UC Berkeley Library

UC Berkeley’s library buildings are open. Here’s what you need to know.

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.

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.

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. This fall, 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.

The Library is processing all fall semester requests already submitted and is not accepting new requests for this semester. The full process for purchase, licensing, and/or digitization generally takes a few months. We received an overwhelming number of new requests after the June 1 due date, and estimate that completion of those may take until November 2021. In the meantime, instructors can start to gather their spring course reserve requests, which we will be calling for later in the fall semester.

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.