How do I...?

Off-campus access

Can I access the Library article databases and eBooks from home? Video Tutorial

Yes, absolutely!

When you select an electronic resource, you will be prompted to enter your Butte College email address and Butte College password. Example email for students:

If you have successfully logged in, you will be taken to the electronic item.

If you cannot log in, call the Library at 530-879-4024 or email the Librarian by clicking on the Email a Librarian link.

For help with your password, contact User Support Services at 530-895-2925

I followed the log in instructions for off-campus access, but got the message "wrong username or password." What´s wrong?

There are several possibilities:

  • You are not enrolled in the current semester
  • You have made a typo or entered spaces in your Butte College email address.
  • You have moved but have not updated your new address with Admissions and Records.
  • Your phone number is not current at Admissions and Records.

If any mail sent to you has been returned to Admissions and Records by the post office, you will be temporarily blocked. In this case, you need to update your address and telephone number in MyBC Portal. You should be able to access the Library databases within 48 hours after the update.

A final reason for being blocked is:

You have outstanding fines or fees. Speak with Admissions & Records.

For help with your password, contact User Support Services at 530-895-2925

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Audiovisual materials

Does the Library have CDs, mp3s, videos and DVD's?

The Library does not purchase music, movies, or audio books. Please check with your public library.

However, some educational films can be viewed at the Chico Center Library in Room 219.There are  instructor copies of DVDs on reserve a the Chico Center and Main Campus Reserve Desks. There are in-house viewing stations at both libraries.

There is a small collection of DVDs at Chico Center in Room 219 for faculty check out. Instructors may borrow audio-visual materials or place them on reserve so students can view them in-house. Students can ask an instructor to check out a film  if they would like one for in-class presentations.

Faculty can find any  DVD in our catalog, click the title, then click the Place Hold button for pick up at Main or CHC. We can also send videos through intercampus mail; contact Dan Buzan at 530-879-4366 or email: 

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Borrowing Butte College Library materials

Do I need a library card to check out books?

No, the Butte College Library does not issue library cards. Current students, staff, and faculty can check out library materials by showing any valid picture ID, and letting us know your Butte College ID number.

How many books can I check out, and how long can I keep them? Video Tutorial

A student can check out up to 10 items for 3 weeks. Items not requested by another person can be renewed online or by telephone at 530-879-4017 prior to the due date. Faculty can check out up to 40 items for 3 weeks.

Items in the Reserve Collection can be checked out from 1 hour to 7 days: the loan period is set by the instructor. You may not renew reserve items or place holds on them.

Neither print newspapers, magazines, and journals nor books in the Reference Collection can be checked out.

You can find the full circulation and reserves policies under Library → Policies.

Where do I return books after hours??

There is an after hours book drop outside the Main Campus library entrance.There is a book drop in front of the Chico Center building, right next to the bicycle rack. Regular circulating books can be returned to either book drop.

All reserve items need to be returned to the desk they were borrowed from during our open hours. Main Campus reserve books need to be returned to the Main Campus Library Circulation & Reserves desk. Reserve books belonging to the Chico Center Library need to be returned to the Reserves desk in Room 219.

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Butte College Library materials and collections

What kind of materials does the Library have for students and staff?

The Butte College Library currently has over 70,000 print books, 28,000 eBooks, 27,000 electronic periodicals, and 164 print periodicals and newspapers, as well as other specialized collections. Over 700,000 open source eBook and eJournal titles are also accessible through the catalog.

  • Reference collections (Main & CHC 219)
  • Course reserves collections (Main & CHC 219)
  • A circulating collection at Main campus (you can place a hold to pick up the book at Main or CHC Library)
  • A law collection (Main 3rd Floor, non-circulating - not searchable in catalog)
  • A sustainability collection (Main 1st Floor)
  • A light reading, ESL, and literacy collection (Main 1st Floor)
  • Print magazines, journals, and newspapers (Main 1st Floor, non-circulating)
  • A faculty-use only video collection (CHC 219)

Do you have newspapers, magazines and journals in print?

