Regular Hours
Mon-Thurs: 8am-10pm
Fri: 8am-6pm
Sat: 12pm-6pm
Sun: 12pm-10pm
Summer Hours (2011)
Mon-Thurs: 8am-8pm
Fri: 8am-6pm
Sat: Closed
Sun: 1pm-5pm
UC Davis Site

News: As of August 2009, it was announced that the PSE Library would be closing by July 2011 and the collections moved into Shields Library — and in order to make room for this the Biological & Agricultural Sciences collections will be moved out of Shields and into the Health Sciences Library, which is over by the stadium & Vet-Med buildings. Here's the Aggie story. This means all the sciences & engineering books would move farther away from the engineering & science departments, and the PSE study space would be gone. If you have any comments about this plan, please leave them on the library administration blog or email The PSE library could really use support from the students & faculty that use it.

update: As of September 2011 there are no immediate plans to close, but there hasn't been a total reprieve either (no plans to definitely not close ever). Please come in and visit the library, and support is still very welcome!

The Physical Sciences and Engineering Library, commonly shortened to just the Physical Sciences Library is home to all the technical volumes that were too cool for Shields Library. Located just south of the Chemistry building and East of Roessler, this is the best library to study in if you need absolute silence. Here you will find engineering students doing what they do best: being quiet and getting their work done. A sunlight color spectrum lights the stairwell during the day. There used to be a PSE Phone payphone out front. The building was completed in 1971.

Subjects in the PSE library include physics, astronomy, engineering, chemistry and geology.

  • The Basement has physics & astronomy books & journals, and some chemistry
  • The 1st floor books are all reference books (don't check out); ask a librarian if you need help with these. These include books of materials properties, spectra, ASTM standards, and many more... The reference desk & circulation desk (see below) are also on this floor as are most of the computers.
  • The 2nd floor has geology and chemistry books & journals
  • The 3rd floor has engineering books & journals

The math and computer science books are on the 3rd floor of Shields; the PSE Library ran out of room to house them. Current periodicals (technical journals, car magazines, etc.) are located in the basement.

To answer the question that always gets asked of me while I am sitting at the front desk: the bathrooms are located on every floor, except the first floor, behind the stairs! Apparently the only reason most of you enter this library is to take a leak.PatrickSing


Contact the PSE circulation staff (if you have a question about your account, fines, or similar)

Contact the PSE reference staff (if you have a reference question or need help finding something)

  • (530) 752-0459
  • IM: visit our webpage at to chat with a librarian via Meebo when librarians are at the reference desk. Note: this chat goes directly to the PSE library unlike the one from the main library page.
  • If you want to know who the librarian for a particular subject is, there's a list here. They are all happy to help you do research and find materials — just email. You can even make a private consultation appointment if you are working on a big research project.
  • Reference Desk hours are 11-5 Monday to Friday during Fall quarter 2011. Come to the desk for help with anything library-related.


It also has some pretty sweet bathrooms (and by sweet, I mean eat-my-carl's-jr.-off-the-bowl clean). Proof that the official name includes Engineering


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The car magazines get sent to the PSL (or were when I was in school) if you are looking for some light reading between classes. —RussBowlus

Great Place to study, always lots of space... I mean, don't study here, its a terrible place. —KyleLanderhoffis

2007-02-27 21:29:27   The basement of this place is the best place on campus to study. It's also amusing to gawk at some of the phonebook sized PhD theses down there when boredom and/or procrastination strike. —WilliamLewis

2007-04-17 17:24:09   There is actually an email station in with the computers. This used to be my secret place to check email on campus without having to wait in line, before I got a laptop. —KateBaker

2007-05-31 21:38:21   As of this spring, there are now five email stations — the first five computers on the side nearest the elevator can all access email, MyUCDavis, etc. The other computers still can't, but can be used for Internet access and library research. —PhoebeAyers

2007-07-17 23:51:08   This place seems to be a good place to study, since it is not as busy compared to Shields Library. It is very close to Shields anyways. —JohnWong

