Information Resources  {SF State Bulletin 2012 - 2013}

Image: San Francisco State University seal on a gold background

Information Resources: Library, Academic Technology and Information Technology


Academic Technology

Web Site:


The Academic Technology unit supports and advances effective learning, teaching, scholarship, and community service with technology. Academic Technology:

  • Actively collaborates to provide universally accessible solutions
  • Researches, implements, promotes, and evaluates innovations and best practices
  • Develops expertise and competencies through training, consultations, and professional development
  • Designs, equips, maintains, and supports virtual and physical learning environments


There are 4 core areas of service within Academic Technology:

  • Online Teaching and Learning delivers SF State’s Learning Management System iLearn, ePortfolios, Course Streaming, web conferencing, and other online services and workshops.
  • Media Distribution and Support provides audiovisual equipment for teaching, support through training and troubleshooting, and access to more than 17,000 films and videos.
  • Learning Spaces constructs and maintains more than 100 electronically enhanced classrooms, meeting rooms, and lecture theaters across campus, as well as 2 experimental classrooms.
  • Creative Services provides assistance with graphics, posters, photos, videoconferencing and teleconferencing.


Consultations and recommendations on technical specifications for grant proposals are available to the campus community.


Online Teaching and Learning

Online Teaching and Learning continues to grow at San Francisco State University. Today's students need SF State to accommodate flexible schedules, alternative course locations, different learning preferences, various levels of background preparation, unequal access to technology, and much more. Using the online environment can improve curricular and co-curricular success, by allowing faculty and students to share files, to interact and collaborate, and to assess progress as students, teachers, and experts in our disciplines. Currently, Academic Technology leads and coordinates development, training, and support for several different online teaching and learning tools, including:


iLearn ( is SF State’s supported learning management system, which allows faculty, students, staff, and community groups to share course or project materials, facilitate interaction opportunities, and assess performance in many ways. Increasing numbers of faculty and staff use iLearn to coordinate committee work, funded projects, community service learning interactions, and more. The iLearn home page lists the latest announcements and system status, useful tips and tricks for using iLearn, and links to help and technical support resources for both students and faculty.


CourseStream ( is an online environment which provides a variety of streaming media options to students enrolled in certain large classes. Students can view a live webcast, with synchronized PowerPoint slides and video recorded lecture, or review the archive in webcast or podcast format. Students can also search an entire semester of lectures by keyword and then jump right to a specific point in a video clip for easy review.


ePortfolios ( are electronic portfolios of student and faculty work, which provide new opportunities for assessing achievement and learning outcomes over time, as well as presenting an evolution of work in response to interactions with instructors, mentors, and classmates. ePortfolios are also being actively used by students to connect with and further their career development.


Online Teaching and Learning responds to emerging needs with new technologies and approaches that enable engaging teaching and learning experiences both in and out of the classroom. Online meeting spaces with web-based video conferencing (e.g., Elluminate) allow students to participate in interactive class meetings from home, work, or other off-campus locations. Online collaborative software, (e.g. ThinkTank), facilitates 100% student participation in brainstorming, critical thinking, peer review, and other interactive exercises. Plagiarism detection software, (e.g. Turnitin), allows students to check their written work for proper citation before submitting it to an instructor. More needs and solutions, such as podcasting, will continue to emerge each year.


Media Distribution and Support

Media Distribution and Support (“Distribution”) provides faculty with formatted media and technical equipment to meet their classroom and other instructional purposes. The University media collection includes over 20,000 videotapes, DVDs, laserdiscs, CD-ROMs, films, and multimedia kits. Academic Technology acquires these materials based on faculty input and provides a web catalog of all holdings at <>. This is the major university collection, though separate film and video archives exist in the University Library. Library Media Services, built and maintained by the Library and AT, provides students and faculty with access to both digital and analog video and computer tools, and with a cable television connection to all types of media held by the unit.


Equipment provided by AT to faculty in support of classroom instruction includes laptop computers, video projectors, multimedia integrated carts, slide projectors, audio and videotape recorders, video presentation carts, student response systems (clickers), and digital cameras. A complete listing is available at our distribution web site ( AT distributes and maintains media and equipment either over the counter, through requested delivery & pick up, or via Cablecast.


Although the Library provides the core technological services for students, AT also works with students by advising them at the distribution counter, answering their technical questions, and showing them various types of equipment. AT also shows students how to set up the equipment they want to use for their presentations. AT provides a valuable service to students when advising them to bring in their laptops to determine their compatibility with our LCD projectors and troubleshooting their problems before their presentations.


Learning Spaces

Academic Technology currently oversees and maintains 100 enhanced classrooms, 6 enhanced meeting rooms, and 2 enhanced theaters. AT plans, designs, builds, installs, and maintains instructional electronic equipment throughout the campus. The campus television network, electronic classrooms, and mobile electronic teaching platforms are examples of services provided by this area. AT also has a comprehensive electronic/optic/mechanical facility for equipment fabrication, maintenance, and repair.


AT designs, installs, operates, and maintains all radio and television microwave links for the University, including C-band, Ku-band, and DBS satellite connections, an extensive campus cable television network, and a series of teleconference facilities across the campus. Using these services, faculty experiment with new teaching strategies; participate with their classes in satellite-based seminars; and both originate and receive distance education programming from around the state, the nation, and the world. To learn more about these services, visit


Creative Services

Faculty use AT’s creative services to create media to meet their classroom instructional needs using a wide variety of resources, including digital video and photography, computerized graphics, and virtual environments. This media is used to develop self-teaching videotape modules, distance education on-line courses, multimedia packages, and Power Point classroom presentations. Continuing support for faculty using slides, overhead transparencies, and charts is available. Video streaming, video conferencing, and teleconferencing are also supported in this area.


Division of Information Technology

Web Site:


The Division of Information Technology (DoIT) offers a wide range of technology services to the campus community: Internet/e-mail accounts, 24-hour computing lab, help desk support, campus-wide software licenses, and on-line services via the web. Students have access to on-line registration, grades, financial statements, class schedule searches, class schedules, address changes, transcripts, and Internet/e-mail account requests. Internet/e-mail accounts can be used for e-mail, dial-in modem access, publishing a personal web page, programming course work, and on-line research. Additional instructional computing tools are available to students in support of curricular activities provided through agreements with other CSU campuses: social science database archives, business databases, geographic information systems, etc. Some of the current campus-wide software licenses DoIT distributes include Microsoft Office and Visual Development Tools, Oracle databases and application development tools, and anti-virus software. Faculty have access to on-line class rosters which list student names, e-mail addresses, web page links, and some prerequisite information. DoIT also provides instructional computing support to faculty requiring on-line course work, video streaming, database administration, specialized IT training for classes, and administering listservs.


The John F. True 24-hour computing lab allows students to have access to computing resources with connectivity to the Internet and standard software applications. In total, over 1,500 PCs and Macintoshes are available to students, supported by the colleges at SF State. Many are general purpose computing labs, offering standard software applications; others are specialty labs, with discipline-specific software ( Over 300 dial-in modems provide remote access for the campus community. All classrooms, computer labs, and on-campus housing have high-speed network access. There are a number of computer workstations on campus designed to meet the needs of students with various kinds of disabilities.


The Division of Information Technology offers free short courses and workshops throughout the year to faculty, staff, and students on basic, intermediate, and advanced skills in computers--from word processing and spreadsheets to graphics, databases, and web pages. In addition to the courses, technical assistance is provided via the web (, e-mail (, phone (415) 338-1420, and walk-in (ADM 110).


Administrative functions within the division support the technology infrastructure that is key to running the University. In addition to the areas named above, there are staff which enhance and maintain the intercampus networking, Internet/e-mail servers, web application development, telephone services, campus-wide administrative systems (student information, financial and human resources), data center operations, and equipment services.


The J. Paul Leonard Library

Web Site:


The mission of the J. Paul Leonard Library (JPLL) is to empower its university constituency with lifelong learning skills to identify, find, evaluate, use, and communicate information in promotion of excellence in scholarship, knowledge, and understanding. To fulfill its mission within the context of the missions of San Francisco State University (SF State) and the California State University (CSU) system, the library is committed to the following goals:

  • Collaborating with departmental faculty in incorporating information competence into the curriculum to ensure that all SF State graduates are competent in locating, retrieving, organizing, critically evaluating, analyzing, synthesizing, and communicating information in a cohesive, logical, and ethical manner;
  • Creating a learning environment that promotes study, research, and scholarly interaction in the context of a diverse campus community;
  • Supporting excellent teaching and learning by providing equally for all university constituents on-site and remote access to relevant materials in support of the curriculum in any format, whether owned by or at JPLL or elsewhere;
  • Encouraging through collections and access exploration of the broadest spectrum of viewpoints, constructs, cultures, beliefs, and methodologies;
  • Evaluating, selecting, and teaching information sources and search strategies relevant to the SF State curriculum;
  • Providing leadership to the University community in exploring and incorporating changing information technologies and formats;
  • Supporting an understanding and appreciation of diversity through collections, programs, and instruction; and through recruitment and retention of diverse faculty and staff;
  • Preserving cultural heritage through unique primary source materials;
  • Promoting, supporting, and encouraging the transfer and sharing of information and knowledge within the broader community, and the sharing of intellectual and creative resources locally, regionally, and internationally.


The J. Paul Leonard Library collections number over four million items, including books, periodicals, electronic resources, government publications, microforms, audio-visual media, computer software, and maps. Electronic resources include electronic full-text journals, e-books, and databases used to locate journal articles and reference information. Information about these materials is accessible via the library’s online catalog and the Library’s web site.


Computer stations on campus offer access to the Library’s online catalog, electronic resources and other information available on the Internet. Computers and quiet and group study areas are available to students during extended hours. Off-campus access to the library’s electronic resources is available to the campus community at any time once you have chosen a Library PIN.


At the Information and Research Assistance service points, library faculty and staff offer advice on library research and assistance using library resources. Appointments may be made with subject specialists for research advice on term papers and similar projects.


ADA Compliance: the J. Paul Leonard Library’s recent expansion and renovation follows universal design principles.


Borrowing: students may borrow from the library's main collection and many of its specialized collections by presenting their OneCard (university identification card). Neither the card nor books borrowed on it may be transferred to another person. Loss of a student ID or change of address should be reported immediately to the library registration desk and to the Registrar's Office. Students from other CSU campuses may borrow books directly from the J. Paul Leonard Library if they present a current CSU identification card and register with JPLL to obtain a special borrower’s card.


Borrowing from Other Libraries: you may request items such as books, dissertations, and copies of journal articles not available at this library. Register for a Library PIN to use the LINK+ service; register for ILLiad for all other requests.


Friends of the J. Paul Leonard Library: established in 1980 to promote the love of books, strengthen relationships between the University and the community, and to raise funds beyond those available in the regular budget for library services. Membership is open to SF State students, faculty, staff, and community adults. Privileges include borrowing books and use of many library services. The Friends maintain a book sale room and accept used books and other donations.


Government Publications: the Library is a selective government depository housing federal, state, international, and local government publications. Most government publications are included in the library’s online catalog. For other online sources, check the Library web site under Find Government Information.


Information Literacy: the library administers the Basic Information Competence Requirement that must be fulfilled by undergraduate students who entered SF State before fall 2012 before graduation. Students can meet this requirement by completing OASIS: Online Advancement of Student Information Skills, a web-based tutorial available at, or by completing library courses or programs recognized by the Library as equivalencies.


The library also offers course-related instructional sessions, individual research advice, and research guides by subject.


Media & Equipment Distribution: provides access to the library’s media collection such as videotapes, compact discs, audiotapes, and computer software.

Computers and Digital Media Services: Production equipment is available for digital video editing. The Study Commons and Research Commons feature computer workstations for general use and offers access to printing and scanning, the Internet, and a variety of software applications. Computers are available for student use; university ID is required.


Periodicals, Microforms, Reference Sources, Maps and Atlases, Circulating Books: are available in open collections and from the Library Retrieval System on request.


Reserve Materials: the Reserve collection provides materials in high demand for assigned readings in courses. Articles and other short readings are available through links on course pages in iLearn. Print materials on reserve are available at the Library's Book Checkout and Pick up desk. Non-print materials on reserve are available at Media & Equipment Distribution.


Special Collections and Archives:

University Archives and Special Collections houses archival material about the history of San Francisco State University, the Archer Collection of Historic Children's Books, and other rare or unusual materials.


San Francisco Bay Area Television News Archive

The San Francisco Bay Area Television News Archives includes KQED and KPIX historical film and video footage as its core.


The Frank V. de Bellis Collection of The California State University is a library-museum representing the civilization of ancient and modern Italy, particularly in the areas of history, literature, fine arts, and music. Holdings include rare books, music scores, archival sound recordings, manuscripts, periodicals, microfilms, art prints, artifacts, and coins.


The Labor Archives and Research Center, collects, organizes, preserves, and makes accessible the records documenting the lives of working men and women and their labor organizations in the Bay Area.


The Sutro Library collection is open to all citizens of California and includes some 140,000 volumes and 40,000 historical pamphlets. Among its collection strengths are natural history, Mexicana, Shakespeareana, records of the Pacific voyages of discovery, the history of printing, genealogy, and local history.


More information about the library, including descriptions of services and policies, is available via the library web site:



SF State Home