UC Berkeley Library

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Frequently Asked Questions

Content section: 

FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

Does the Library have a charger for my cell phone or tablet?

There are Android and Apple Lightning USB wall chargers with cables available for check-out to UC Berkeley students at Moffitt Library and the Engineering Library Circulation Desk.

  • The loan period is two hours with no renewal or overnight.
  • Students must present their Cal1 ID card to borrow.
  • See Library charges and fines for replacement and overdue charges.

Can I page a book for pick-up at the Circulation Desk? (Online Paging)

Yes, you can submit online requests for circulating items available at one campus library to be retrieved and held for pick-up at the Circulation Desk of that library or another campus library of your choice. 

What is online paging?
A "page" is a request for library staff to retrieve library items from our stacks and have them held for you at a Circulation Desk.

Who can place a page?
Anyone who can check out items from the UC Berkeley Libraries can place a page request (i.e., all current patrons with borrowing privileges).  Anyone with an active UCB Library borrowing card (UCB faculty, staff, and students with current IDs, but also alumni and others who have purchased cards) may request library materials.

How do I request a page from a UC Berkeley Library?
Click the Request button at the top of the item's record in OskiCat. Then log into MyOskiCat and follow the prompts.

What items can I have paged?
You may request non-reserve items that can be checked out of a library for more than two days.  Sorry, we cannot page items from Reference, Rare Books, Reserves or non-circulating items (such as items whose status reads "Missing," or  “Library Use Only"). You will know if an item can be paged by the presence or absence of a Request button on the OskiCat record or by the “No Requestable Items Are Available” message.

What if the item is checked out?
If the item is checked out, you can still use the Request link or button. We will recall the item from the patron who has it checked out, who will then have a week to return the item. When the item is returned, we will notify you that it is ready to be picked up. We will keep the item on hold at the Circulation Desk for you for 7 days.

You may also be able to request books that are checked-out or unavailable at UC Berkeley using Melvyl or our ILL Service.

How many items can I request to be paged?
UC Berkeley faculty, graduate students and staff can have up to 40 total holds/pages/recalls at a time; alumni and others who have purchased borrowing privileges can have up to 20 holds/pages/recalls. Undergraduates are allowed up to 20 holds/pages/recalls.  Additional requests are canceled by the system.

How long will it take to process my request?
Requests generally will be fulfilled within 3 business days.  If you need an item sooner than three business days, you should go directly to the owning library and check it out in person.

How will you notify me when my item is ready?
The library will send you an email notification when the item you requested is ready to be picked up at the Circulation Desk. We will also notify you if your request is canceled. Requests may be canceled for a variety of reasons, such as when the item can't be located in the library, the item cannot be checked out to you, or you have exceeded your item request limit. Communication is by email, so check your library record to make sure the email address we have on file for you is correct.

How long will the item be held for me?
Items are kept on hold shelves for seven days, beginning on the date you receive our email notice that it is ready for pickup. After seven days the item is returned to the stacks or made available to another patron who may have placed a hold on it.

Where do I pick up my item?
At the Circulation Desk of any one of 22 locations: Anthropology, Bioscience, Business, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, East Asian, Engineering, Environmental Design, Ethnic Studies, Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS), Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS), Lawrence Berkeley Labs, Main (Gardner) Stacks, Math/Statistics, Moffitt, Morrison, Music, Newspapers & Microforms, Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF), Optometry, Physics/Astronomy, and Social Research.  A UC Berkeley library card (Cal1) is required for all check-outs and ID privileges are non-transferable.

When can I pick up my item?
After you receive an email notification that the item you requested is ready to be picked up, you may retrieve it during the hours that the library's Circulation Desk is open. Please note that in most of the libraries, circulation services end 15 minutes prior to closing. So plan ahead and arrive at the Circulation Desk at least 15 minutes before the library closes.

Questions? Problems? Please contact Circulation Desk staff or use the “Contact us” form on the library’s website.

How can students add money to their Cal1Cards with cash, in person, not using the online credit card purchase option?