2008-01-31 15:06:47   i second on william's basement comment. aside from the strange ambient noises near the very entrance (which just sounds like...weird avant-garde minimalist ambient music) it's one of the quietest and least crowded places to study. there's also a group room downstairs that is only occasionally in use, unlike those in shields. i also affirm the clean bathrooms, and the ones in the basement are single (no stalls just one room) if you're ocd about that kind of thing. i love this place. it's my safe haven between classes. —MiranPark

2008-09-04 22:44:26   the last desk in the south east corner of the third floor has delicious graffiti

whole conversations go on —fredchen

2009-08-25 13:31:18   I understand that the administration has to deal with budget cuts somehow, but I think closing the PSE Library is a big mistake. It's a great asset not only to those in engineering and physical sciences (seriously, it's great to have all those books in one simple location), but also it's just about the best place to study. You never had to worry about having a group table being hella loud or anything. Interesting to note that the Carlson Health Library isn't being shut. In my opinion the PSE library is infinitely more useful that the Health Library (has anyone even seen the archives in the basement or the lack of actual students). I understand that they had to cut something, and I'm not familiar enough with the library administration to suggest anything else that they could. Nevertheless, I still believe closing the PSE Lib. is a big mistake! —pr0me7heu2

I used to work at CHS (Health Sci) and while I can see how it might seem empty to you, it's actually quite heavily used by the vet med students—especially during their finals. One library isn't more important than the other they are just both utilized by different students. The loan department in CHS is also pretty active in scanning and finding articles for profs/doctors. It sucks that any one of the libraries has to be shut down. I'm guessing the viewpoint of the administration is that of the three (Shields, PSE and CHS) two are used primarily by undergrads and one by graduate students. Since Shields is huge and the "main" library PSE got the boot. —OliviaY

Yeah, I was hasty in my generalization. When I've been to the CHS it's been mostly on the weekends and always deserted, but I'm sure the grad students DO take advantage of it. Either way, we're losing a library. —pr0me7heu2

2010-11-30 17:18:14   I've attended a number of schools and I'm currently a Sac State student and via some inter-school bureaucracy I found out I can get a UCD library card and check out books here. As an engineering student this has proved invaluable. The Sac State library has very few engineering books. Many are outdated or lost. UCD has copies of books I can actually check out and use for a few months. In addition, upon first wandering into the PSL, they had signs indicating a station with Legos/Knexs etc for some stress relieving fun in between studying. Can this library get any more awesome? It's sad they're apparently closing it. —EricBrummer

  • Yep, and this goes for UCD students too — if you find yourself in Sac a lot you can also get a reciprocal card for the Sac State library. Of course people in both places can also request books via interlibrary loan — just ask us for info. —PhoebeAyers

2011-06-02 00:10:56   I. Love. This. Place. As a car guy, I spend 90% of my time totally geeking out at the latest automotive/automotive engineering books on the third and basement floors. It sure doesn't hurt that the bathrooms are clean and I swear to God the second floor bathroom is the size of my kitchen. The Legoes out on by the entrance also are great at indulging my inner child. —HarrisonM

  • So glad you like the legos. I think they are pretty sweet too. Happy to take requests for other games/toys too as long as they aren't super expensive. —PhoebeAyers

2011-06-23 13:31:08   What's the word on the street, is the library still closing in July 2011? UCD recently recalled all titles for Staff/Student/Faculty... a prelude to closure? —shraken

  • I haven't heard anything for awhile. Do you mean the recall that happens at the end of every school year, when they tell us to renew or return them? (Faculty books are generally checked out through June 30). Or do you mean a more extensive recall? —CovertProfessor
  • For what it's worth, I was there last weekend and the person working the circulation desk said she hadn't heard anything about the closure for a long time and that it definitely wasn't happening any time soon. None of the books I have out from PSL have been recalled. —JonathanLawton
  • Hey: the recall is one that happens annually; nothing special about that. (We want to make sure you actually still have the books in your possession ;) As for news about closure: the libraries haven't gotten any news either. Due to protests against the closure plan, it was put on hold and referred to a faculty committee who was going to make a recommendation to the Chancellor; the results of that are still murky. The upshot: PSE is open for now, and there are no plans to close in the works! Please come in and visit us, and feel free to stop by a reference desk and chat with a librarian if you have questions. We would love to hear from you, and supportive letters about the library that we can send our bosses/administration are still very much appreciated. —PhoebeAyers