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Pharmacy Students and Residents: Getting Started at UC San Diego: Find Books

A guide for new Pharmacy students and residents on the resources and services available at the UC San Diego Library.

Search for Books in the UCSD Libraries

Start your search - Use Roger, the library's catalog.

There's a link to the catalog on the top of every library web page. You will find print and electronic books in Roger.

The default search screen is a basic keyword search- great when you are starting out your search for books on a new topic. If you know a particular author or title you want to search, you can choose Title or Author from the drop down menu for a more precise search, e.g.:


Narrowing your search using Subject Headings:

A keyword search is great when you're starting out, but how do you narrow down all of those results to get a more specific set of books on your topic? Use Subject Headings. Subject Headings draw upon a pre-defined vocabulary so that you can search in a more focused manner. Starting out a new topic, you probably won't know the subject heading terminology to use. A great trick is to do a keyword search, find a few books that seem like what you are looking for and then look closely at the description.The subject headings are the blue hyperlinks midway or so down the page:

If you see a term that seems to match what you are looking for, click on it for a new set of results with that same subject heading.

    Locate and Check Out Books

    How do I locate a book once I’ve found it in Roger?

    From your results list, click on the title to view a full record of the book you’ve found in the Roger catalog. There will be three key pieces of information for locating it in the library: Location, Call Number, and Status:


    Tip:  Each library will have maps and signs to point you toward the call number you need. Please ask library staff for help if you have any questions. Until you're used to the system, it can seem a bit strange.


    How do I check out the books once I find them?

    All regular students, staff and faculty at UCSD may check out materials marked “Available” in the Roger catalog. Just bring your books to one of our Circulation Desks or Self-Checkout stations. Your UCSD ID card is also your library card, and the barcode on the back is your library card number.  

    Have more questions?  Check out our FAQ: Checking out Books in the right-hand column of this page.

    Get a Hold of a Book that's Checked Out or Not Available

    Help! The book I need isn't here - what can I do? If the the book you need us checked out or just not available through UCSD don't give up! You have options. You may 1)  request it from another library or  2) place a hold to put your name on a waiting list for the book.

    1) Find and request books from other nearby libraries. You can use two other library catalogs, Circuit or Melvyl, to find books and request delivery to UCSD (free of charge!).

    Circuit - San Diego area universities catalog Melvyl - UC combined catalog
    Books usually delivered to UCSD Libraries within 48 hours, M-F. Books usually delivered to UCSD Libraries within a week.
    Searches the holdings of UC San Diego, SDSU, USD, Cal State San Marcos and the San Diego County Library system. Searches the holdings of all 10 University of California campuses plus libraries worldwide.


    Link to Circuit and Melvyl from your search results in the UCSD library catalog. Look for the links on the right-hand side of the page:



     2) Get on a waiting list for the UCSD copy:

    Getting a copy from another library is generally the fastest strategy but another option is to add your name to a waiting list for the UCSD copy by placing a hold request.

     Placing a hold request prevents the person with the book from renewing it. In some cases it may also shorten the due date so that person must return the book sooner. Once the book is returned the next person on the list will be notified that the book is on hold for them.

    To place your hold request just look for the request button in the online catalog:  


    Tip: You will need the barcode on your student ID/Library Card for all of these services. For Circuit and to place a hold request on the UCSD copy you will also need a PIN.

    To learn how to set up and use your PIN go to the My Library Account tab at the top of this page.


    FAQ: Checking Out Books

    Where do I go?

    Check out books at the main circulation desk in each library building. In Geisel it's the one across from the entry doors. If the line is long, or if you're more of a do-it-yourself person, use the Self-Checkout machines:


    What do I need?

    UCSD ID card is your library card; you will need it to check out books.

    Your Student ID card = Library card

    If you have a hosptial ID badge instead of the typical campus ID, please stop by the Biomedical Library and we can add a barcode sticker to your hospital ID.  You will need to barcode for some of our services like interlibrary loan and My Library Account. 


    How long can I have the book?

    Lending times will vary between libraries, but for books from the Biomedical Library, the loan period is 4 weeks and it can be renewed up to three times.

    How can I renew my books?

    Most library material (excluding course reserves) may be renewed online, over the phone, or in-person.

    Learn More About e-Books

    Use Roger to find e-Books the library owns.  Books in both print and electronic format are included in the online catalog. The largest number of e-Books are on science-related topics, but an increasing number of Social Science and Humanities e-Books are also available.   

    View a 2-minute tutorial demonstrating how to search for e-Books in the catalog. 

    Use the libraries subject specific lists of e-books:

     Science & Engineering  Biomedical Library
     Social Science & Humanities  Selected e-Book Collections


    Our e-books come from different companies that have different policies about their use.  Check out this e-Book overview, which includes help in printing, downloading, and terms of use information.