Frequently Asked Questions

Content section: 

FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

The proxy server has changed - how and why?

In April 2012, the library made major changes to its proxy server, used for off-campus access to journal article databases and other licensed electronic resources. These changes prevent unauthorized access to licensed resources, improve efficiency, and also simplify setup requirements in most cases.

For most users, the change is transparent

The existing proxy URLs in current users' web browser settings will continue to work. For new users, revised setup instructions now give a single URL to use, whether they prefer the CalNet or Patron/PIN login method. A combined login screen provides a choice between these two methods.

Here's what may affect you

  1. The new proxy server requires that your web browser accept all cookies, including "third party cookies." If you would prefer not to do this, there are several alternatives:
    • Configure your browser to delete cookies on exit, and exit at the end of each web browsing session. You can also delete cookies manually whenever you like.  Here are instructions for Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Safari for iPad.
    • Use a different browser when you access licensed resources. Configure it to use the proxy, and to accept all cookies.
    • In a browser that supports profiles, like Firefox, configure one profile for proxy use with all cookies allowed, and one for other use.
    • Instead of the proxy server, use the VPN (Virtual Private Network) system.
  2. To improve security, those using the Patron/PIN login method will now need to enter the email address associated with their library account. If you're not sure which email address you use for this purpose, log into My OskiCat and use the address displayed there.
  3. As with the previous proxy server, databases whose URLs begin with "https" will return an error message, unless you first visit an "http" resource such as the Oxford English Dictionary (http://www.oed.com/)

For more information see the Connect from off-campus page.

If you encounter issues not resolved with the information above, please report them using Proxy Technical Problem Report form.

I'd like to donate books to the library. How do I arrange that?

The Library will gratefully consider all gifts of recorded information which meet the instructional and research needs of the Berkeley academic community. Questions about gifts to the Library should be directed to Dirk Kennedy.

Because the Gifts Unit is staffed on a part-time basis, your questions about gifts of materials may not be answered immediately. We will make every effort to reply to your inquiry as quickly as possible.

Please see Book Donations to the University Library regarding criteria for acceptance, tax and appraisal considerations, and other information.

Why scanning stations?

As part of the transition when the Library’s previous copy service contract expired in 2010, we surveyed our users about their needs and other university libraries about their services. Based on that input, the Library chose to acquire equipment that allowed for scanning/downloading and develop services similar to those in other libraries.

Scanning to a flash drive is free. The Library provides printing at rates that cover our costs for the equipment and staff who maintain them.

The ability to scan to a flash drive saves paper and enables users to store and organize their material more efficiently. Scans can be delivered in multiple file types, at a lower cost than photocopies. Our prices for printing are consistent with, and in some cases lower than, those in other UC libraries.

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 Library's Zotero research guide or the Zotero site for documentation, support, and tutorials.

Can I recommend a library purchase?

Yes, please submit your suggestion via the Purchase Recommendation Form.

How do I find out about library events and exhibits?

We have a calendar of events that lists classes, exhibits, readings and more from across the UCB libraries. You can also subscribe to RSS feeds for several categories of events.

I'm a new student/staff/faculty member. How do I get a library card?

For UC Berkeley registered students, faculty, instructors, lecturers and staff, your Cal 1 Card serves as your library card for borrowing materials and for access to the Gardner (MAIN) Stacks, Moffitt, the Media Resources Center and other areas requiring a Cal ID.

UC Berkeley unregistered undergraduates or graduate students on filing fee status can apply to have your library privileges extended. Visiting Scholars can also apply for library privileges.

If you have questions:

Privileges Desk 

Doe Library, Floor 1
510.642.3403
privdesk@library.berkeley.edu
M-F: 9am - 4:45pm
Sat-Sun: Closed

Do library computers have programs like MatLab, SPSS, Stata, Stat/Transfer, ArcGIS, and Microsoft Office applications installed?

Most library computers do not provide access to software programs like MatLab, SPSS, SAS, ArcGIS or Microsoft Office, but some will allow you to open documents created in Office applications in order to print. One exception is the Library Data Lab in Doe Library, which offers full access to ARCGIS, R, SAS, SPSS, Stat Transfer, and Stata to students needing to use and manipulate numeric data sets, as well as a scanner available to any researcher:

Doe Library and Annex floor 1

You can also purchase educational copies of these programs from the campus at Software Central. Microsoft Office and a variety of other programs and applications are available on computers at various Workstation & Microcomputer Facilities around campus, including on the first floor of Moffitt Library. Check the W&MF website for locations and to see what's available at each location.

I was looking up a journal in OskiCat that turned out to be located at the NRLF. I noticed a message that read "Request an article from NRLF (photocopy or web delivery)." Is this free, and/or too good to be true?

Luckily for you, this service is both free and easy. The NRLF Article Request service allows UC Berkeley faculty, students, staff, and library patrons to use OskiCat to request electronic or print copies of book chapters, conference papers, or journal articles located at the NRLF. For eligible journal or book titles at NRLF, you'll see this message in the item's OskiCat record:

NRLF request in OskiCat

If you are requesting a photocopy, you'll be able to choose the UC Berkeley library location you want your requested item/copy to be sent (within about two working days - usually sooner when delivered to the Main Stacks). If you prefer an electronic copy, it will be posted to the web (within two working days) and NRLF will notify you of its URL via e-mail. Please note that requests for items with "Restricted Use" will not be filled.

What is an 'Affiliated Library?'

There are two types of libraries on campus: The University Library system and the Affiliated Libraries. The former includes Doe/Moffitt and the subject specialty libraries, while the latter are typically connected to particular departments, professional schools, or organized research institutes.

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