Yes, we have 164 local and national newspapers, magazines, and journals in print. They are located in the Periodicals room on the first floor of the Main Campus library. Journals, magazines and newspapers cannot be checked out, but you can make photocopies (10¢ per copy). There are photocopy machines on the second floor of the Main library.

By the way, we also hold over 27,000 electronic journals, magazines and newspapers you can access online, anytime.

Do you have CDs, cassettes, videos and DVD's?

The Library does not purchase music, movies, or books-on-tape. However, some reserved films can be borrowed and/or viewed at the Chico Center Library Room 219.

Copies of instructor-owned DVDs are available at the reserve desks at Main and Chico Center. There are in-house viewing stations at both libraries.

There is a faculty-use only DVD collection at Chico Center Library. Instructors may borrow audio-visual materials or place them on reserve so students can view them in-house.

Otherwise, please check with your public library.

Can I recommend a book for the Library to purchase?

Yes, you can suggest a purchase by filling in the Book Recommendation Form under Library → Contact us → Recommend a Purchase. Please note that the Library does not purchase textbooks or any audio-visual materials for the collection. For faculty suggestions for multiple titles, please send the Faculty Request Form via intercampus mail.

I am looking for a book that the Library does not have, is there any way I can find it? Video Tutorial

We can look for books and articles for you through our Interlibrary Loan service. Current students, staff, and faculty can request an Interlibrary Loan from other libraries. Books are usually free, and articles are free most of the time. However, the lending library can sometimes (very rarely)  require a fee for the reproduction of an article, 10-20¢ per page.

Please make sure the book or article is not in the catalog or in our article databases before submitting a request.

To learn more about Interlibrary Loan, visit the link under Library → Services → Interlibrary Loan.

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Calculators, headphones, and special equipment

Does the library have calculators?

No. Scientific calculators are available for rent by semester in the Math department (TE).

Does the library have headphones?

Yes! You can check out headphones for library use at the circulation desk. You'll need a picture ID and your Butte College ID number.

Can I watch a VHS or DVD in the library?

Yes! Instructors often put VHS or DVD films on reserve for students, and there are 5 viewing stations at the Main Campus Library, first floor as well as in Chico Center Library (CHC 219).

Do you have equipment for people with disabilities?

Yes! Five computer stations in LB commons have a first priority for students with disabilities, and there are 3 more in LB 206. Chico Center Library in Room 219 also has computers with assistive technology. These computers include:

  • JAWS
  • DragonSpeak Naturally
  • Kurzweil
  • No-cost scanners for use only with the Kurzweil program
  • Track ball mouse
  • Headphones with a built-in microphone

The Main Campus and Chico Center libraries also have book magnifying stations.

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Computers and Internet

Can I bring my laptop to the library and connect to the Internet?

Yes, if you have wireless capability. All of the campus is a wireless hotspot!

Use your Butte College email address ( and your MyBC password to log into the wireless service.

Contact the Student Technical Support Helpdesk at 530-895-2925 for help.

Can I charge my electronic device in the library?

Click here for a list of locations where you can charge your laptop, tablet, or cell phone battery in the Library. Never unplug any cords already in the socket, and do not string cords across walkways for safety's sake.

Can I print to the library printers from my laptop?

No. You'll need to email the document to yourself or save it to a portable drive. Then use one of our lab computers to open and print it.

What programs do you have on your computers?

The Library has 73 computers with Internet, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, plus Open Office. We have 5 computers with special software and equipment for people with disabilities: Kurzweil, Jaws and DragonSpeak Naturally. We also have Inspiration software on all Main campus library computers to help you organize your ideas, create outlines, and draft papers.

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Copiers, scanners and printers

Where are the photocopiers and scanners?

