Undergraduate Library fellows offering research assistance

Library fellows Sofia Hernandez ‘24, left, and Avery Klauke ‘24 discuss entry points and access in Doe Library 190  on Oct. 12, 2022.
Sofia Hernandez ’24, left, and Avery Klauke ’24 are among the undergraduate Library fellows providing research help as part of a recently launched pilot. (Photo by Jami Smith for the UC Berkeley Library)

Students: Need help with your research?

Starting this month, undergraduate Library fellows are offering in-person peer library research assistance. Fellows are available 1-3 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through Nov. 30.

Make an appointment.

Better together: How the University of California’s libraries are uniting for a shared print future

Books line the shelves in the Main (Gardner) Stacks.
Books line the shelves in the Main (Gardner) Stacks at UC Berkeley. A program, now underway, leverages the interconnectedness of the University of California’s libraries to strategically preserve and manage collections, and to broaden discoverability and access. (Photo by Violet Carter for the UC Berkeley Library)

The UC Berkeley Library has recently embarked on an outreach effort to spread the word about the University of California libraries’ shared print strategies program to departments, institutes, and centers across campus.

This program is not new and has been active for a number of years. Contacts at the California Digital Library’s Shared Print Strategy Team and UC campuses have provided this information to local campus contacts as well as UC system faculty committees, including the Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate’s Committee on the Library, or LIBR; the University Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication, or UCOLASC; and the Systemwide Library and Scholarly Information Advisory Committee, or SLASIAC. The focus of the outreach is to convey that UC’s libraries are more interconnected than ever with one another, and with academic libraries across the country whose print collections augment and complement our own. This interconnectedness affords us an opportunity to redouble UC libraries’ efforts to engage in systematic and collaborative planning around print collection development and management.

The strategic goals are:

  • Preserving print resources to ensure the ongoing availability and integrity of that content.
  • Facilitating seamless discovery and access to content.
  • Enabling the collection of and access to more and unique content.

Even though our work is largely invisible to you, the UC Berkeley Library wanted to share some basic information around the UC shared print strategy.

Please see:

In addition to preserving print resources and content for future generations, the program provides access and discovery within UC libraries’ collections as well as enables the exploration of unique content beyond our collections.

If you have questions about the UC shared print strategy, please email scholarly-resources@lists.berkeley.edu. We look forward to hearing from you and answering any questions you have as we continue to innovate around developing and providing access to print collections for current and future UC faculty and students.

Love data? Join us for Love Data Week 2022, Feb. 14-18!

Once again, UC Libraries are collaborating on a UC-wide Love Data Week series of talks, presentations, and workshops Feb. 14-18, 2022. With over 30 presentations and workshops, there’s plenty to choose from, with topics such as:

  • How to write effective data management plans
  • Text analysis with Python
  • How and where to share your research data
  • Geospatial analysis with R and with Jupyter Notebooks
  • Data ethics & justice
  • Cleaning and coding data for qualitative analysis
  • Software management for researchers
  • An introduction to databases for newspapers and social science data
  • 3-D data, visualization, and mapping

All members of the UC community are invited to attend these events to gain hands-on experience, learn about resources, and engage in discussions about data needs throughout the research process. To register for workshops during this week and see what other sessions will be offered UC-wide, visit the UC Love Data Week 2022 website.

Call for comment: Pamela P. Fong Optometry and Health Sciences Library

The Pamela and Kenneth Fong Optometry and Health Sciences Library.
The proposed reconfiguration of the Optometry Library, above, and the Marian Koshland Bioscience, Natural Resources & Public Health Library aims to better address current campus and research needs.

A call for comment issued this week by University Librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason and John Flanagan, dean of the School of Optometry, encourages all interested parties to carefully read the proposed plan for the Pamela P. Fong Optometry and Health Sciences Library at UC Berkeley and to submit comments and recommendations for consideration. All suggestions will be given consideration; most helpful are ideas that take into account the academic and scholarly needs of students and faculty at UC Berkeley and enhance the mission of the Library and the university.

The comment period is open through November 18, 2021. We invite you to submit comments via email to libraryforum@lists.berkeley.edu.

Under the proposal, the Optometry Library space will be transferred to the School of Optometry to enhance its teaching and learning space, and the Optometry Library’s services and collections will be combined with those of the Bioscience, Natural Resources & Public Health Library.

