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Frequently Asked Questions

Content section: 

FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

Is there one search box I can use to search all databases to find articles on my topic?

The Start your search tool on the Library homepage will search many library-licensed article databases as well as OskiCat and other important library collections. It doesn’t include everything though, and we encourage more advanced researchers to use the subject-specific databases that best represent their research topic.

Does the Library have a charger for my cell phone or tablet?

A universal charger that works with all current cell phone models and tablets is available in the Moffitt Library floor 3, where you'll find the public computers.

Can I page a book for pick-up at the Circulation Desk? (Online Paging)

Yes, you can submit online requests for circulating items available at one campus library to be retrieved and held for pick-up at the Circulation Desk of that library or another campus library of your choice. 

What is online paging?
A "page" is a request for library staff to retrieve library items from our stacks and have them held for you at a Circulation Desk.

Who can place a page?
Anyone who can check out items from the UC Berkeley Libraries can place a page request (i.e., all current patrons with borrowing privileges).  Anyone with an active UCB Library borrowing card (UCB faculty, staff, and students with current IDs, but also alumni and others who have purchased cards) may request library materials.

How do I request a page from a UC Berkeley Library?
Click the Request button at the top of the item's record in OskiCat. Then log into MyOskiCat and follow the prompts.

What items can I have paged?
You may request non-reserve items that can be checked out of a library for more than two days.  Sorry, we cannot page items from Reference, Rare Books, Reserves or non-circulating items (such as items whose status reads "Missing," or  “Library Use Only"). You will know if an item can be paged by the presence or absence of a Request button on the OskiCat record or by the “No Requestable Items Are Available” message.

What if the item is checked out?
If the item is checked out, you can still use the Request link or button. We will recall the item from the patron who has it checked out, who will then have a week to return the item. When the item is returned, we will notify you that it is ready to be picked up. We will keep the item on hold at the Circulation Desk for you for 7 days.

You may also be able to request books that are checked-out or unavailable at UC Berkeley using Melvyl or our ILL Service.

How many items can I request to be paged?
UC Berkeley faculty and staff can have up to 40 total holds/pages/recalls at a time; alumni and others who have purchased borrowing privileges can have up to 20 holds/pages/recalls. Undergraduates are allowed up to 20 holds/pages/recalls.  Additional requests are canceled by the system.

How long will it take to process my request?
Requests generally will be fulfilled within 3 business days.  If you need an item sooner than three business days, you should go directly to the owning library and check it out in person.

How will you notify me when my item is ready?
The library will send you an email notification when the item you requested is ready to be picked up at the Circulation Desk. We will also notify you if your request is canceled. Requests may be canceled for a variety of reasons, such as when the item can't be located in the library, the item cannot be checked out to you, or you have exceeded your item request limit. Communication is by email, so check your library record to make sure the email address we have on file for you is correct.

How long will the item be held for me?
Items are kept on hold shelves for seven days, beginning on the date you receive our email notice that it is ready for pickup. After seven days the item is returned to the stacks or made available to another patron who may have placed a hold on it.

Where do I pick up my items?
At the Circulation Desk of any one of 24 locations: Anthropology, Bioscience, Business, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, East Asian, Education/Psychology, Engineering, Environmental Design, Ethnic Studies, Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS), Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS), Lawrence Berkeley Labs, Main (Gardner) Stacks, Math/Statistics, Moffitt, Morrison, Music, Newspapers & Microforms, Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF), Optometry, Physics/Astronomy, Public Health and Social Research.  A UC Berkeley library card (Cal1) is required for all check-outs and ID privileges are non-transferable.

Questions? Problems? Please contact Circulation Desk staff or use the “Contact us” form on the library’s website.

How can students add money to their Cal1Cards with cash, in person, not using the online credit card purchase option?

Go to Housing Cashier's Office, located on the second floor at 2610 Channing Way to add money to your Cal1Card debit account in person. Accepted forms of payment are cash, check, and credit card. Hours of operation are 10:00am to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday. For questions, call (510) 642-1524 or e-mail hsgcashiers@housing.berkeley.edu.

See this Cal 1 Card page for more information.

How can non-affiliated users who need dissertations from NRLF (308t) that are not in the Digital Dissertations database go about getting access to the original dissertation?

Original printed Berkeley dissertations [308t] are restricted, Library-use-only items, so patrons need to request them at the circulation desk of the owning library. The requested item will arrive at the owning library within 2 working days, and can be viewed or scanned in the building.

Dissertations cannot be viewed at the Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF) because they are restricted for use at the owning library only.

Patrons who plan to be on campus for only one day may contact the circulation desk of the owning library 2 days in advance of their visit, to request that the dissertation be brought to campus. Circulation desk and library phone numbers can be found on a library's homepage.

For more information see the FAQ: Can members of the public access materials from NRLF?

Does the browser have to accept even third-party cookies?

Yes. For the duration of your proxy session, your browser will need to accept all cookies, in order to ensure normal operation and prevent unauthorized access to licensed resources.

If you have configured your browser to block third-party cookies, you may see an error message from the proxy indicating you need to enable cookies, or you may experience unexpected failures because requests for javascript, stylesheets, or images were disallowed.

If you're concerned about the privacy implications of allowing all cookies, please consider the following approaches:

  • Configure your browser to delete cookies on exit, and exit at the end of each web browsing session. You can also delete cookies manually whenever you like. Here are instructions for Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Safari for iPad.
  • Use a different browser when you access licensed resources. Configure it to use the proxy, and to accept all cookies.
  • In a browser that supports profiles, like Firefox, configure one profile for proxy use with all cookies allowed, and one for other use.
  • Instead of the proxy server, use the VPN (Virtual Private Network) system.

How long can I borrow a library laptop?

Laptops and iPads are available for four-hour loans, with one renewal. Please see the Electronic Devices Lending Policy for more information.

Can I reserve a laptop to check-out ahead of time?

Library laptops and iPads are available at Moffitt Library, Social Research Library and the Engineering Library on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can check their availability in OskiCat: