UC Berkeley Library

Need help finding an Elsevier journal article? Start here.

The item I'm looking for isn't on the shelf. What do I do now?

The OskiCat or Melvyl catalogs will tell you whether the item in question is currently checked out to another person. If so, you can recall it online by clicking the "Request" button in OskiCat.

If the catalog indicates that the item is "available," you might want to check again to make sure it is not shelved in a special location. Books may be kept in reference areas, locked cases, reserves, etc. Recent issues of journals and magazines may be located in a current periodicals area.

You can also look on booktrucks, shelving carts, and temporary shelving areas in the library in question - these are where recently checked in materials are sorted (in call number order) before being put on the shelf.

If you cannot locate a book that should be available on the shelf, you may ask us to search for it. To request a search, present the title or call number of the item at the Circulation Desk of the library that owns the book. When the item is available, you will be notified by e-mail.

You can also  search the catalogs for different editions of the book or ask the library staff about other alternatives, such as requesting the item from another UC using Melvyl, or from another university by submitting an interlibrary borrowing request.

Questions? Ask Us!