granted library access according to their borrowing privileges.

Access to Online Resources

For access to online journals and databases, if you do not have an access.caltech account, please consult the Computing Resources Policy for guidance.

Guest Reader Cards

The following groups are granted library access for reference use of the collections only:

  • Faculty from other Institutions of Higher Learning
  • Fuller Theological Seminary Graduate Students
  • Huntington Hospital Professional Staff
  • City of Hope National Medical Professional Staff (contact the City of Hope Library for an access card)

Users with a legitimate need to use the specialized collections at Caltech may apply for a Guest Reader card. Graduate level status and the recommendation of two members of the Caltech Faculty or administration is required. Application is initiated at the Sherman Fairchild Library circulation desk between the hours of 8am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. Please call ahead (626-395-6401) to verify staff availability. Applicants will be notified by mail following review of their application (approximately two weeks from date of application).

External Researchers (Visitors)

Because these libraries have small, heavily used, highly specialized collections, and very limited seating, they are largely unsuitable for access to general information. For those services, we highly recommend visiting other local libraries. The Caltech Library is primarily for the Caltech community, but external reseachers may have limited access to SFL between 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday. Access to other libraries must be by appointment. Contact Us for more information.

Service Animals

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are welcomed and permitted in the Caltech Libraries. Per ADA, service animals are trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. For details, please see ADA Requirements on Service Animals. No other animals are permitted (e.g.  comfort or therapy dogs).

The Library seeks to provide a safe and productive environment for all its users and staff.  The following service animal guidelines are to be observed:

  • Service animals must be in physical proximity with their handler and under handler control at all times with a leash or harness at all times, unless the leash or harness interferes with the animal’s performance of service task.
  • Service animals may not be left unattended by their handler at any time.
  • Service animals must not display disruptive behavior such as barking or growling.
  • The handler is responsible for any upkeep or clean-up of the service animal. 

If a service animal's behaviors or actions pose an unreasonable or direct threat to the health or safety of others, or do not conform to these guidelines, it may not remain in a Library facility.  If the service animal is excluded from a Library facility, the individual with the disability is welcomed to stay and will be reasonably accommodated by Library staff.

If you have questions regarding these guidelines, please contact David McCaslin at djm [at] caltech.edu or 626-395-6412.