UC Berkeley Library

You can still access the UC Berkeley Library’s services and resources during the closure. Here’s how.

Using the Library during COVID-19

Many of our services are now being offered in new ways. To find the latest information on course reserves, book returns, 24/7 online help, and more, visit our Library services and resources during COVID-19 page. The information on that page supersedes all other information on the Library website at this time.

Library cards for non-UCB patrons

Content section: 

There are a variety of options (both free and fee-based) for obtaining library borrowing privileges based on your academic affiliation. Please review the application details at the bottom of this page for further details on obtaining your card.

All library account types can now be set up and renewed remotely, via email. The Library is providing a contactless pickup service at Moffitt Library for all borrowers who have current Cal 1 Cards or UC Berkeley Library cards. Library cards which are set up or renewed at this time are not eligible for automatic extension or prorated fees.

Fees for library cards will need to be paid online using credit or debit card; check payment for library cards is not currently available. If a new library card is needed, you may pick it up in person once curbside pickup begins; photo ID will need to be shown to pick up the card. Please note the library card will need to be picked up before you can pick up books requested for curbside pickup.

Steps to request to set up or renew a library account:

  1. Carefully review this page to determine which type of library card you are eligible for and would like to obtain.
  2. Email privileges staff at privdesk@library.berkeley.edu with the following information: full legal name (including middle name if you have one), preferred name if different, email address, mailing address, telephone number, and any required documentation for the card (i.e. an image of your alumni membership card, proof of enrollment, etc.) For renewals please include your current library card number.
    • Do not send: an image of your driver license, state ID, passport, or payment information (email is not a secure method of sharing this information).
  3. Once this information is received, a privileges staff member will begin processing the request. If fees are owed, instructions will be sent for making the payment. There will be a processing time of 2-3 business days for library card requests.

Questions or issues?

Check out our Access and Privileges FAQs or contact us.

California residents

  • May purchase a one-year library card for a fee of $100.
  • Email privileges staff at privdesk@library.berkeley.edu with the information listed at the top of this page to set up or renew an account.
  • Remote access to licensed electronic resources such as journals and databases is not available with this card.
  • Library information for Visitors has additional information and application details.

Students, faculty, and staff from other UC campuses

  • Students, your current semester's proof of registration is required to obtain borrowing privileges.
  • Faculty and staff, a departmental letter of introduction will allow you to establish or renew borrowing privileges.
  • Email privileges staff at privdesk@library.berkeley.edu with required documentation and the information listed at the top of this page to set up or renew an account.
  • Remote access to licensed electronic resources such as journals and databases is not available with this card.

Select Berkeley campus affiliate staff

  • Select Berkeley campus affiliate staff, including UCOP and other agencies working on behalf of UC Berkeley as part of their primary job are eligible for library privileges that include remote access to UC Berkeley electronic resources.
  • The employee completes the online application which is forwarded to their supervisor for verification of eligibility.
  • Once approved, the employee is given a library card number and PIN to access online resources.
  • A current government-issued ID such as a driver's license or passport must be presented at the Privileges Desk (Doe Library, Floor 1) to pick up a borrowing card for checkout of printed materials.

University of California Alumni Association Members

  • California residents who are paid members of any of the ten UC campus-sponsored alumni associations holding an active membership card may obtain a library borrowing card.
  • Visit the California Alumni Association website to find out how to join.
  • Email privileges staff at privdesk@library.berkeley.edu with an image of your current alumni association membership card and the information listed at the top of this page to set up or renew an account.
  • Remote access to licensed electronic resources such as journals and databases is not available with this card.
  • Library information for Alumni has additional information and borrowing card application details.

UC Berkeley visiting scholars and postdoctoral scholars

  • Borrowing privileges and other services are offered to the Cal community of visiting scholars.
  • After registering with Visiting Scholars and Postdoc Affairs, email privileges staff at privdesk@library.berkeley.edu with your ID number and the information listed at the top of this page to set up an account.
  • Remote access to licensed electronic resources such as journals and databases is available with this card.
  • Library information for Visiting Scholars has additional information and applicable details.

Retired UC Berkeley employees

  • Obtain a retiree ID card from the UC Berkeley Retirement Center.
  • Email privileges staff at privdesk@library.berkeley.edu with an image of your retiree ID card and the information listed at the top of this page to set up or renew an account.
  • Remote access to licensed electronic resources such as journals and databases is available with this card.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL or LBL) staff

Your LBNL photo ID card serves as your library card for borrowing materials and for access to the Main (Gardner) Stacks.

  • If you have a dual UCB appointment, continue to use your Cal 1 Card to access library services.
  • Most LBNL borrowers have the same level of privileges as campus staff, although LBNL scientists may email documentation to privdesk@library.berkeley.edu to have their patron record upgraded to faculty status.
  • LBNL long term guests/visitors are no longer charged a per person fee for access to the Library. Their privileges will expire on the end date of their visit as recorded in the LBNL Human Resource system.
  • LBNL retirees need to email their Berkeley Retirement Center card to privdesk@library.berkeley.edu to obtain a borrowing card.
  • Access to the LBL proxy is available to current employees (not including retirees, guests, or visitors).
  • Remote access to UCB licensed electronic resources such as journals and databases is not available with this card.

