UC Berkeley Library announces plans for 2022-23 academic year

Students walk by Moffitt Library on a sunny day
Moffitt Library will reopen on Aug. 22 after closing for seismic upgrades. (Photo by Violet Carter for the UC Berkeley Library)

After closing for seismic upgrades in December, Moffitt Library, Berkeley’s popular hub for students, will open its doors on Aug. 22.

In the 2022-23 academic year, most of Berkeley’s libraries will maintain their usual services and hours. Other campus libraries will adopt new temporary service models, with reduced hours or reduced services, or both.

What’s the reason behind the changes? In short, the Library is operating with a smaller staff and fewer resources. Since 2003, student enrollment has increased 40 percent while inflation-adjusted Library funding per student has fallen by nearly half, 47 percent. In the coming months, the Library will be working to develop a more sustainable vision for the future.

Library spaces and services

This year, most locations will be open with a range of services, which vary by location:

  • Art History/Classics Library (closed Saturdays)
  • The Bancroft Library
  • Bioscience, Natural Resources & Public Health Library
  • Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Library
  • Doe Library (closed Saturdays)
  • Earth Sciences & Map Library (reduced hours)
  • East Asian Library (reduced hours)
  • Engineering Library
  • Environmental Design Library
  • Main (Gardner) Stacks
  • Mathematics Statistics Library (reduced hours)
  • Moffitt Library (open 22 hours most days starting in mid-September)
  • Morrison Library
  • Music Library
  • Northern Regional Library Facility
  • Social Research Library

Five libraries will operate as study-only locations without circulation services:

  • Anthropology Library (books must be requested online for pickup at another library)
  • Business Library
  • Graduate Services (reference collection remains available for in-library use)
  • Physics-Astronomy Library (some books available at Mathematics Statistics Library)
  • South/Southeast Asia Library (reference collection remains available for in-library use)

Two libraries will offer services by appointment only:

  • Media Resources Center
  • Newspapers & Microforms Library

Libraries’ hours of operation can be found on the hours page. Hours are subject to change on short notice throughout the year, so please check before visiting.

While services at our physical locations are evolving, the Library continues to provide research help through our 24/7 chat, FAQs, and research appointments.

Collections

The Library is reducing its collections budget by $1.7 million over two years. During the 2022-23 fiscal year, funding normally used for print and digital books, media, and datasets will be drawn down by $850,000. In the following year, the remaining cut of $850,000 will come from a reduction in subscription databases and journals.

This collections cutback is the third at the Library since 2016. In light of the reductions, the Library is reimagining its collecting strategy. In the spring of 2023, the Library will share its renewed vision for collecting, and will provide an opportunity for faculty, students, and staff to weigh in on the cancellations that will be proposed in the effort to scale back on databases and journals.

The Library will continue to build select distinctive collections, and expand our work with partners across the University of California and beyond to share materials with the people who need them. By collaborating with others, the Library aims to better position itself not just as a repository where knowledge is held, but as a gateway to information and resources from across the world.

Looking ahead

In the meantime, the Library is working on developing a new strategic plan, which will be informed by Berkeley students, faculty, staff, campus leaders, and Library staff. The plan will lay out a sustainable vision for the Library as it carries out its mission to help students and scholars — both now and in the future — find, evaluate, use, and create knowledge to better the world. More information about the Library’s plans will be shared as it becomes available.

Editor’s note: This article was updated from its original form.