How to Access Library Resources After Graduation


Planning on graduating this December or maybe next spring? In this post, we tell you all you need to know about accessing library resources after you leave USD.

Databases: Off-campus access to most of our online databases containing articles and other scholarly resources is restricted to current USD students, faculty, and staff.  However, alumni retain full privileges until the semester after they graduate and through a special arrangement, the University offers alumni remote access to two of our most robust databases, JSTOR and Business Source Alumni Edition. To access JSTOR or Business Source Alumni Edition off-campus, login to your Alumni Association Account . If you do not have an Alumni Association Account you will need to create one. To access other databases we offer access to, alumni must visit us in person. For Alumni outside of San Diego, we suggest visiting other academic libraries in your area because many academic libraries have licensing agreements that allow onsite visitors to access their databases.

Books: Alumni are allowed to borrow print books from Copley and we can use your Alumni Association Membership Card to set up a library account for you; visit us in person with your membership card to get your account activated. Your library account allows you to borrow up to five print books at a time. We also suggest joining the public library in San Diego in order to take full advantage of the San Diego Circuit, which allows members of the public library to borrow books from many academic libraries in San Diego. For those leaving San Diego, joining the public library in your area is also a great way to take advantage of services they offer that you have become accustomed to as a student at USD, such as Inter Library Loan.

OER and Open Access: Another great way to get access to scholarly content after graduation is to look for content that is openly accessible to the public online. Open Educational Resources (OER) are educational resources such as textbooks, images, articles, PowerPoint presentations, or full curricula that have been released under less-restrictive licenses than traditionally published material. For more on locating and using OER, checkout our OER guide. Similarly, you may want to look for scholarly content that is openly accessible, meaning that it has been licensed for free public access online. The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, SPARC, defines open access as, “…the free, immediate, online availability of research articles combined with the rights to use these articles fully in the digital environment”. For more on finding and using open access content, checkout our guide, Open Access: Scholarly Publishing Meets Social Justice.


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What is Banned Books Week and Why Should USD Celebrate it?

bbw 2017

Last week Copley Library celebrated Banned Books Week for the second year in a row. We had a lot of fun and we got many great questions from Toreros about this annual event sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA). Questions like, What is it and why does it matter and who won that $225 dollar gift card to the Torero store?! In this post, we give you answers to the top five questions we got during last week’s celebration of Banned Books Week.

1.       What does it mean for a book to be banned or challenged?

According to the American Library Association, “A Challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials.” Typically, these are materials that are a part of a school curriculum or a library collection.

2.       Why is Banned Books Week worth celebrating at USD?

There are many reasons to celebrate Banned Books Week but for Toreros it is particularly relevant to the mission of our university; when a person or a group of people attempts to restrict access to books that they find offensive anywhere, it threatens efforts everywhere to advance academic excellence, expand knowledge and create diverse, inclusive communities.

3.       What are some of the reasons people try to ban books?



This graph breaks down common reasons from the previous decade and these reasons remain typical for 2016-2017


4.       Do people still try to ban books in 2017?

Yes. Every year the ALA’s Office of Intellectual Freedom releases a list of the top ten challenged or Banned Books for the previous year.

5.       Did I win the $225.00 gift card?

Our student winner was Alanna Bledman; she received a $225.00 gift card to the Torero Store and a copy of her favorite banned book. Our faculty winner was Susannah Stern; she won a new Chromebook and a copy of her favorite banned book.

Thanks to everyone who participated last week and especially to those of you who took the time ask us some great questions!

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Kumeyaay Exhibit

In honor of the Kumeyaay Garden Dedication Ceremony taking place on Friday, September 22nd, Copley Library’s exhibit space features artifacts and publications highlighting the Kumeyaay people.Kumeyaay exhibit case with baskets and books. Prior to the arrival of European settlers, the Kumeyaay resided throughout what is now San Diego and into Baja California, including on the land that is now the University of San Diego Campus. The Kumeyaay Garden, located on Alcala Park Way behind the Hahn University Center, is a space that honors the Kumeyaay people, their traditional territory on which the USD campus resides, and plants indigenous to this land.

Copley Library’s Kumeyaay exhibit, curated by Diane Maher, Head of Special Collection, contains three works of Kumeyaay basketry, courtesy of the May Collection. Made of bear grass, juncus, pine, and yucca, these baskets represent a snipped of the Kumeyaay use of native plants. Once you view the intricacies of these baskets, visit the Kumeyaay Garden to see how these plants grew and how they had to be transformed to be utilized.

Kumeyaay pine needle basketry jar with lid.

