Accessing & Requesting SJSU Materials

King Library as viewed from SJSU campus Tower lawn

As described in an earlier post, starting June 27, 2017, there will be changes in how San José Public Library (SJPL) cardholders access and view San José State University (SJSU) materials. SJPL and SJSU are both committed to providing access to their materials and collections. These are the changes that will be occurring:

  • There will be links on the SJPL site to help customers navigate to the new SJSU catalog, OneSearch. SJSU items will no longer be visible in the SJPL catalog.
  • SJPL customers will be able to apply for Community User access that will allow them to checkout and request materials through the new SJSU catalog. These checkouts and hold pick-ups will be limited to the King Library location.
  • Requests for SJSU materials at branch locations will be processed through a separate system called ILLiad and will not require patrons to apply for SJSU Community User access.
  • more details on requesting SJSU materials

San José Public Library and San José State University staff look forward to assisting you with your information needs. Please check with staff for additional questions.


We always depended on sole old copies of classics in the SJSU collection so we would urge SJPL system to make sure we do not discard materials as they are not checked out as frequently according to the SJPL guidelines . books once discarded will no longer be available so easily as before. Would also like to know what is the rationale behind the policy change adopted by SJSU.Thank you.

In partnership with the other 22 California State University campus libraries, San Jose State University is launching a new library catalog, OneSearch, that will allow students to explore the resources of all 23 CSU libraries, including books, media, articles, and more, in one simple search. This new discovery system brings all of the CSU's resources together for the first time in a seamless, user-friendly interface. For additional information please visit:

I am disheartened when libraries discard books that contain knowledge that is constant and still relevant, and especially for science and physics.As a matter of fact, when I could not afford a textbook required for my Energy class, I simply checked one out at the King Branch Library and it helped me successfully with my assignment! To whom it may concern: Please reconsider the discarding of books that are still valuable for their content rather than base your policy on what you perceive to be relevant and popular for all library patrons.

Where in the changes does it mention discarding books? I do not believe that is what is happening here. It is merely the California University System adopting their own Library Database to (hopefully) provide students with an easier time requesting material from other CSUs. SJSU collection has always been maintained by SJSU. It is my understand that the SJPL system does not check those materials for "purging". Patrons can still check out SJSU material but it will require a couple of extra steps, that's all. No one is getting rid of books entirely. :)

I spent the last 2 days learning the new ways to access SJSU materials. So far I have succeeded in: (1) Checking out books that I picked up from the 6th. floor of the King Library. (2) Used the search facility of the SJSU site from home. (3) Used the Illiad system to request SJSU books to be delivered to a branch public library, from home. Allowing for an expected steep learning curve, the new procedure is still cumbersome (the public patron has to log on to 3 separate systems, each with its own ID and password, to find and request a book.). Link-plus, the right to borrow from another Cal State University library is entirely eliminated. Worst, the new system impedes and retards literacy. In a search, the old system gives the holdings of both the public and the university holdings, now the system only gives the former. Imagine a high school student with college aspirations, are the new barriers and limitations a good idea? The King Library is the first joint public-university library in the state, driven by the vision that the city and the university should be inclusive and access to an expanded body of material is beneficial to both. The new access procedure is a step backwards. The original 1997 Joint Library Agreement is online at: My reading of it says the new procedure (put in place without citizen participation) violates the spirit and the terms of the Agreement. I urge fellow citizens to investigate the matter and express their concerns to the press and their elected officials.

I agree entirely with the above statement. This new system does violate the terms of the original 1997 agreement. The worst thing is that a search for a book does not show both Books in both SJ public library and in SJSU library system. Why is this change being made and what are the benefits? There was no public discussion before this change was implemented. It should not be this difficult to check out material from the SJSU library.

As a local community college librarian, not having access to SJSU holdings is proving to be a great stumbling block. We regularly check the SJSU catalog when our libraries cannot fulfill student book requests. Not knowing the location or status of an item dramatically reduces the usefulness of any online catalog; in fact, the old card catalog would be more helpful - at least it provided a call number! Students often do not come equipped with their community college I.D. card, much less their public library card, and I don't really want to log into my SJPL account for a simple catalog check. I hope that this "over protection" of SJSU holdings information can be resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned and before Fall semester begins!

I think it is much easier and faster to use link plus instead of using SJSU materials unless you are looking for thesis for SJSU students or for that matter any California State University students . Please bear in mind when requesting link plus material that request material only from public libraries as all the materials belonging to other California State Universities have packed together with SJSU . When I was mentioning about discarded materials by SJPL I was talking about the past which forced me to borrow the sole copy of classics belonging to SJSU when it was less cumbersome to borrow material from them. The only disadvantage of using link plus that occurs to me is that you pay a steep fine if you lose material but that probably pertains to SJSU material in any case. The only advantage that I see in this change probably only affects California State University students.

This transition occurred while I had SJSU material checked out, which is now in limbo. I'm unable to create a OneSearch account (it says I had one created on my behalf), but I was never sent credentials for that account. How do I reconcile this?

Questions about your OneSearch account can be answered by SJSU staff. You can contact SJSU staff by calling the King Library at 408-808-2000 and selecting option 4.

