Berkeley Public Library Response to COVID-19 Coronavirus
Berkeley Public Library patrons,
We miss seeing you in our Libraries!
We would prefer to be helping you find the perfect book for the weekend or welcoming you into one of our daily programs or events. We understand how difficult this time is for many of you and for our community at large as we honor the need for social distancing to protect one another. Like you, we cannot wait until this emergency ends and we can welcome you back into our facilities.
In the meantime, we continue to commit to providing resources that support your learning, curiosity, and need creative outlets and entertainment.
To support your continued access to Library resources, we have done the following:
Increased lending and reservation e-limits on our most popular e-Resources
List of Frequently Asked Questions regarding Library services and your account. Please scroll down to review these FAQs.
Thank you for your support and understanding as we all work together to help keep each other safe.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long will the Library be closed?
Per the Shelter in Place Order, the Library will be closed at least through April 7. The rapidly changing pace of the response to COVID-19 by the City of Berkeley and the State of California means that we do not yet know the length of time the Library will be closed, nor do we know the extent of the emergency period in general. We will continue to provide updates via the Library’s e-newsletter and our website at berkeleypubliclibrary.org/coronavirus.
What Library resources can I access while Library locations are closed?
The Library’s abundant digital offerings, including eBooks, eAudiobooks, streaming movies, research databases and digital magazines and newspapers are available to you 24/7 with your library card.
In addition, we offer many opportunities for eLearning. Build valuable job skills, learn a new language, support home-schooling efforts, explore new artistic techniques, and more - all from your personal device.
Can I check out more eBooks and eAudiobooks while the Library is closed?
Yes! We have increased our lending and reservation limits on our most popular eResources so you can maximize your reading, listening and viewing experiences from home.
OverDrive: You can now check out 10 books and reserve 12 titles in OverDrive. We are purchasing new titles daily and offer a large library of e-books and e-audiobooks for you to choose from.
Hoopla: We have also increased the monthly checkout limit to 10 items in Hoopla. Hoopla offers access to music, books, and videos on all types of subjects, such as fitness at home, with no waiting and no holds.
Kanopy: On Kanopy, we have raised our limit to 10 movies a month. Kanopy Kids, which has a variety of educational and entertaining movies and videos, is now unlimited for our library patrons. Kanopy has also made accessible a number of movies that will not count towards your monthly limit during the COVID-19 crisis.
Enki: The Enki Library allows you to borrow up to 20 eBooks at a time from a large selection of works published by independent publishers, including UC Press, McGraw-Hill, and many small and medium-sized publishers. The Enki Library was designed and curated by public libraries to help you find unique and engaging reads not accessible through other commercial e-Book platforms.
What if my items are due during the closure? Will I accrue late fees?
All materials due from January 1, 2020 through April 30, 2020 are now due on June 1, 2020.
Since July 1, 2018, Berkeley Public Library has been fine free - no late fees will accrue on your account.
Can I drop off my materials in the Library’s book drops? What about Link+ items?
No. Book drops are closed. Please do not attempt to return materials until further notice. Do not leave materials outside of the library; you will be held responsible for the cost of the items if you do so.
We will let you know when the book drops reopen. In the meantime, your materials' loan periods have been extended through June 1, 2020.
Please hold onto Link+ materials until the Library reopens. Link+ borrowing and lending is currently suspended. The Library cannot automate renewal or change the due dates for Link+ materials. However, we have received assurance that participating libraries will waive all fees associated with late return of Link+ materials once those materials are returned after the Library reopens.
Why can’t I place holds on materials in the catalog?
Due to the City of Berkeley’s shelter in place order, the Library cannot process holds of physical items until that order is lifted because Library staff are currently assigned to essential, disaster service work or are sheltering in place.
If you want to keep track of materials so you can place holds on them at a later time, we recommend using the catalog’s “Saved Lists” feature, which allows you to create and save lists of materials for later review and access. To learn how, read the section on “Saved Lists” in our Catalog Help page.
What if some of my holds are ready for pick up?
They will remain on the hold shelf for you and we will provide plenty of time to pick them up after we reopen. Please disregard the Pick-Up By Date listed in your holds notice.
Will the Library deliver materials to my home or mail materials to me?
No. Library staff are sheltering in place or are assigned essential disaster-service responsibilities at this time. The Books by Mail service is on hiatus until sheltering in place becomes unnecessary.
My library card is about to expire. How can I renew it?
Any library card with an expiration date of January 1, 2019 through June 1, 2020 will now expire on October 1, 2020.
I have a question about my account. Is there anyone who can help me?
If you have any questions about your account or how to access digital resources, please use our Contact Us form. We will respond to inquiries as soon as possible. However, please realize that your questions may not be immediately answered due to the current conditions. Library staff are currently assigned to essential, disaster service work or are sheltering in place.
Reminder: Reliable Information and Updates
During times of crisis, it can be daunting to find reliable sources of information. We will continue to provide updates via this e-newsletter as well as post updates on berkeleypubliclibrary.org/coronavirus.
For trustworthy information about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the latest from the City of Berkeley please refer to: