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ESL Resources: Getting Started

Foothill College Library

Semans Library

Fall, Winter, & Spring Hours
Mon – Thur   7:45 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Fri     7:45 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sat & Sun   Closed

Summer Hours
Mon – Thur   7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Fri – Sun   Closed

The Library is closed during all college holidays and breaks.

Reference Desk
(650) 949-7608

Ask a Librarian

Circulation & Reserve
(650) 949-7611

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This guide was created to help you find English as a Second Language (ESL) library and Web resources. Click on the tabs above to find information on Reading, Writing, Listening, Speaking, Vocabulary & Grammar, Citizenship, and TOEFL.

Using Foothill College Library

Foothill OwlYour Library Card

Your current Student Photo ID (your OwlCard or DASB card) is used as your library card and is required for all library transactions. You can obtain your ID at the Smart Shop (room 2016) in the Campus Center.

Checkout and Renewal

Books may be checked out for three weeks and may be renewed twice online. ESL books may be checked out for three weeks and renewed twice online; further renewals must be done in person. Periodicals may be checked out for one week and renewed twice; the current issue of a periodical may not be checked out, however. Reference books and newspapers may not be checked out. You may renew materials in the library at the Circulation Desk or use your library account online to renew them.

Placing a Hold

If the library catalog shows that a book you want is checked out, you can place a hold on it. From the results list, click on Details and then look for the Place Hold link in the lefthand column.

Return of Materials

Items may be returned to the staff at the Circulation Desk, to the book return slot at the Circulation Desk, or to the outside book return. Please do not return reserve materials to the outside book return when the library is open; return them to the staff at the Reserves Desk.

Reserve Textbooks

Please check the Reserves Desk for materials placed on reserve by your instructor (such as textbooks, workbooks, etc.). Loan periods for these materials vary, usually from one or two hours to one day. Please note, you must be registered at Foothill to borrow reserve materials.

Fines for Late Materials

Items checked out from the circulating stacks area are fined 25¢ per day. Fines for reserve materials are $1 per hour, and accrue even when the library is closed.

Fines for Lost Materials

If you lose any library material (other than items on reserve), you will be charged a flat fee for each lost book. If a reserve book is lost, you will be charged the price of the book at the bookstore. The lost book fee for ESL books is $25 per book.

Computer Use

Computer workstations are available in the library to conduct research using the online catalog, databases, and the Internet. You may use any available computer. 


Wifi is available in the library. The wireless network name is College Wifi. To log in, launch a browser and sign in using your 8-digit student ID and the password you use for MyPortal. NOTE: This is an secured connection.


There are two copiers in the library. The cost for copying is 15¢ a page.

Off-Campus Access

For off-campus access to the online databases, journals, and eBooks, use your eight-digit student ID (as shown in the image below).

You can also renew your books online from home.

off-campus screen shot