Frequently Asked Questions

Content section: 

FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

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.

Why do I have trouble using my browser's "Back" button beyond the CalNet login screen for the proxy server?

Logging in with a CalNet ID and passphrase triggers a series of exchanges among two campus servers and your browser. Unfortunately, if you try to use your browser's "Back" button to go back to a page you visited before logging in, this may cause you to see a message such as this:

  • Missing Data
    This document resulted from a POST operation and has expired from the cache. If you wish you can repost the form data to recreate the document by pressing the reload button.

Clicking on the "Back" button repeatedly may or may not get you beyond this roadblock, depending on your browser and what pages it has visited. Whatever you do, do not click on the "Reload" button.

If you want to move back to a page you viewed before logging in, a better solution is to use the tool provided in your browser for displaying a pop-up menu of pages you have visited. This can usually be done by clicking on the "Back" button and holding the mouse button down, or clicking on a small down-arrow or "Go" pulldown next to the "Back" button. The browser's "History" function may also be useful.

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.

I'm having problems with library research for a class. Where can I get help?

The Guides and tutorials page is a great place to start.

Looking for individual guidance? Our information experts provide research help via email, 24/7 chat, telephone, and in person.

Want to go into more depth? Cal undergrads can sign up online for a free 30-minute Research Advisory Service appointment.

How do I cite an eBook in my paper?

Electronic books come in a variety of forms. Some are accessed through our catalogs and databases and read over the Internet on a computer screen. Others can be downloaded to a computer and in some cases to mobile devices.

As the technologies of eBooks are evolving, so are the formats for citing them in footnotes and bibliographies. Here are guides to citing eBooks in the three most common styles:

For more information, see:

Thanks to Purdue University for permission to use their citation guides.

Can I get New York Times articles through the library?

In April 2011, the New York Times implemented a "paywall" on its website, nytimes.com. Under this policy [full details here], users can view a maximum of 20 articles per month without charge, but need to purchase a "digital subscription" to go beyond that limit.

Discounted individual subscription rates are available to students, faculty, and staff with email addresses ending in ".edu".

Beyond that, UC Berkeley is not able to provide special campuswide access to the nytimes.com website. However, we do subscribe to several databases that include full text articles from the New York Times along with many other newspapers. For links to these, see our News Databases.

These are available to anyone using our public computers. UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff members can also connect from off campus.

For those wishing to read the Times on paper, the Morrison Library and the Newspapers & Microforms Library both have current issues.

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. Each is assigned a unique call number based on its subject matter and other characteristics. Items on the same subject will often be grouped together.

Each call number consists of several elements. For example, consider:

TK
7881.6
M29
1993

  • The FIRST line, TK, is based on the broad subject of the book. Within Class T for technology, TK represents electrical engineering.
  • The SECOND line, 7881.6, defines the subject matter more finely. When looking for the book, read this as a whole number with a decimal component. In this example, TK7881.6 represents magnetic recording (a subdivision of TK— electrical engineering).
  • The THIRD line, M29, usually indicates author, but may also represent a further subject subdivision, geographic area, etc. There may also be a fourth line, formatted the same way. When looking for the book, read the numeric component as if it were preceded by a decimal point. In the example above, the numeric part of M29 should be read as ".29" (and the call number TK7881.6 M29 comes before TK7881.6 M4).
  • The YEAR of publication, such as 1993, may also be present. These file in chronological order and often indicate successive editions of a book. The call number may also have additional elements, such as volume numbers.

In using a call number to locate a book on the shelf, consider each element in turn before moving on to the next segment.

These call numbers are arranged as they should appear on the shelves. In each case, the element shown in boldface distinguishes the number from the preceding one:

Q
76
K26
QA
17
F75
QA
17.1
C98
TK
3
Z37
TK
29
M49
TK
29
M5
1997
TK
29
M5
2007

How do I pay a fine?

Payment of outstanding Library fines, fees and charges may now be paid:

For more information, see Pay Fines.

For other questions about this process, please contact privdesk@library.berkeley.edu

  • On-line via My OskiCat.
  • In-person at the Privileges Desk (1st floor, Doe Library)
    • Pay with a credit/debit card or check
  • By mail
    • Your check must be made payable to "UC REGENTS" in the exact amount outstanding, with your student ID number written in the notes field.
    • Mail to:
      Privileges Desk
      198 Gardner Stacks
      University of California, Berkeley
      Berkeley, CA 94720-6000

Why are there so many journal articles in Melvyl?

Several million journal articles and other documents from a wide range of databases, particularly in the humanities and social sciences have been added to Melvyl, the discovery tool of the UC libraries.

Some important tips:

  • Links in the left sidebar let you narrow your search to just articles, or to focus on items from particular databases.
  • Melvyl will display citations to articles, and in some cases abstracts, with the full text accessible through the yellow UC-eLinks button or other links provided.
  • The Advanced Search screen lets you control which databases are searched.
  • Search results may vary from what could be obtained by searching the individual databases separately.
  • The additional licensed content is available to those on the UC Berkeley campus, or who are connecting from elsewhere using our proxy server or Virtual Private Network (VPN) system. Other off-campus users may see a login prompt, with a "continue as guest" option which will still let them search library holdings in Melvyl.

For more information, see:

Does the library offer exam proctoring?

The UC Berkeley Libraries do not provide exam proctoring services.

Public libraries that offer proctoring free of charge:

Venues that charge a fee for proctoring:

Proctoring for specific groups:

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