By turning the Optometry Library space permanently over to the School of Optometry, the call for comment states, the school will be able to expand its student study and meeting room spaces and provide patrons with longer hours of access. By bringing Library staff together in one location, the Library can offer optometry students, faculty, and staff better-supported operations and services.

Read the proposed plan.

Call for comment: South/Southeast Asia Library

Note: The UC Berkeley Library has announced its decision to withdraw the proposal for the South/Southeast Asia Library. Read more.

This week, a call for comment issued by UC Berkeley’s University Librarian Jeffrey MacKie-Mason, College of Letters & Science’s Division of Arts & Humanities Dean Anthony Cascardi, and Division of Social Sciences Dean Raka Ray encourages anyone interested to carefully read the Library’s proposed plan for the South/Southeast Asia Library at UC Berkeley and to share comments and recommendations.

The comment period is open through Friday, April 9. We invite you to submit comments via email to libraryforum@lists.berkeley.edu.

The Library has developed a proposed vision for the South/Southeast Asia Library collections and services to be integrated with the Doe Library and Main (Gardner) Stacks in 2021.

The Commission on the Future of the UC Berkeley Library report (2013) asserted that the consolidation of campus libraries “could reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve the quality of collection development and service delivery to both students and faculty,” and encouraged the university librarian to work with academic leaders to “identify where and how space usage can be improved for user communities and service delivery better attuned to the needs of users.” In recent years the Library has closed, merged, and re-envisioned several campus libraries in response to changing user needs, emerging programs, and campus space-planning decisions.

Read the proposed plan.

Newly-processed additions to the Sierra Club Records at The Bancroft Library are the latest highlight of an NHPRC grant-funded project to make available 13 archival collections relating to environmental movements in the Western U.S.

Happy Birthday to the Sierra Club – turning 128 years old this month

And many more! Now one of the oldest and largest conservation organizations in the world, the Sierra Club was founded on May 28, 1892 in San Francisco by John Muir to promote conservation of the natural environment through public education, legislation and citizen action. Since then, the club has achieved a number of notable victories, including establishing and protecting national forests, parks and monuments; stopping dam construction in the Grand Canyon and Dinosaur National Park; fighting to keep the Antiquities Act intact; and campaigning for the passage of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act and the Wilderness Act. 

Fortunately, the significance of this non-profit organization’s unparalleled history of conservation was recognized early on, even before the modern environmental movement truly took off. In 1958 The Bancroft Library became the official repository for the Sierra Club. The first series of records from the organization came through Bancroft’s doors in the 1970s. Over the decades the collection has grown with periodic installments as more recent records are added to the archives. The Sierra Club collection is a significant part of what has evolved into a major collecting theme within Bancroft’s curatorial umbrella of Western Americana: environmental movements of the 20th century.

Project wrap-up: NHPRC grant makes available newly-opened environmental collections and additions to ongoing collections

The Bancroft Library is pleased to report the completion of a two-year National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant project resulting in the processing of 13 collections totaling 384.25 linear feet of records. These newly-accessible resources include the latest additions to four collections of Sierra Club records, along with nine other archival collections relating to environmental movements in the Western U.S

The collections processed for the project — selected by Theresa Salazar, Bancroft’s Curator of Western Americana — were chosen because of high demand and their likely benefit to multiple areas of scholarship. Topics in these collections include a wide range of ecological issues related to protection and conservation of the environment via legislation and greater transparency and accountability in the wake of environmental damage. The research value of these collections is potentially wide and diverse, especially for scholars in fields such as history, environmental and forest science, natural and renewable resources, environmental and social justice, indigenous rights, human rights, animal rights and endangered species.

Archival processing of environmental collections

Processing archival collections entails intellectual and physical arrangement and description of the papers or records in a finding aid and catalog records published in library catalogs. When processing, archivists look for evidence of archival value in the materials to justify their continued preservation and storage. This is generally defined as the ongoing usefulness and significance of the materials in regards to the administrative, legal, fiscal, evidential or historical information they contain.

The processing of the Sierra Club records has proven to be especially complex. Because the organization’s records comprise a large and complex body of material, the Library determined early on that the material would be divided into more easily processed sub-collections, each of which would be further organized according to the conventional archival hierarchy of series and sub-series. These sub-collections include the general Sierra Club records, the Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter and the Sierra Club California Legislative Office records, among many others. 