The photocopiers and scanners are located in the Reference department on the second floor of the Main Campus library and in the Chico Center Library (CHC 219). The copiers print in black & white only. Copying and scanning costs 10¢ per page, and the machines only take cash or coins. Copying is permitted in accordance with copyright law.

Do you have a color copier?

The Library does not have a color copier.

Do you have a color printer?

The library does not have a color printer. 

Do you have a public fax?

The library does not have a public fax. You can pay to use the public fax at the Welcome Center in SAS, 1st floor, or go to to fax a scanned document for free.

Do I need a print card to print at the library?

Yes, you need a print card at all labs.

You can load money onto your Bute college ID and use that card for printing from any lab computer. Otherwise, you'll need to purchase a refillable print card, which costs $1.00. Print cards for the computer printers may be purchased at the bookstore, in the library, or in the LRC. Each computer print-out costs an additional 10¢. The print card vending machines only take paper money, no coins or credit cards, and do not give change.

If you need to use a check, credit card, or change to refill a print card or add money to your Butte College ID card, please go to the bookstore.

Can I use a print card or my BC ID to make photocopies or scans?

No. The print card does not work on the copiers or the pay scanners. You will need to use dollars or coins.

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Course reserves: textbooks, course packs, and multimedia for your class

My instructor said I could find materials for class at the library. Do you have textbooks? What are reserves?

Course reserves are textbooks, articles, films and other supplemental materials that instructors place on hold at the Library for their students. Course reserve materials usually have a limited loan period to ensure availability to other students in the class.

Course reserves are located at the Reserves Desk in the Main Campus Library, and in CHC 219. You may make photocopies of reserve materials in accordance with copyright law.

How do I know if my instructor has put a book, textbook, articles or DVD on reserve?

You can check online for reserves (Library → Course Reserves → Search Reserves) or ask at the reserve desk.  If your instructor hasn't put the material you need on reserve, you can make a suggestion to him or her if you like.

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Downloading ebooks

To find eBooks, see this handout.

How do I download an electronic book to my tablet, phone, or computer?

To view your downloaded eBook offline, you need to first download the right app for your device:

PC Computer: Adobe Digital Edition 2.0

Apple or Android: Bluefire Reader

Kindle: Send to Kindle

To download PDFs from Gale:

 See this video or the eBooks handout

To download an eBook from the EBSCOHost eBook Collection:

1. Download Adobe Digital Edition to your computer or laptop.

2. You may have found the EBSCOHost book in the catalog, or you can go to Research → Article Databases → Article Databases A-Z → eBook Collection and search for the book you want to download. 

3. On the Search Results page, click the "Download (Offline)" link located under the book you want to check out.

4. You will need to sign in your EBSCOHost account. Sign in using the link in the pop up box. You can create an EBSCOHost account here if you have not done so already. These links are also on the top right of the EBSCOHost screen.

5. Once you have signed in, you can choose the checkout period from 1 day to 2 days, then click "Checkout & Download."

6. The book will be automatically downloaded to your computer. If you use Firefox, double click on the green arrow at the top right of your browser to retrieve the downloaded file. The file will then be downloaded to Adobe Digital Editions in your computer.

7. The eBook is now checked out to your account. You can view the book offline on your device with Adobe Digital Editions, or you can view the book online by going to your EBSCOHost folder. It will be located under eBook Checkouts in your EBSCOHost folder.

8. The book will be expired by the due date and you will not be able to open it after it has expired. You will be prompted to remove the eBook from the Adobe Digital Editions.

To send a downloaded eBook to Kindle:

1. Download Adobe Digital Edition to your computer or laptop.

2. Download the Send to Kindle application from Amazon to your computer.

3. Follow the steps above to download the eBook to your computer.

4. Launch Adobe Digital Editions, right click on the eBook you want to send to Kindle and choose "Show File in Explorer".

5. You will see the file in your Windows Explorer. Right click the file and choose "Send to Kindle", and click "Send."

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Google Scholar partnership

Butte College has established a partnership with Google Scholar using OpenURL technology to locate our academic journal articles.

You can search the world's academic literature online at Google Scholar includes some peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other academic organizations.

Our partnership allows Google Scholar to determine which electronic journals and papers in the results list are owned by Butte College Library, and then includes special links to articles from those sources when they're available. Look in the results list for "Get full-text@Butte CC" or "Check resources@Butte."

To make these links appear, just access Google Scholar from any Butte College campus, and you'll automatically see the "@Butte" links.

For off-campus access, follow these steps:

1. Open your favorite web browser. If you have cookies blocked, set your browser to accept cookies.

2. Go to:

3. Click on "Settings" under the gear icon at the top right of the page google gear

4. Click  "Library Links"

5. Type "Butte" in the library links box

6. Check the boxes that now appear next to Butte College

7. Click "Save."

8. Start searching with links to your library's resources. You'll see "Get full-text@Butte CC" to the right of our holdings

You will need your user name and password to access these resources from off-campus. Contact the library reference desk at 530-879-4024 if you need help.

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Group study rooms

Who can use the group study rooms?

These rooms are for student use only, and are for use by groups (2 or more persons) of Butte College students.

You may not use these rooms for games, individual use, or group use not related to academic study at Butte College.

Dry erase markers for the study room whiteboards are available for check out at the reference desk.

Main Campus: Groups of 2 or more students can use the 3rd floor study rooms for academic purposes anytime with no need to check-in.  Access is on a first-come, first-serve basis for groups, except for LB 310 which is reserved in advance.

Chico Center: Groups of 2 or more can check in and out at the service desk in CHC 219.

How do I reserve a group study room?

Most of our rooms are available without a reservation, but one room can be reserved in advance.

Main Campus: Groups of 2 or more Butte College students may reserve LB 310 for one study session in advance, for a maximum of 3 hours per week. You must sign into the room and also sign out of the room at the Reference Desk, as it is kept locked when not in use.

You can make a reservation by visiting the Reference desk in person on the second (main) floor of the library. Please see the librarians at the Reference desk.

Chico Center: You can make a reservation for your group of 2 or more students in person at the service desk in CHC 219, or by telephone at 530-879-4366.

Study room policies

  • If you have a reservation, and your group does not arrive within 15 minutes of your reserved time, all reservation(s) will be canceled.
  • The library is not responsible for your personal items. Do not leave items unattended in the room.
  • We reserve the right to reassign the room if left unattended for 15 minutes.
  • You may not reserve or use these rooms for games, individual use, or group use not related to academic study at Butte College.
  • Please, no food or cell phone talking while in the building.


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Reference services and workshops

Do I have to come to the library in person to get help from the librarian?

Not at all...

You can get reference help in various ways:

  • Ask questions by E-mail
  • Call the reference desk 530-879-4024
  • Visit the reference desk in person on the second floor of the Main Campus library, or in Chico Center 219.
  • Chat with a librarian online 24 hours a day.
  • Schedule a consultation session with a librarian if you need extensive help or advice. Write to, call 530-879-4024 (Main Campus)  or call 530-879-4398 (Chico Center).

Go to the Ask a Librarian page to learn more about our reference services.

Are there any workshops on search techniques, term paper research, etc.?

Main Campus library offers Digital Literacy workshops the first two weeks of each semester. These workshops are also available by appointment, write to Campus) or (Chico Center)

The Chico Center Library offers weekly drop-in workshops on various topics for students and faculty, and workshops by appointment, write to

All workshop schedules are online under Library → Learn → Workshops.

Students will receive an attendance slip after the workshop and they may get extra credit from their instructors, if approved in advance. Faculty can earn Flex hours by attending the workshops.

We offer online workshops via the Internet  under Library → Learn → Instruction Videos. We also have a self-paced Research Paper Learning Module that guides you from start to finish, online at Library → Learn → Research Papers.

