Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

How can I use/get newspapers on microfilm if Berkeley owns only non-circulating master and archival negatives?

This microfilm does not circulate, since Berkeley is only acting as a storage place for the archival copies. UC Berkeley does have another copy of some of titles, and records for these will appear in OskiCat.

All of the California newspapers of this kind have circulating microfilm housed at the California State Library in Sacramento. While these copies do not appear in OskiCat, they do appear in the Melvyl catalog.

If you are a UC Berkeley faculty, student, or staff member, you can request the film through Interlibrary Borrowing. If you are not affiliated with UC Berkeley, you can use the material at the California State Library or request it through your local library's Interlibrary Borrowing office.

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. These are available to the general public on computers in our libraries (we suggest bringing your own headphones).  Under the terms of our license agreement, only current Cal students, faculty, and staff members can also access them online from off campus.

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.

Is it true that JSTOR only features articles that are over three years old? Why is this?

Many journals in JSTOR have a "moving wall," which means that content from the most recent 1 to 5 years of those journals is not available in JSTOR. A number of publications in JSTOR, however, have recently made their most current issues available. Other journals' most recent content in JSTOR is now also indexed, but only available in full-text from another library-licensed database. To find the full-text for those articles use the UC-eLinks button:

UC-eLinks button

So while it's no longer entirely true that JSTOR only features articles over three years old, if your research focus is current scholarship, Academic Search Complete and Google Scholar may have more relevant results for you. JSTOR remains a fantastic source for historical interdisciplinary research, and many of their journal subscriptions span back to the date of a journal's first publication.

Does the Library have ebooks?

Yes, we do. Please see the find books and ebooks page for more information

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.

Whom can I contact if I have an ADA or disability access question?

The UC Berkeley Library provides special assistance to Library users with disabilities in their use of the Library and its resources.The Library Liaison for students and scholars with disabilities is Keri Klein (kklein@law.berkeley.edu), (510) 642-4046. Individual libraries on campus also have designated staff who may be contacted for help - see the full list to locate the best contact.

For more information, see our disability resources page.

Can I make an appointment for the Research Advisory Service online?

Yes, appointments for the Research Advisory Service (RAS) are now exclusively made online - Cal undergrads login with their CalNetID instead of signing up at the Doe Reference Desk. RAS lets undergraduate students book a 30-minute appointments with a librarian who will help refine and focus research inquiries, identify useful online and print sources, and develop search strategies for humanities and social sciences topics.

You can also always get research help online, by phone, or in person.

I'm not a Berkeley student, staff or faculty member. Can I check my email in the library?

No, full internet access in the Libraries is restricted to current UCB faculty, staff, and students. Visitors can, however, have basic or "research" access to library resources, which includes library catalogs, article databases, and other licensed library resources. For more information see the computers in the libraries page.

Where can I print my paper?

Public computers in the libraries only allow printing from online sources such as web pages or email attachments.

Word processing, spreadsheet, and other software is available in campus microcomputing facilities for current UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff.

Others are advised to visit a commercial service near campus for word processing and general computer use.

How do I get wireless access for my laptop, mobile, or PDA?

AirBears wireless access is available in many campus libraries. UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff with a CalNet ID are eligible to use this free service. The Library does not provide CalNet IDs or AirBears guest accounts for visitors. Cal Alumni Association members can request AirBears guest account access in one-week increments from the Alumni House. Visiting scholars and campus affiliates may request CalNet IDs or AirBears guest access from their sponsoring department.

Learn more about computers in the libraries.

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