Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Frequently Asked Questions Categories

The Library's Collections

What kind of stuff does the Library have?

The Library collection has information on a wide variety of topics to help you with your assignments. We have:

  • print books
  • ebooks
  • articles from magazines, journals, and newspapers
  • streaming videos and DVDs

A large part of the Library is now online. Our databases collection gives you access to:

  • over 100 million full text articles
  • over 60,000 full-text ebooks
  • over 25,000 streaming videos

Online materials are available 24/7 through the library catalog and on our website's Articles and Databases page. You will need a COS library card and password to access online materials from off campus.

The COS Library also has over 36,000 books on the shelves. Books are organized using the Dewey Decimal system, which groups them together by subject. The Library has many other types of materials as well, including newspaper and magazine subscriptions, pamphlets, plays, maps, movies, music, and audiobooks.

Does the Library have textbooks?

Yes! The Reserve Collection is a collection of textbooks, assigned class readings, cameras, and audio and video materials. Reserve materials are located behind the Library desk and typically check out for 2 hours, for in-library use only. Ask at the desk to find out if we have the materials required for your class.

Does the Library have any ebooks?

The Library has over 60,000 ebooks in four collections that you can read for free.

  • Ebook Central: general nonfiction
  • EBSCO eBook Collection: general nonfiction
  • The Oxford English Dictionary (OED): dictionary famous for tracing the history of words
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL): reference books*
  • Credo Reference: reference books*

*"Reference books" are encyclopedias, dictionaries, etc. and are good for looking up quick facts or brief background info on a topic.

You can search for and link directly to our ebooks using the library catalog. You can also visit the ebook collections individually from our Articles and Databases page. Searching these collections individually from the databases page (rather than through the catalog) allows you to search the full text of the ebooks for your search terms.

You do not need a special e-reader or device to read these ebooks (unless you want to). You can read them on any device with a screen and an internet connection such as your PC, laptop, tablet, or even your smartphone.

What is the Mount Shasta Collection?

For projects involving local history, the COS Library has the Mount Shasta Collection. This collection of thousands of books, articles, manuscripts, photographs, maps, prints, and audiovisual materials is the largest known collection of information and documents about the Mount Shasta volcano and the surrounding region.

Does the Library have books for fun?

Yes, while some of our fiction books are literary classics, we also have many contemporary books for fun too, including thrillers, mysteries, romance, and a special collection of manga and other graphic novels. Suggestions for new titles are welcome.

Also for fun are our audiobooks on CD and magazines such as Mental Floss, Newsweek, Outside, People, Rolling Stone, and Sports Illustrated (you can check the older issues out to read at home).