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Research: finding books and articles

Where do I start if I'm not sure how to do research for a paper or presentation?

You might start with the How to Research a Term Paper handout or use the self-paced Research Paper Learning Module online at Library → Learn → Research Papers.

To learn search techniques, read the Search Strategies handout.

To learn how to cite sources, check the print  APA or MLA Style Guides, or go to Library → Learn → Citations from the links above.

If you'd like to learn in-depth research skills, the College offers two, for-credit Library & Information Science (LIS) courses in support of academic needs and life-long learning.

How do I find books in the Library?

Use the search box for the Library online catalog from our homepage to search for books, eBooks, articles, and videos at Butte and around the world. You can limit your search to books and eBooks using the tabs at the top of the search box. use one or two key words in your search.

How do I find journal, magazine and newspaper articles in the Library?

While you can find many articles using the search box for the entire catalog from the home page, you may get better and more relevant results on your topic by searching the article databases directly. Note that newspaper articles are not generally indexed in the catalog. You'll want to go directly to America's Newspapers from the article database pages.

Go to Library → Research → Article Databases. You can choose a database by subject, name, or provider. Tutorials for the databases are available on this page, or ask for help from a librarian.

There is also an excellent handout on searching the databases online, called Finding Journal Articles.

What are scholarly journals? Where can I find them? Video Tutorial

Scholarly journals are collections of articles written by scholars, researchers or specialists. They are usually published by recognized societies or professional associations for professional and academic audiences.

To learn more about the differences between scholarly journals, magazines, web resources and online article databases, check out the Scholarly Journals handout.

Go to Library → Research → Article Databases. You can choose a database by subject, name, or provider. Proquest, JSTOR, Academic Search Premier, and Omnifile can all be filtered by scholarly/peer-reviewed. Tutorials for the databases are available under Library → Learn → Instruction Videos, or ask for help from a librarian.

I don't know how to find the information for my term paper or presentation. Is there anyone I can ask for help?

You can ask the librarian to help by going to the Reference desk on the second floor of the Main Campus Library, or in the Chico Center Library, Room 219 during regular hours. You can also call the reference desk at 530-879-4024 during our regular hours.

Twenty-four hours a day, any day of the year, you can use our virtual reference chat or email a librarian at

My instructor asked us not to use the Internet for research, does it mean that I shouldn't use the library databases?

When an instructor asks students not to use the Internet for research, they are usually referring to information from the World Wide Web; in other words, any Web pages.

The Library article databases reside on the Internet, but are not generally considered to be Web resources. They are paid subscriptions that are accessed online. These are digital versions of print books, or magazine, news and journal articles or reports.  If you read an article from Time magazine in one of our databases, it is the same article that was published in print last week! Our article database subscriptions are not the kind of "Internet resources" that you might find on the World Wide Web.

But you should always double-check with your instructor if you are in doubt.

Why shouldn't I use the Web? Is it all unreliable information?

The Internet has a tremendous amount of useful, current, and high quality information that cannot be found easily elsewhere. On the other hand, anyone can post a website (billions of them go up and down each day!) Therefore, careful evaluation is needed when using the information found on the World Wide Web.To learn how to evaluate information from Web sites, check out the Critically Evaluating Web Sites handout.

Some instructors discourage use of Web resources because most Web pages do not go through any editorial review process and have no indication of where information was obtained. Often, the reliability and accuracy of the information are questionable. Finally, what was on the Web today may be gone tomorrow (or in 10 minutes)!

If I really need to look up information on the World Wide Web, are there any sites you recommend?

Yes, some Web sites are more reliable than others, such as Web sites from government agencies (.gov) and educational institutions (.edu).

Our librarians have also hand-picked a list of recommended Web sites that may be useful for your information needs. The Web site list is organized by category; go to Library → Research → Web Resources.

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More questions? Send an E-mail to our librarians or call 530-879-4024.