Kumeyaay basket made of pine needles wrapped with yucca fibers.

Also featured in the exhibit is the work of Florence Connolly Shipek, an American anthropologist and ethnohistorian who focused much of her work on the study and advocacy of Southern California Indians. In addition to her published works about the Kumeyaay and other Native California tribes, Shipek served as an expert witness in Indian land and water rights cases. She also served as the Director of the Community Development Program for the University of San Diego where she headed an Indian Reservation Community Development program. Shipek’s work, along with a variety of publications on Kumeyaay history and culture available in the Library and Special Collections, are on display.

Delfina Cuero and autobiography.

Delfina Cuero, a Kumeyaay Indian, in whose autobiography she delves into life as a Kumeyaay woman and the changes she observed on what had been her ancestors land.

The Kumeyaay Garden Dedication Ceremony, which takes place on California Native American Day, will feature storytelling, tours, bird singing and Kumeyaay cultural activities. Be sure to attend the Ceremony, stop by the Kumeyaay exhibit space in Copley Library, and visit the David W. May American Indian Gallery in Serra Hall which also features an exhibit in conjunction with the dedication of the Kumeyaay Garden.


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Final Construction 2017 Update and Welcome Back!

Welcome Back Toreros! The university had a lot of construction projects this summer, one of these was the Colachis Plaza which included restructuring the Copley Library front entrance with new steps and ramp, while the plaza got a beautiful new fountain and multiple seating areas.  The good news is that the library’s entrance was officially re-opened yesterday, Tuesday, September 05, 2017, after twelve weeks of construction! The library’s old stairs were replaced with an expanded entrance that opens up to the Colachis Plaza. Fortunately, everything was finished just in time for the beginning of the fall semester!

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For a recap of the summer construction project that led to the new library stairs and ramp and a completed Colachis Plaza check out these summer blogs:

Update #1

Update #2

Update #3

Update #4

Update #5

Welcome back and be sure to come in to experience the new entrance steps or visit us online at to check out all that the library has to offer and stay tuned for upcoming events such as the Alcala Bazaar on September 12th and Banned Books Week September 24th-30th.  To keep up-to-date with what is happening in Copley Library you can follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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Copley Library Welcomes you to the Fall of 2017!


Happy Fall semester 2017 to all you new and returning Toreros out there! This post highlight a few ways that Copley Library can help you succeed in the classroom this fall!

Do you need some help getting started on that first research paper or class project? Visit the reference desk and speak with one of the subject specialist in person or use the Ask a Librarian service to chat, email, text or call on the Reference Librarians; you can also search our Ask a Librarian knowledge base to find answers to frequently asked questions.

Need scholarly articles or books to support your work? Copley has many resources and services to help you with all your scholarly projects. You can start your search in our Online Catalog; this allows you to filter search results to find precisely what you need. If Copley does not own the material you want, we can get it for you. To borrow books we do not have from another San Diego library, search the Circuit Catalog. To borrow other resources we do not own use our Inter-Library Loan Service. Finally, if you are looking for scholarly articles or other information resources such as newspapers, indexes and encyclopedias you can search our list of online research databases.

Need some help developing your research skills or learning how to use a specific library resource or tool? Copley Library offer lots of great workshops every semester so take a look at our workshops calendar and reserve your spot today!


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Summer Construction Update #5

USD is winding down construction of the Paseo de Colachis, our new pedestrian plaza in the middle of campus. Copley Library now has steps laid into the main entrance and new landscaping.  Sidewalks in front of the library are in place and public access to the plaza is slated for August 21st.  Fencing around Copley Library stairs will be the last thing to go, with a plan to remove it by August 31st.  Until that fencing is removed, please continue to use the back entrance to enter the building during our open hours.  Signs will lead you to that entrance. 

In the meantime, you can watch the final stages of construction and cleanup with the USD Construction Cam.

If you need help with materials and services in Copley Library, check out our library services webpage. You also can find answers to frequently asked questions on our Ask A Librarian site or reach a reference librarian through our ASK US chat widget on the library homepage.

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Summer Construction Update # 4

We are nearing the end of construction! The Colachis Plaza project is still on track and is expected to be completed before the start of the fall semester. Here are some behind the scenes pictures of the progress made since we last updated you at the beginning of July.

Are you in need of library assistance, but don’t want to trek through campus construction? A new proactive widget has been installed on our library homepage that allows you to chat with a reference librarian! The chat is a perfect resource if you need instant research assistance. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

Stay tuned for the next blog post, which will be our last construction update of the summer!

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