UC Berkeley Library

Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

What is the fee for UC Berkeley - Extension students for library privileges?

UC Extension students, including those concurrently enrolled in UC Berkeley may purchase a six-month Library card by presenting proof of current registration. The fee is $25. All applicants must provide proof of California residence by presenting a current government-issued ID such as a driver's license or passport. Payment may be made by VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card, bank debit card, personal check or money order, made payable to The Regents of the University of California.

One-year and six-month Library cards grant borrowing privileges and access to the Main (Gardner) Stacks, Moffitt Library, and most subject specialty libraries, however, privileges do not extend to Interlibrary borrowing services, or access to course reserves. Access to special collections and services may be restricted. Cardholders may have a maximum of 20 books checked out at any given time. Note: UC Extension students who are concurrently enrolled in UC Berkeley are accorded the same privileges as UC Berkeley students.

If you have questions, contact the Privileges Desk in Doe Library, Floor 1 at 510-642-3403 or privdesk@library.berkeley.edu.

I am an undergraduate student graduating in December. Do I still have access to electronic library resources (UC-links) after graduation? If so, how long after graduation?

Library Privileges are subject to expiration following graduation, and typically expire within a matter of weeks. Users may apply for an Alumni Library Borrowing Card if they are members of the Alumni Association, although they will NOT have access to licensed electronic resources via this membership. Information for Alumni has additional information and application details.

Please see the guide Freely Available Resources for Research for an introduction to some of the many free resources for research available online.

After graduation, you can also gain "research access" to online library resources using publicly accessible (e.g., Doe Library) computers.

What are the penalties for the late return of a recalled book?

Checked-out items can be recalled at any time, and you will receive an email upon recall, specifying the new due date for the recalled item. If a recalled item is not returned by the updated due date your library account will be blocked the day after the due date, which is sooner than your account would be blocked for regular overdue items.

Upon return of the overdue item, the overdue recall block will be removed.  Furthermore, if billed, the replacement cost of the book will be automatically removed from your library account, but the $10 processing fee will remain.  Please note, if the library has purchased a replacement copy for the item while the recalled item is still outstanding and billed, there will be no removal of the replacement cost.  Patrons who accrue more than $50 in fines will be blocked from using the library until fines are paid at the Doe Library Privileges Desk or online via your MyOskicat account; those with balances over $200 (e.g. two or more billed items) will be blocked at the campus level. For more information on library fines please reference the Pay Fines page on the library website.

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.

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.

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.

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 appointment 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.