Frequently Asked Questions


What are the library hours?

The library is open every day from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and school holidays.  The library is also closed on some afternoons when there is professional development, but on those days the tutorial center remains open.

What are the passwords for the databases?

The password and username is “mvspartan” for all of the databases. Subscriptions to the databases have been purchased for the exclusive use of the Mountain View High School community.  We recommend using them for research.  They contain articles from magazines and academic journals, as well as excerpts from books, that most often cannot be located for free online.

How can I contact the library?

The best way to contact the library is by email or phone (650-940-4642). 

What are the rules in the library?

All of the school rules apply in the library.  The most important guidelines tend to be the following: 1. The library follows the school cell phone policy.  This means that we should not see or hear phones. 2. Food and drinks are not allowed. (Water is OK.) 3. Be courteous. Keep volume reasonable, pick up after yourself, and push your chair in when you leave. 4. Ask Mr. Jack or Ms. Sedillo if you have questions or need help.

What is the computer policy?

All Mountain View High School students sign a computer use agreement that covers computer use in the library. (You can see the district policy here:   We have software that allows us to monitor library computers, used mainly to keep an eye out for games or obviously inappropriate sites.  Our students are very responsible, so inappropriate sites are almost never an issue.

Does the library have wireless?  Can I use my own laptop?

Yes and yes. Please check in with the librarian for the username and password.

How can I find a good book?

Since the best book is the right one at the right time for the right person, we recommend checking in with the librarian for a personalized recommendation.  Other possibilities include checking out the folder of student book recommendations we keep on file, searching through the list of recommended reading sites on our library webpage, looking over our book displays, and/or browsing through the collection.  There is something interesting out there for everyone. The important thing is to keep looking until you find a book you’ll like.  We don’t believe that anyone truly hates reading; there are simply those who have not yet found a book they like.

Why won’t my teacher let me use Wikipedia as a source? How do you know if a website is trustable?

The short answer about Wikipedia is that it is not considered an authoritative source.  This does not mean that Wikipedia is useless or that everything on Wikipedia is unreliable, but it does mean that you have to be skeptical about it because not everything posted there is trustable.   Remember that the entries are created by users who may not be experts.  Even one of the biggest defenders of the site, founder Jimmy Wales,  has said, ““Be careful how you use Wikipedia.  It really isn’t a trusted source. It really is edited real-time and it could be full of mistakes.”   For most searches, we recommend using the databases instead. The information you find there is from more authoritative sources, which is why we pay for them.  If you have questions, or if you’re interested in the long answer, please ask the librarian.

To figure out if a website is trustable, we recommend using the “Website Credibility Checklists” stored in the documents section of the library webpage and/or asking for help in the library.  

How long can I check out a book?

Book check-outs are good for three weeks.  You may renew a book for an additional three weeks as long as it has not been put on hold. The due date is always stamped on the inside front cover of the book.

What is the fine for a late book?

Since we have concluded that late fees discourage folks from checking out books, there are no fines for overdue materials.   There is, however, a charge for books that are lost or damaged, and holds may be placed on dance tickets, yearbooks, school records, and so on if books are not returned.  And even though there are no late fees, it is important to be conscientious about returning books on time since other people may be waiting to read them.

 How do I make a print?

All of the library computers are connected to the printer.  Once you print, you must pay at the front desk.  Prints cost 10 cents per page.  Money for prints is used to pay for paper and ink.

Do you have a scanner I can use?

Yes. Please inquire at the front desk.

Can I print in color?

Yes, but you must use one of the computers behind the front desk.  Color prints cost 25 cents per page.

Do you take donations?

We welcome donations of all sorts.  Material donations that we cannot use in our collection are generally donated to students or staff. 

Can I request a book?

Yes. We accept recommendations throughout the year.  We request that you read through our book selection criteria and fill out a “Book Request Form.”  Please ask the librarian if you have any questions. 

What is the purpose of the library?

We help with research, literacy, instruction, curriculum, technology, and information literacy. These are our four central goals: 1. Assisting in all aspects of information literacy. 2. Providing materials and instruction to support the curriculum. 3. Helping students to become more competent, fluent, and engaged readers. 4. Creating a safe haven for intellectual freedom.   The overarching aim is to create life-long learners who are ready to meet the informational challenges of the 21st century.  

Where can I make a suggestion?

You may either talk to the librarian or leave suggestions in the suggestion box in the library.  You may also send an email.

Why can’t I talk on my cell phone in the library?

According to the school’s code of conduct policy, cell phone use is only allowed during brunch and lunch during school hours.  That policy also states that “cell phones may not be visible in the classroom, library, theater, or cafeteria.”  We also discourage cell phone use because talking on cell phones can be loud and distracting for students who are trying to focus.  

When is the next bus going to be here?

VTA bus 51 stops at Truman and Bryant throughout the afternoon.  For an updated schedule, either grab a 51 schedule in the library or check here:

How do you become a library TA?

Please ask the librarian.  There is a process that involves talking to the librarian, filling out a questionnaire, and checking in with your counselor.  With few exceptions, the library only accepts one TA per period.  

How do you become a librarian?

Becoming a librarian usually involves graduating from college and then earning a master’s degree in library and information science.  School librarians, also known as library media specialists, are also required to have a teaching credential.  Gaining experience working in a library and/or a school (depending on the type of librarianship you’re interested in) is typically a part of the process.

Can I volunteer in the library?

Of course!  We appreciate help with all sorts of library work. Please check in with the librarian.

What magazines do you have?

We have subscriptions to 62 magazines that are generously paid for by our Foundation.  For a complete list, please contact the library.

Who pays for everything in the library?

Library staff and materials are paid for from a variety of sources, including the school, the Foundation, and various groups, individuals, and special funds.

What do students usually do in the library?

Students study, read, research, work on group projects, chat, get help, search for books, use computers, and find tutoring in the library. Our busiest times are before school, break, lunch, and after school, but students use the library throughout the day with classes and/or during free periods.  Most often, students with free periods who are in the library are doing homework, reading magazines, or working on the computers.

What can I do if the library is crowded and I need a really quiet place to study?

Please ask the librarian.  There are several quiet spots in the library, and we can usually find a place for you.

How can I get help on my assignment?

If you have a research project or another assignment that had something to do with the library or the librarian, please ask Ms. Hashimoto   If you’re looking for tutoring, the best place to start is the tutorial center.

Do you have a lost and found?

Yes. It’s located right behind the rock wall by the library assistant’s desk. We frequently take it to the school lost and found, so please ask in the library if you are missing something.

Why can’t we eat in the library?

The main reason is that food and wrappers don’t mix well with books, computers, and other materials. 

Where are the daily announcements?

We keep the daily announcements posted on top of the shelf where the magazines are located.  It is to your left as you enter the library. 

What if I have another question that I don’t see here?

Please ask!  There are a number of questions that we couldn’t answer in this space, but that doesn’t mean they’re not important.  And new questions spring up all the time.