UC Berkeley Extension faculty

  • Berkeley Extension faculty have UC Berkeley Library privileges automatically conferred based on an appointment record.
  • UC Extension faculty will use their Cal 1 ID Card as their UC Berkeley Library Card.
  • Remote access to licensed electronic resources such as journals and databases is available to UC Berkeley Extension Faculty.

UC Berkeley Extension students

  • May purchase a six-month library card for a fee of $25.
  • Email privileges staff at privdesk@library.berkeley.edu with proof of current registration and the information listed at the top of this page to set up or renew an account.
  • Remote access to licensed electronic resources such as journals and databases is available with this card.

UC Berkeley unregistered undergraduates or graduate students on filing fee status

Proxy Borrowers for UC Berkeley faculty and academic staff

  • Proxy borrowers may check out library materials in the name of authorizing faculty or academic staff.
  • The proxy borrower application form includes eligibility requirements and a statement of responsibility.
  • The authorizing faculty or academic staff must complete and submit the online application that will be received by the Privileges Desk, Doe Library, Floor 1.

Stanford University faculty, academic staff, and graduate students

  • Your Stanford University ID serves as your UC Berkeley Library card which gives borrowing privileges at the UC Berkeley Libraries.
  • You are also eligible for Research Library Cooperative Program (RLCP) privileges.
  • Remote access to licensed electronic resources such as journals and databases is not available to Stanford faculty, academic staff, and graduate students.

California State University and Community College students

  • May purchase a six-month library card for a fee of $25.
  • Email privileges staff at privdesk@library.berkeley.edu with proof of current registration and the information listed at the top of this page to set up or renew an account.
  • Remote access to licensed electronic resources such as journals and databases is not available with this card.
  • Please review the application and privileges details below.

California State University and Community College full-time faculty

  • You may obtain a borrowing card by emailing privdesk@library.berkeley.edu with a letter on school letterhead, signed by your department chair, confirming your full-time affiliation with your school.
  • Remote access to licensed electronic resources such as journals and databases is not available with this card.
  • Please review the application and privileges details below.

California K-12 public school full-time teachers

  • You may obtain a borrowing card by emailing privdesk@library.berkeley.edu with a letter on school letterhead, signed by your principal, confirming your full-time affiliation with your school.
  • Remote access to licensed electronic resources such as journals and databases is not available with this card.
  • Library information for K-12 Teachers has additional information and applicable details.
  • Please review application and privileges details below.

California K-12 private and parochial school teachers

  • May purchase a one-year library card for a fee of $100.
  • Email privileges staff at privdesk@library.berkeley.edu with the information listed at the top of this page to set up or renew an account.
  • Remote access to licensed electronic resources such as journals and databases is not available with this card.
  • Please review the application and privileges details below.

UT Austin students visiting UC Berkeley in-person

  • Contact the Privileges RLCP staff at coopprog-library@berkeley.edu with the information listed at the top of this page to set up or renew an account.
  • Remote access to licensed electronic resources such as journals and databases is not available to visiting UT Austin students.

Other Institutional Affiliates

Privileges Desk staff are responsible for determining eligibility and coverage for:

  • Spouse or domestic partner of a full-time University of California employee
  • Adult children (18 years or older) of UC Berkeley faculty who reside at their parent's address
  • Graduate Theological Union faculty, students and staff
  • Mathematical Sciences Research Institute members
  • Miller Institute members
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute members

Contact the Privileges Desk at privdesk@library.berkeley.edu for more information.


Application and privileges

  • Moffitt Library is reserved for the campus community and is open to those with a current UCB ID or gold UC Berkeley Library Card.
  • One-year and six-month Library cards grant borrowing privileges and access to the Main (Gardner) Stacks, and most subject specialty libraries.
    • Privileges do not extend to Interlibrary borrowing services.
    • Access to special collections and services may be restricted.
    • Cardholders may have a maximum of twenty books checked out at any given time.
  • Applicants who use a PO BOX for mail will be obligated to provide proof of California residence address for record purposes.  
  • Payment for borrowing cards may be made by VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card, bank debit card, or personal check made payable to "UC Regents".
  • The Library cannot accept cash for payment.

Renewal of already existing borrowing card

Email the Privileges Desk at privdesk@library.berkeley.edu with your current library card number, full legal name (including middle name if you have one), preferred name if different, email address, mailing address, telephone number, and any required documentation for the card (i.e. an image of your alumni membership card, proof of enrollment, etc.)

If your affiliation was not listed above and/or you have questions regarding documentation requirements, please contact the Privileges Desk at privdesk@library.berkeley.edu.