UC Berkeley Library

Moffitt Library, Main Stacks open for 24-hour access during RRR, finals weeks. Learn more.

COVID-19 and the Library: What you need to know

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As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, the UC Berkeley Library continues to reliably serve its extended community of faculty, students, and researchers.

How is the pandemic affecting Library services? What policies do I need to follow when I visit the libraries? Which locations are open? Here, you’ll find the answers to all those questions, and more. Check back often for the latest updates during this ever-changing time.

For now, here’s what you should know.

Are the libraries open?

Yes! After the pandemic forced the libraries to close their doors for almost a year and a half, nearly all of UC Berkeley’s libraries are once again open. Find the libraries’ hours here.

Why have libraries’ hours changed?

The Library has seen a reduction of funding, and the reduced hours largely stem from this. Between funding cuts and mandatory cost increases, the Library’s budget has fallen by about $6 million since the start of the pandemic.

This fall, the Library will extend hours during RRR (Reading, Review, and Recitation) and finals weeks, which are times of high demand for library space. During those weeks, Moffitt Library and the Main (Gardner) Stacks will be open for 24-hour access.

From January through August 2022, Moffitt Library will be closed for seismic upgrades. In the spring 2022 semester, Doe Library, Main Stacks, and some other libraries will extend their hours. Learn more about the changes in library hours.

Do I need to wear a face covering in the libraries?

Yes. All visitors — whether vaccinated or not — must wear face coverings while inside the libraries, in line with public health guidelines. In libraries where food or drinks are allowed, you may take your face covering off while eating and drinking, but you must put it back on once you are finished. Learn more about Berkeley’s face covering requirement, including exceptions to the rule.

What else do I need to know about visiting the libraries?

Before visiting any library, please make sure you are not experiencing symptoms. If you are feeling ill, please stay home, and return when you are feeling better. While you’re in the libraries, please follow the code of conduct.

Is there construction happening in the libraries this fall? Spring?

Yes. Construction in Doe Library continues through January 2022, with intermittent disruptions in the basement and on floors 1 and 2. Signs are posted in those spaces with additional details. The Newspapers & Microforms Library is also closed.

Moffitt Library will be closed for a seismic safety construction project from January through August 2022. All library services and staff will be temporarily relocated from Moffitt, mainly to Doe. Classrooms in Moffitt will be closed, with activity shifting to other rooms around campus, and students will be asked to use study spaces at Doe, Main (Gardner) Stacks, and other campus libraries. The Newspapers & Microforms Library will also remain closed.

Can I still access HathiTrust’s Emergency Temporary Access Service?

Patrons can no longer use HathiTrust’s Emergency Temporary Access Service. The service ended Aug. 24, in time for the reopening of many of the library buildings, and the restoration of access to the libraries’ physical collections.

The UC Berkeley Library continues to be a member of HathiTrust. Copyrighted items are still available for full-text search, just not viewable, in the HathiTrust Digital Library, and this can be helpful in the creation of a bibliography. You may continue to access HathiTrust items that are in the public domain or available through Creative Commons licensing. These titles are marked “Full View” in HathiTrust’s online catalog.

How can I get research help?

Use our 24/7 chat service, reach out via email, or make a 30-minute appointment with a librarian. You can also schedule a consultation with a subject librarian (see a list here) by email or through the appointment link.

You can also peruse hundreds of Library Guides, which include primers on writing and researching, resources on a range of academic subjects, and a how-to on using Wi-Fi in the libraries.

Can you help me get the materials I need for classes?

Yes. The Library is continuing its popular e-reserves program, which provides students with free digital versions of many of the materials — articles, books, and videos — they need for their classes. If your instructor has requested e-reserves, you will find the links on your class bCourses site.

Instructors: The full process for purchasing, licensing, and/or digitizing generally takes a few months. Spring 2022 requests were due by Oct. 29, 2021. Summer 2022 requests are due by March 25, 2022. Please submit your summer 2022 courses via email to ereserves@lists.berkeley.edu. Requests received after March 25 are unlikely to be available for the start of summer classes. 

Anything else I should know?

Stay up to date by visiting UC Berkeley’s Coronavirus portal, which includes information about returning to campus.

Other questions or comments?

We welcome hearing your ideas about how our libraries can enhance our online support for the Berkeley campus community. Send us your suggestions and comments.

Check back here for the latest information on how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the Library. You can also follow us on Library News, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.