UC Berkeley Library

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

Using the Library during COVID-19

UC Berkeley’s library buildings are now open. To stay up to date on the Library’s policies and services during the pandemic, visit the Library’s COVID-19 webpage.

Borrow

Content section: 

Library Cards

  • Cal 1 Card: UC Berkeley registered students, faculty, instructors, lecturers, and staff use your Cal 1 Card as your library card for borrowing materials and for access to the Main (Gardner) Stacks, Moffitt Library, the Media Resources Center, and other areas requiring a Cal ID.
  • Proxy borrower card - mobility disability: UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff with a mobility disability may be eligible for a proxy borrower card.
  • Proxy borrower card - faculty research assistant: Faculty may authorize a research assistant(s) as a proxy to check out library materials on their library account. See Information for Faculty and Instructors for details.
  • Other users: consult Library cards for non-UCB patrons.
  • The Privileges Desk is where you can get help and ask questions about your borrowing privileges and responsibilities.

Check-out limits and loan periods

Loan periods, due dates, and limits vary among the campus libraries. Log in to your Library account to view and renew your checked-out items. It is the cardholder's responsibility to note the due dates for materials and to return or renew them by those dates. In general:

  • Undergraduate students and UC Berkeley staff may have 100 items checked out.
    The loan period for most monographs is 3 months, and 1 week for serials.
  • Graduate students and Postdocs may have 200 items checked out.
    The loan period for most monographs is 3 months, and 1 week for serials.
  • Faculty may have 300 items checked out.
    The loan period for most monographs is 6 months, and 1 week for serials.
  • Visiting Scholars may have 20 items checked out.
    The loan period for most monographs is 1 month, and 1 week for serials.
  • Most other patrons (e.g. Alumni, CSU students, CA Residents, etc.) with borrowing privileges may have 20 items checked out.
    The loan period for most monographs is 1 month, and 1 week for serials.

Renewing materials

You can renew items online via your Library account. For more options and information, consult the renewing materials page.

Paging on-campus materials

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. To page materials, use the Request button at the top of an item's record in UC Library Search. For details consult the online paging FAQs.

Request/Borrow from NRLF

UC Berkeley students, faculty, staff, and UC Berkeley Library cardholders may request/borrow material from the Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF).

Returning materials

  • Return UCB Library materials to any library circulation desk during open hours, or to the outdoor/after-hour library book drops when libraries are closed.
  • Library laptops and devices must be returned to the circulation desk of the library from which they were borrowed.
  • Refer to the owning library for information about returning non-book materials after-hours.
  • Return receipts will be sent via email. The Library does not keep a record of receipts issued.
  • Materials damaged or incomplete should be brought immediately to the owning library circulation desk to discuss repair or replacement options that may be available.
  • UC Berkeley Library books may also be returned by mail. The items may be mailed to the below address for return:

                    Main Circulation
                    University of California, Berkeley
                    Library Mailroom
                    245 Moffitt Library
                    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000

  • Patrons will be responsible for the books until they are received by the Library and are checked in. As such, we always recommend taking advantage of the tracking and/or insurance options from the mail service you use.

Fines and charges

Consult the fines page for more information about library fines, charges, overdues, lost and damaged material, billing, blocks and replacements.

Search for missing items

Search requests for materials not found on the shelf and not checked out may be placed at any circulation desk. Borrowers will be notified by email when search requests have been located.

Recall checked-out items

Library cardholders with borrowing privileges may recall items checked out by another borrower by logging in to your Library account.

  • You will be notified by email when the item is available to be picked up.
  • Recalled items should be available within one week, and placed on hold at the location of your choice.
  • If more than one person has recalled an item, they will be handled in the order the recalls were placed.
  • If an item you have checked out is recalled, you must return it by the new due date.

Email address updates

  • Patrons receive all hold pickup, recall, overdue, bill, and search notices via email.
  • UCB faculty, staff and students: update your email address in the CalNet Directory. Changes made in your Library account will be overwritten by CalNet updates.
  • Non-UCB library cardholders (those without CalNet IDs): contact Privileges staff at privdesk@library.berkeley.edu to update your email address and other contact information.

Borrow a laptop and other electronic devices from the Library

The Library has MacBook Air laptops 13” (some laptops run Windows and some laptops run OSX) available for short-term and extended checkout. For more details, see the laptop lending FAQs and the Equipment lending LibGuide.

Fee-based document delivery

  • BAKER is a fee-based document retrieval and delivery service available to UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and graduate students. BAKER also has a special agreement with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and provides free services to UC Berkeley students with a print disability who have been pre-authorized by the Disabled Students’ Program (DSP).
  • Duplication Services provides fee-based access through reproductions of a variety of materials within the UC Berkeley library collections to other institutions, organizations and the general public.

Interlibrary Lending/Interlibrary Borrowing (ILL)

  • Interlibrary Lending provides access to the material holdings of the UC Berkeley Libraries to institutional borrowers in the United States, Canada, and the British Library.
    • Duplication services are available to institutions, organizations, and the general public.
    • Special Library Access Service (SLA) provides fee-based access to the resources of the UC Berkeley Libraries to libraries, information centers, corporations, and other organizations on a subscriber basis.
  • Interlibrary Borrowing provides UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff access to materials not available at UC Berkeley.

Borrower responsibilities

  • Borrowers are responsible for library materials charged out to them until they are returned to the lending library.
  • Borrowers are prohibited by Library policy from lending their library card to others.
  • UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff are responsible for maintaining a current email address in the CalNet Directory.
  • Library cardholders are responsible for maintaining a current email address with the Privileges Desk.
  • All borrowers are responsible for having a current physical address on file with the Privileges Desk. Patrons who wish to use a PO box address will also need to provide a physical address to be listed in their library account.

Borrowers who abuse library borrowing privileges may have their privileges suspended throughout the Library. Examples of abuse of library borrowing privileges include repeatedly not returning materials on time, not paying replacement bills, not responding to recall notices, not returning library materials even after replacement bills have been issued, and mutilation or damage of library materials.