UC Berkeley Library

Frequently Asked Questions

Content section: 

FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

How do I use the call numbers to find a book in the stacks?

Books and journals are arranged on our shelves according to the Library of Congress (LC) classification system. Please see the guide How to Read Call Numbers.

How do I pay my library fines/fees online?

  1. Go to http://oskicat.berkeley.edu.
  2. Click on the “My OskiCat” link and log in.
  3. After logging in, click on the unpaid fines and bills link.
  4. Click on the Pay Now button to get a summary of the charges. Users can select all or individual invoice(s) to pay. Please note that partial payment of an individual charge cannot be made.
  5. Click the Pay Now button to access the PayPal website to enter credit card/personal information and complete the transaction. Once payment is approved a confirmation window will open. An email message with receipt will be sent to the user’s email address.
  6. Close the confirmation window and return to the fines to be paid page.
  7. Refresh the page to have payment reflected on the screen. Please note that PayPal will notify you if there is an error in the processing of payment.

How can I change my email address in my OskiCat account?

UCB faculty, staff and students:
Update your entry in the CalNet Directory, in two places:

  • Edit Person Information
  • Edit Address Information

IMPORTANT: Do not update your information through My OskiCat; this information will be overwritten by updates to the CalNet Directory.

Library cardholders: update your email address via My OskiCat.

How can Berkeley patrons request material from Stanford via the Research Library Cooperative Program (RLCP)?

UC Berkeley graduate students, faculty, and academic staff have special access to Stanford's library collections through the Research Library Cooperative Program.  However, OskiCat does not allow UC Berkeley users to make direct requests for material from the Stanford catalog. 

When you want to submit a request for an item in Stanford's library catalog, open our Research Library Cooperative Program page.  It provides information on the program, and links to the Stanford library catalog and to the request form.

Use the citation you find in Stanford's catalog to complete the RLCP request form.

How do I add the catalog information for the items I already have checked out to the "My List" section on OskiCat? This is useful if I need this information after I have returned books to the library.

Once you are logged in to My OskiCat you can view the entire inventory of items you have checked out. Click on the title of an item in your inventory and save it using "Save Records" button. Return to your inventory to add more items this way (unfortunately, you can't add several items at once from the list of checked out items). Once you save one or more items, you can click the "View Saved" button and add titles to a new or saved list by clicking the "Save to My Lists" button. In My OskiCat, view "My Lists" to see the lists you have created.

I am an emeritus UCB faculty member, and in My OskiCat, the Inventory screen lists a date for the expiration of my library privileges - why? So far as I know there is no expiration date for faculty library privileges. Please clarify.

In the case of emeritus faculty, the expiration date is something of an automatically renewed "placeholder" that denotes an ongoing appointment -  it exists more for our finite term users such as alumni, CA residents and students from other universities whose accounts actually do expire.The expiration you see as an emeritus faculty will move forward in congruence with every new semester to always stay approximately two years into the future.

OskiCat requires that all users have some finite expiration date in their accounts.

Can I use Zotero to save citations from OskiCat or Melvyl?

When you want to capture a reference in Zotero from a library catalog such as OskiCat or Melvyl:

  1. After completing your search, click on the full record of the item so that it is fully displayed on the page as a single entity.
  2. Open Zotero.  Three large windows will appear.  The first at the far left contains your library collections (where you create and store file folders).  The second is where individual references or "titles" are displayed.  The third is where the elements of the citation are displayed, and also offers the opportunity to annotate citations.
  3. To add a citation, go to the URL box at the top of the page.  If it’s a book, you should notice a tiny blue book icon located after the URL.  Other icons appear for different media.
  4. Click on that icon and the citation will automatically appear in the far right field of Zotero.

Visit the Zotero site for documentation, support, and tutorials.

How do I find reserve materials for my classes?

You can use OskiCat to search for books and other items on course reserve. Click on the Course Reserves tab at the top of the screen, and then enter the department and course number OR your instructor's name. To retrieve the item you're looking for, write down its library location and call number. At most UCB libraries, reserves are kept behind the circulation desk - give the call number to a desk staffer, who will retrieve it for you. Your Cal 1 Card is your library card, which you will need to check the item out.

Do I have to capitalize 'AND' and 'OR' when I'm searching article databases and library catalogs? That seems tedious.

Definitely not - catalogs, search engines, and databases are not usually case sensitive, so lowercase 'and' and 'or' searching is fine (along with 'not', these words are known as 'Boolean operators'). You actually don't need to capitalize much of anything when you're searching, including proper names and nouns. In this case, ignoring grammar can save a lot of time.

I heard that the City Arts & Lectures program archive is available through the Library. How do I access it?

As mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle, the UC Berkeley Library has created an online archive of City Arts & Lectures. Under revised terms of our license agreement, only current Cal students, faculty, and staff members can access them.

To call up a list of the programs, go to our OskiCat library catalog and search: city arts and lectures. Click on the title of a program, then look for the link labeled "Restricted to UCB".  Clicking on this link should start the program using RealPlayer software. Cal students, faculty, and staff wishing to listen to these programs using off-campus computers should have either the Virtual Private Network (VPN) software or the proxy server setting active. For more information on these options, see connect from off-campus.

Read this Library News article for troubleshooting tips and more information.

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