Like Ben, when attempting to register a OneSearch account as an SJPL cardholder, I am informed I already have an account. I have books out that were due yesterday, July 1, and that no longer show in my list of books checked out. I have received 2 e-mails stating that they are now due today, July 2, the second one sent today stating that they are overdue. I received no information on my OneSearch account and am unable to log in to it: the number or password must be different. How do I renew these books? I am particularly concerned since my internet access is extremely spotty right now and I see that OneSearch does not permit payment of fines except online! I want to renew these books! Please send me my log-in details or at least answer the phone with information!

I think they told us that you can not renew SJSU materials from June 27th so I returned the sole copy of Marin Eden and will get a copy from link plus if my book group is brave enough to use link plus if they really are desperate enough to read that obscure book by Jack London whose sole copy other than link plus is owned by SJSU library.. If I understood right all fines for SJPL library members are erased if you volunteer for any library programme but I am not sure if that applies to materials belonging to SJSU library.

Questions about your OneSearch account can be answered by SJSU staff. You can contact SJSU staff by calling the King Library at 408-808-2000 and selecting option 4.

One of the great assets of the San Jose Public Library is the /transparant/ access to the SJSU library. Without any discussion or announcements, this is now being revoked, apparently because of new computer systems. Therefore instead of this seamless system, we now need to have THREE accounts on three websites to monitor our borrowed books due dates: for SJPL, for SJSU, and also for ILL to request books from SJSU. We are in the 21st century in the self proclaimed Capital of Silicon Valley. I protest ! I pay property taxes for these library bonds, and state taxes for SJSU. Tell the Library Commission

When I moved to San Jose, I was impressed how well the library was run. I can't imagine the same people would voluntarily shut down one of the major benefits of the library. I suspect that this is just a temporary setback. I can't imagine that the library can just shut down a major part of its service, violating the agreement pointed out by Valerie above, and all of this without any public discussion. The statements that Mr (or Ms.) Anonymous have made above are not exactly comprehensive. Has there been any public discussion at all? Has anyone contacted their councilmember?

I commented earlier on my experience to borrow SJSU material. Let me tell you what happened. I requested 2 books through Illiad, the system the public is directed to use if they want to borrow SJSU material. Book #1 is filled because SJPL has a copy. It was routed to the branch and I was notified. That's the good news. My request for Book #2 was given a Transaction Number, followed by absolute silence and no action, after two weeks. After several calls, I finally reached the library person responsible for inter_library loan. She says the system is currently not able to fill any requests It has never worked in San Jose. She cannot give me a date when the system is expected to come online. So if you want a SJSU book, you have to go to the King Library, take it off the shelve, stand in line, and check-out the book manually. (You can't even use the automated check-out machines because they cannot handle SJSU material.)

This "new" system is so backwards, and I really don't understand why this change was made. I have previously requested books from the SJSU system and was very pleased with the service. It was fully integrated with the normal catalog, so I could just request books directly from the same place the public library books were listed. Normally, it only took a few days to a week to get the book delivered to my local branch, and I really appreciated getting to use this material. Now, it's all in a separate and very confusing system that is has a completely manual and very cryptic process. Why can't I just click to request an item, rather than having to fill out all the details into a form myself? The status updates in the ILLIAD system are so cryptic, so it's unclear when books will actually appear. My first request in the new system has taken nearly a month before I received an email, and now the book isn't actually available at my local branch yet (it will take another few days, I was told.). And I can only borrow the book for a month, rather than the 3 x 3 weeks that was available before. I've also requested another book which may have been delayed too much to be delivered before the expiration date which was set for me, and which I can't find a way to edit. Additionally, I had about 70 SJSU books bookmarked in my SJPL account, and those have all been lost. If there had been a warning that this would happen, I would have backed up my lists. But there was nothing done ahead of time, and a librarian told me there's no way to recover it. By the way, the more detailed "how to" page linked above suggests you use "Link+" to request a book, but none of the SJSU items I've looked for were actually listed there. Please go back to the old system! I don't know if it was difficult to manage from within the library/university system, but for patrons it was easy and so great to have integrated into the catalog. This new approach is horrible and a step backwards! Not everyone can easily visit the King Library in person, so this has greatly restricted a huge resource to the community.

I do not see how SJSU can unilaterally withdraw from the joint project between city and SJSU established in 1997. This new procedure won't work for people who can't get downtown . It effectively cuts off many (if not the majority) of the citizens of San Jose from access to the SJSU collection, nice rhetoric about the new system notwithstanding. This unilateral withdrawal needs to be investigated by San Jose's legal department. Has it? If not, why not?

As a retired librarian, I have loved using the SJSU system. I have studied authors in depth, have borrowed literary criticism, etc. that are rarely found in a public library system. When this Joint Project was established in 1997, I thought it was one of the most exciting and learning supportive measure that I had ever seen. While I have a SJSU card and can access the system, as an older adult who uses handicapped parking, going to the main library to pick up and return books is difficult. I understand the need for updating library systems so if using two different online systems (SJPL and SJSU) is necessary, then it's necessary. But I don't understand why the books can't continue to be sent to a branch library. Can this decision be reconsidered?

From the SJPL website: With a San Jose Public Library Card, you can create an ILLiad account to request items from libraries worldwide for free. This is also the system by which San Jose State University materials can be requested for delivery to San Jose Public Library branches. Hope this helps!

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