Go to Housing Cashier's Office, located on the second floor at 2610 Channing Way to add money to your Cal1Card debit account in person. Accepted forms of payment are cash, check, and credit card. Hours of operation are 10:00am to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday. For questions, call (510) 642-1524 or e-mail hsgcashiers@housing.berkeley.edu.

See this Cal 1 Card page for more information.

How can non-affiliated users who need dissertations from NRLF (308t) that are not in the Digital Dissertations database go about getting access to the original dissertation?

Original printed Berkeley dissertations [308t] are restricted, Library-use-only items, so patrons need to request them at the circulation desk of the owning library. The requested item will arrive at the owning library within 2 working days, and can be viewed or scanned in the building.

Dissertations cannot be viewed at the Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF) because they are restricted for use at the owning library only.

Patrons who plan to be on campus for only one day may contact the circulation desk of the owning library 2 days in advance of their visit, to request that the dissertation be brought to campus. Circulation desk and library phone numbers can be found on a library's homepage.

For more information see the FAQ: Can members of the public access materials from NRLF?

How long can I borrow a library laptop?

Laptops may be borrowed for 4 hours, 1 day, or 14 days depending on location. Please see the Electronic Devices Lending Policy for more information.

Can I reserve a laptop to check-out ahead of time?

Yes, devices may be reserved in advance. Library laptops are available at Moffitt Library, Social Research Library, Engineering Library and the Bioscience, Natural Resources & Public Health Library on a first-come, first-served basis. You can check their availability in OskiCat:

Can I check out a library laptop for a class presentation?

Yes, library laptops may be borrowed from Moffitt Library, Social Research Library, Engineering Library and the Bioscience, Natural Resources & Public Health Library. Display adapters are only available at the Media Resources Center. They may be checked out for four-hour loans.

Can I check out a laptop at the library?

Yes. UC Berkeley undergraduate and graduate students with a valid Cal ID or yellow library card can borrow MacBook Air laptops from Moffitt Library, Social Research Library, Engineering Library and the Bioscience & Natural Resources Library.

Eligible students must be in good standing with the library (no fines, no overdue items, and no blocks).

UC Berkeley staff and faculty are not eligible to borrow library laptops, nor are members of the public or other non-student users with library privileges.

See the Electronic Devices Lending Policy for important guidelines, and a link to the Electronic Agreement Form.

Circulation details

  • Item may be borrowed for 4 hours (no overnight), 1 day or 14 days depending on location.
  • Laptops must be returned in-person to the library from which they were borrowed.
  • Laptops are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are available to be reserved ahead of time. You can check current availability in OskiCat (MacBook Air with OSX, MacBook Air with Windows).
  • Only one device can be checked out at a time per patron.
  • Printing is available directly from library laptops via Mobileprint.

Technical details

  • MacBook Air 13” (256GB SSD, 8GB RAM) laptops are available, some with OSX and some with Windows.

Software

Windows 10 Education

  • ArcGIS for Desktop
  • Adobe Creative Cloud 2017
  • Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Shockwave
  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Microsoft Edge & Internet Explorer 11
  • Citrix Receiver with (SPSS and Stata)
  • iTunes
  • Java 8
  • Microsoft Office Pro Plus 2016
  • Microsoft Silverlight
  • Microsoft.NET framework
  • QGIS
  • R for Windows
  • VLC Media Player
  • Windows Media Player
  • WinSCP

MAC OSX - Sierra

  • Adobe Creative Cloud 2017
  • Adobe Flash
  • Chrome
  • Citrix Receiver with (SPSS and Stata)
  • Cyberduck
  • Firefox
  • iTunes
  • Microsoft Office Plus 2016
  • Safari
  • VLC Media Player

Fines and charges

Borrowers are responsible for loss, damage, and theft of a laptop while in their possession. Borrowers should verify the condition of the device at the time of check-out and upon check-in. See the Pay fines page for replacement and overdue charges.

How will you notify me when my item is ready?

The library will send you an email notification when the item you requested is ready to be picked up at the Circulation Desk. We will also notify you if your request is canceled. Requests may be canceled for a variety of reasons, such as when the item can't be located in the library, the item cannot be checked out to you, or you have exceeded your item request limit. Communication is by email, so check your library record to make sure the email address we have on file for you is correct.

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