Northern Regional Library Facility

The Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF) is a cooperative library storage facility — the first of its kind in California. It is owned and operated by the University of California and is located on the grounds of UC Berkeley’s Richmond Field Station. As of June 2022, NRLF held over 7.5 million items, mostly books and journal volumes, but also microfilm, maps, audio discs, manuscripts, archives, and other materials. The facility has a comfortable reading room where you can use the items you’ve requested, and public service staff readily available to help.

This library is wheelchair accessible.

Hours

Nov 27 - Dec 3
Location Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Northern Regional Library Facility monthly calendar Closed Closed 12 p.m.-4 p.m. 12 p.m.-4 p.m. 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Closed Closed
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At this library

Services

Contact

Location

Northern Regional Library Facility
Richmond Field Station Bldg 400
Meade & South 47th Street
Richmond, CA 94804-4698
510-665-6738

This library is wheelchair accessible.

More about NRLF

About NRLF

The Northern Regional Library Facility (NRLF) is a cooperative library storage facility, the first of its kind in California. It is owned and operated by the University of California and is located on the grounds of UC Berkeley's Richmond Field Station.

The 98,000 square foot main building was completed in 1982; an 84,000 square foot stack annex was completed in 1990; and a 67,000 square foot storage module, as well as a new reading room were added in 2005. A fourth building expansion is currently under construction and expected to be completed in fall of 2020. The Facility offers high density, low cost housing for infrequently used library materials belonging to northern California libraries. At this time, depositors to NRLF are libraries on the University's Berkeley, Davis, Merced, San Francisco, and Santa Cruz campuses, and the California State Library. As of May 2022, NRLF held over 7.5 million items, mostly books and journal volumes, but also microfilm, maps, audio discs, manuscripts, archives, and other materials. Staff at the facility receive, process, and create machine-readable records for newly deposited materials, which normally amount to about 150,000 items per year, and provide circulation, interlibrary lending and document delivery services on approximately 75,000 items per year.

Building and shelving

In addition to public service, administrative, and processing areas, the buildings have a total of eleven floors of shelving, with a total capacity of 7.5 million volumes, and specialized storage areas for microfilms and maps. To provide the best possible environment for the books, the stack area is climate controlled to maintain a constant temperature (60F) and relative humidity (50%). Materials are stored in the stacks by four size classifications in the order in which they are received by the Facility. This means that collections, and even runs of a single journal title, may not be shelved together. As an additional space-saving measure, books are placed two-deep on each shelf.

The NRLF building was built with the following special features

  • Redundant chillers, boilers, and fans allow the HVAC system to maintain temperature and humidity within specified ranges in varying weather conditions. Loads are distributed between tandem pieces of equipment, minimizing wear and allowing down-time for maintenance. The system is monitored by microprocessor, reducing energy consumption. Alarms are issued when conditions exceed tolerances. The control system for all buildings is integrated.
  • Automatic wet-pipe sprinkler system and dry standpipe system.
  • Smoke detectors, air sampling smoke detection system, pull stations, and sprinkler flow detectors are connected to a continuously monitored addressable fire alarm system.
  • A continuously monitored intrusion alarm system.
  • Fluorescent lights in storage areas are filtered to eliminate ultraviolet wavelengths.

Services for Library users

The Facility has a comfortable Reading Room for use of requested material and public service staff readily available to assist. Computers provide access to online Library collections and resources via UC Library Search, and to the Internet. A photocopy machine, networked printer, a microform reader/printer and microform scanner are also available. Please bring coins and small bills as the photocopy machine is not set up to accept credit cards or copy cards in payment. Food is not permitted in the building; drinks are allowed in covered containers. Upon request, a list of local restaurants is available at the circulation desk.

The Richmond Field Station and NRLF comply with UCB's “Tobacco-Free Campus” policy, prohibiting “smoking or vaping of any substance” on all Berkeley property.

Visit

Driving directions

We highly recommend following the driving directions and maps below.

From I-80/580 (From Berkeley, Oakland, or San Francisco)
After the Gilman Street exit, get in one of the two right lanes and take I-580 toward the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.  Exit on Bayview (second exit).  Go up the ramp and turn left (toward the Bay) at the stoplight.  Go straight at the stop sign onto Meade Street for about ½ mi to South 47th Street (the second left). Turn left, then immediately right, into the Richmond Field Station (RFS). Continue ahead to NRLF.

From I-80 (From Sacramento)
Take the Carlson Blvd. exit. Turn right and go through the stop at South 55th Street. Turn left at the next light, Bayview. Go over the freeway to the stop sign. Go straight at the stop sign onto Meade Street for about ½ mi to South 47th Street (the second left). Turn left, then immediately right, into the Richmond Field Station. Continue ahead to NRLF.

From I-580 (from Marin County)
Take the Regatta Blvd. exit. Go straight through the light onto Meade Street, which borders the Richmond Field Station. Take the next right on South 47th Street and an immediate right into the Richmond Field Station. Continue ahead to NRLF.

From the Berkeley campus
Take Martin Luther King Jr. Way (which will change name to The Alameda) and turn left on Marin Avenue.  Take Marin across San Pablo Ave. and Jackson Street, and enter I-580 by following the sign toward Richmond.  (Enter carefully as the ramp enters from the left).  Exit on Bayview (second exit).  Go up the ramp and turn left (toward the Bay) at the stoplight. Go straight at the stop sign onto Meade Street for about ½ mi to South 47th Street (the second left). Turn left, then immediately right, into the Richmond Field Station. Continue ahead to NRLF.

Parking

Accessible parking is located in front of the building.

Map

Map of NRLF

Richmond Field Station (RFS) map

Once you are at the Richmond Field Station (RFS) consult the RFS Facilities Map for driving directions to Building 400.

Shuttle service from UC Berkeley campus

The Bear Transit RFS Line has been discontinued. Alternative public transit service routes can be found on the Parking and Transportation website.

Borrow

UC Berkeley Library cardholders, faculty, staff, and students

  • To borrow material shelved at NRLF, submit an online request by selecting ‘Request’ in the ‘Get It’ section of your selected title in UC Library Search.
  • To receive electronic copies of book chapters, journal articles, or conference papers, submit an online request by selecting ‘Request NRLF Article/Chapter Scan’ in the ‘Get It’ section of your selected title in UC Library Search.
  • Circulation staff at any campus library's public service desk can assist you with further questions.

Members of the public

If you are not affiliated with the University of California, please request material through a public, corporate, or other library.

Loan periods

Most materials are checked out for 90 or 180 days, depending on the borrowing privileges of the library user. Items are renewable via UC Library Search, telephone, or e-mail.

Borrowing restrictions

Items with a Restricted Use circulation status can not be viewed at the NRLF.

You must request Restricted Use items at the owning library.

Items with Use @ Lib Only circulation status may be viewed at any University of California library, but may not be borrowed.

Libraries and Institutions not affiliated with the University of California (Berkeley)

  • The NRLF provides access to the holdings of its depositing libraries through interlibrary loan of original material for loan and photoduplication requests received via OCLC WorldShare ILL or ILLiad (OCLC symbol ZAP), to libraries within the U.S. only.
  • Regular and rush service is available. 
  • We accept payment via IFM only.
Material available for LOAN (three weeks; nonrenewable)
  • Books: Will not lend double/triple folios, rare books.
  • Dissertations and theses: If second copy is available, will lend to California non-public libraries and out of state academic libraries.  Library Use Only, copying not permitted.
  • Newspapers: Will lend if on microfilm for Library Use Only.
  • Microform/other media: Most microfilm available for loan. Microfiche, software, audio/visual material, maps are non-circulating.
  • Government documents: Generally available for loan. Census material and congressional hearings are non-circulating.
  • Our facility will not lend items subject to other circulation restrictions.
Shipping

Material is shipped via FedEx Ground Service. For expedited shipping, provide your FedEx account number (Rush fees may apply). For returns, a traceable method of shipping is preferred.

Fees

We accept payment by OCLC IFM only. Consult the OCLC Policies Directory (OCLC symbol ZAP) for the fee schedule.

Other information

Loan service outside California suspended for the last two weeks of December.

Photoduplication

Copyright

All reproductions are supplied in compliance with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S. Code). The Library can neither grant nor refuse permission to use material to which it does not hold copyright. The Library retains all rights to commercial reproduction of material to which it does hold copyright.

Fees

We accept payment by OCLC IFM only. Consult the OCLC Policies Directory (OCLC symbol ZAP) for the fee schedule.

Delivery

Electronic transmission via Article Exchange in OCLC WorldShare ILL.

Dissertations

Doctoral dissertations from September 1962 to December 1970, and from December 1975 on, are available from ProQuest.

Deposit services

Information for depositing libraries

  • Depositing guidelines — Basic information for depositing material at the NRLF.
  • Operating principles (pdf) — This document expresses the basic principles governing the operation of the Northern Regional Library Facility. It establishes the purposes and goals of the Facility and states the guiding principles under which the Facility operates 
  • RLF Duplication Screening (pdf) — Guidelines for screening potential deposits for duplication. 
  • Statistics
    • Circulation/Document delivery — Statistics by year for Circulation and Document delivery.
    • Deposits — Year-to-date Allocation Usage; Statistics by campus and year for deposits and deaccessions.
  • Persistence policy (pdf) — This document describes the policies pertaining to persistent deposits at the Berkeley Regional Library Facilities.

NRLF reading room

reading room
NRLF reading room

  • NRLF and the reading room are open 12-4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, except University holidays.
  • Library users visiting the facility may use the material onsite, or, depending on their library privileges, may borrow material directly from NRLF.
  • NRLF does not have playback equipment (VHS, DVD, CD, phonodisc, cassette player).
  • UC Berkeley faculty, staff, and students may check out unrestricted items directly from NRLF.
  • Members of the general public must obtain a valid Berkeley library privilege card prior to visiting NRLF if they wish to borrow material. NRLF does not require a valid library card for one-time or occasional onsite use of material, but asks for a valid library card if research needs result in more frequent access to material.
  • Users wishing to check out and/or use material at the facility are encouraged to request the material via UC Library Search, telephone, or e-mail at least a day in advance of their expected visit; material will be ready for use upon their arrival. For same-day requests, please allow up to two hours (up to five items per day) for the requested item(s) to be available for use.
  • Printing, scanning, and copying:
    • 1 microform reader/printer
    • 1 microform scanner with software to scan to a USB flash drive
    • Photocopies are 5 cents per page