UC Berkeley Library

Frequently Asked Questions

Content section: 

FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

Is there a guide for finding primary sources?

We feature several pages that can help you find primary sources in the Library and beyond.

A good first step is our guide to Finding Historical Primary Sources.

Can I pay someone in the Library to help me with my research or homework?

Actually, our reference staff can help you find the resources you are looking for for free (we draw the line at doing your homework, though). Non-UC Berkeley users are encouraged to start with their public or academic library to use the local or regional resources to their maximum benefit, and to request items through the interlibrary loan (ILL) services of those libraries.

Can I renew my books online?

You can renew most books online, except for:

  • items recalled by another person
  • items with a very short loan period (such as most course reserves)
  • items overdue to the point that they have blocked your borrowing privileges
  • items billed for replacement.

To renew books online, click on the Renew Items tab in OskiCat, or the My OskiCat link in the top right corner of every OskiCat screen.

See the Renew page for more information.

Do I need to come to a library to get research help?

No. The libraries provide a number of research help options.

What computers and software are available in the Library?

Computers with access to library resources and the Internet are available in all campus libraries. UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff doing research are given priority for computer use, and entry of a CalNet ID is required for full Internet access.

Many public computers include word processing and other desktop applications (CalNet ID required). See the list of software on public computers.

The Library Data Lab (UCB students, faculty, and staff) is available for the specific purpose of numeric data research. Workstations have a variety of data analysis and GIS software.

How do I get to the UC Berkeley campus?

The Visitor Services website has extensive information about traveling to campus.

Can I check out unbound journal issues?

Usually you will not be able to check out recent issues of journals and magazines that haven't yet been bound.  However, printer/scanners are located in each campus library for your convenience. You can also search for an online version of the title you are looking for.

After journals are bound they are typically shelved in a library's stacks like books. Depending on the library, they may be shelved by call number or title. Loan periods for bound journals vary. Consult a library's website for more information.

Where can I find a list of library hours?

On our Library Hours page, you can see today's hours for all the UC Berkeley libraries and select a future date. Subject library homepages also display current hours.

Where can I see a map of the libraries?

Please view/download a PDF map of library locations. For library contact information visit our directory.