Please review these frequently asked questions and answers to learn more about the library. More information is also available in the 'Services' section on this page. If a question is not answered here, please use our help page.
Computer Lab and Public Access Computers
Finding and Borrowing Library Materials
The library is located on the first floor of Building 30 at San Francisco General Hospital; go to the SFDPH Patient and Visitor Information page for a campus map, driving and transportation information.
Free Shuttles to ZSFG are available. For current schedules, visit the UCSF Transportation website.
Monday - Friday, 9 am - 5 pm
The library is closed on state and federal holidays. Reference librarians are available to assist you during business hours.
- ZSFG and UCSF staff
- Students from UCSF and other schools and programs
- Faculty from UCSF and other institutions
- Patients and their families
- Members of the public
All are welcome to use the library and its resources, both print and electronic materials. Public access computers are available free of charge for the public to use to research health topics; however, members of the public are asked to limit their computer time to one hour per day.
ZSFG and UCSF staff members have specially designated computers for their use. Please ask at the desk for more information.
Reference librarians are usually available to assist you during regular business hours.
All patrons, including UCSF and DPH employees and members of the public, can check out books from the ZSFG Reads collection. No library card or ID is required; we operate on a free library model.
DPH employees are eligible for UCSF borrowing accounts and can borrow books from the UCSF Libraries at Parnassus and Mission Bay. DPH employees cannot request interlibrary loan books.
Some UCSF Library resources are only available on UCSF computers, so DPH employees must come to the library to access them. This includes ebooks and some databases.
General information: (415) 206-3114
Interlibrary loan: (415) 206-2893
The library offers two conference rooms for UCSF staff and ZSFG staff to use. See Conference Rooms for details about the facilities available. (PLEASE NOTE: one of the rooms, Room 3208, will not be available for booking for some time after October 2018 due to a long-term booking currently scheduled through 2020.)
The Library's combined photocopier/printer is located on the first floor of the library. It is available for free copying or printing out of any medically-related texts or materials; no other materials can be copied or printed out. Access to copying and printing is handled by desk staff.
Reproduction and redistribution of copyrighted documents may be restricted by Federal law (Title 17, US Code). The Library provides copying services for your convenience but does not assume responsibility for copyright issues.
For information concerning copyright issues, visit the UC Copyright Education Web Site.
Library staff are always available to help you with your information needs and may be able to save you some valuable time. Although all staff members are trained to handle basic requests, it's best to speak to a reference librarian if you need in-depth research help or have a complicated medical question. You may make an appointment with a reference librarian by calling (415) 206-6639 or (415) 206-6638.
There are restrooms for public use near the library entrance. Please ask for the key at the Circulation Desk. Please follow all policy and information signs.
Yes. The Library uses the Google Chrome, Internet Explorer® and FireFox® web browsers. Double-click on the desktop icon to access the Internet and conduct web searches. You can also use web-based email accounts (UCSF Outlook Web, yahoo, gmail, etc.) to send and receive email messages.
The computers in the Library provide access to not only the electronic resources purchased by the ZSFG Library, but also to the electronic books, journals, and databases licensed by the UCSF library. Microsoft Office Suite: Word, Excel, Powerpoint is installed on all library computers.
The ZSFG Library website, publicly available databases (PubMed), and publicly available online journals are available from your home computer.
ZSFG Library licensed databases and online journals are only available on ZSFG/DPH networked computers, UCSF networked compters located at ZSFG, and computers in the Library. There is currently no remote access.
UCSF licensed databases and online journals are accessible on all UCSF-networked computers, in the ZSFG library,and from your home computer using UCSF Remote Access VPN. VPN is only available to UCSF, staff students and faculty.
- All patrons are welcome to check out materials in our ZSFG Reads collection. See the ZSFG Reads page for more information.
- Books in the Consumer Health and Cultural Diversity sections are non-circulating.
- Books in the UCSF Library collection can be borrowed by UCSF and ZSFG staff, faculty, and students who are eligible for a UCSF borrowing account. These books can be delivered to ZSFG via interlibrary loan and picked up at the ZSFG Library.
- At present ZSFG Reads books aren't catalogued -- feel free to come in and browse!
- To find books, videos, and other library materials in the UCSF Library collection, search the UCSF catalog. Some books are also available online in the library, from any computer on the UCSF network, or via UCSF Remote Access VPN.
- UCSF users with a UCSF Borrowing account can borrow books from the UCSF library or any other UC libraries and have them delivered to the ZSFG Library. You can sign up for a UCSF borrowing account at the ZSFG Library if you bring in your UCSF ID card.
- If you don't find what you are looking for in the catalog and you are a ZSFG or UCSF staff, student or faculty member you can request books through the ZSFG interlibrary borrowing service.
- To request book delivery:
- Find books in the UCSF Catalog.
- Go to the catalog entry for the book(s) you want order and click on “Request Item” at the top of the page.
- Enter your name and your 14 digit library borrowing number beginning with 21378 on your UCSF campus-wide picture identification card.
- Select SFGH Library as your pick -up location.
- Books are usually delivered within 5-7 days and you will be notified when your items are ready to be picked up at the ZSFG Library.
ZSFG and UCSF subsidize access to many online journals. You can look up journals by title on the following lists. It’s sometimes easiest to find a specific journal article by searching a database like PubMed and finding out if it’s available full text to you online free of charge. We offer classes on searching for articles and you can always use our form if you need help locating articles.
- ZSFG Library A to Z Journal Listing: online journals available from computers on the ZSFG/DPH network
- UCSF Online journals: search for biomedical and health and social science titles avialble on the UCSF network, in the ZSFG Library or via UCSF Remote Access VPN.
- UCSF catalog: search for print and electronic journal titles available at the Library. Look for "ZSFG Jrnl" in the location field.
- UC-MELVYL: search for journal titles available at other UC campuses. Limit your search via the format option to search for journals.
- eScholarship Repository: research and scholarly materials from individual UC campuses.
Most of the free online journals from the sources listed below are also available when you search PubMed.
- Directory of Open Access Journals
- PLoS Journals (PLoS Biology, PLoS Medicine and PLoS Clinical Trials)
- PubMed Central Journals
Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services are available to UCSF/ZSFG faculty, staff and students on the ZSFG campus for journal articles and books not available in the library's collection or via online subscriptions. See our ILL page to order online.
Can I request a book from the Parnassus library or the Mission Bay library and pick it up at the ZSFG Library?