Types of records found in the Sierra Club and other environmental collections at Bancroft may include correspondence and notes, grassroots organizing, outreach and educational campaigns, membership and promotional materials, program and subject files, reports and studies, lobbying letters, testimony, legislation and legal briefs, newsletters, clippings, maps, photographs and posters. Numerous Sierra Club oral histories, audio-visual materials and related pictorial collections can also be found at Bancroft.

Bancroft a leading repository for U.S. environmental documentation

Environmental collections are among the most frequently used materials at Bancroft. As is reflected in the material selected for the NHPRC grant, The Bancroft Library holds the records of many important environmental organizations and the papers of a range of influential environmental activists. Collections of other environmental organizations currently available for research at The Bancroft Library include the records of the Jenner Coastside Conservation Coalition, Save the Bay, Save-the-Redwoods League and Urban Habitat. Also available are the papers of environmental educators, leaders and activists such as David Brower, Newton B. Drury, Mark Evanoff, Aldo Leopold, Robert Marshall, Sylvia McLaughlin and Margaret Wentworth Owings. The Bancroft Library also holds pictorial collections pertaining to Ansel Adams and the Rainforest Action Network, and many collections of photographs showing degradation of the environment caused by deforestation and logging, wildfires, toxic substances and pollutants, floods, drought, and war.

Collection guides and further reading

Descriptions of The Bancroft Library’s archival collections can be accessed by searching Oskicat for catalog records and at the Online Archive of California for more in-depth finding aids. Selected digitized material from these collections is available via Calisphere and the UC Berkeley Digital Collection. In-person access to Bancroft’s collection material can be requested by the library’s online request service Aeon and by visiting the library’s Heller Reading Room during open hours. 

Within many of the environmental movements there are overlapping figures and groups, such as Berkeley’s own David Brower who was the first Executive Director of the Sierra Club and co-founder of Friends of the Earth and Earth Island Institute. It is therefore advisable that researchers look for information pertaining to “related collections” and “materials cataloged separately” when consulting collection guides. Such notes are usually presented in the catalog record and among the introductory information of the finding aid for any given collection.

Finding aids for the environmental collections recently made accessible by the NHPRC grant project are linked here:

Previous UC Berkeley Library Update posts from the past two years delve deeper into the histories, activities and records of some of the organizations whose collections were made accessible via the NHPRC grant project. In addition to the collection descriptions found in each collection’s finding aid, these Library Update articles offer helpful overviews and are illustrated with images of noteworthy collection material. 

To learn more about Arizona Toxics Information and their fight to promote transparency and the right-to-know about pollutants and toxics along the Arizona-Mexico border, go here

For an article on Earth Island Institute’s role as a Berkeley-based incubator network for conservation groups, including the Marine Mammal Institute, follow this link

To find out more about the Friends of the River Foundation and their river protection campaigns, including their lengthy battle to halt construction of the New Melones Dam along the Stanislaus River, read this article

A post about the Rainforest Action Network and their international campaigns to protect forests and promote environmental justice can be accessed here

Information about the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund (renamed Earthjustice in 1997) and why “the earth needs a good lawyer” can be found in this post.

Online Reference Services and Research Help

The Library’s reference services have moved online at least through April 7th. Please see Remote Resources for UC Berkeley Library Users for the latest information on library services and resources. During this time, the Engineering & Physical Sciences Libraries are offering several ways to get reference service and research help.

Contact a Librarian

Librarians are available Monday – Friday during business hours to answer any questions you might have. Email one of us with your question or click the link to schedule an online meeting. If you’re not sure who to contact, feel free to use the Ask a Science Librarian form.

24/7 online help

Chat: Chat with a librarian. The chat service is staffed by Berkeley librarians, but at peak service times or off-hours you may be connected with a librarian from another academic institution.

Online guides, tutorials and videos:

Connecting from off campus

If you are not on campus, use EZProxy or the VPN (VPN users: choose Library Access – Full Tunnel rather than the default Split Tunnel) to authenticate yourself as a Berkeley student, faculty, or staff to access online books, journals, databases, and other resources.

If a desired resource is not available as a full-text version online, Berkeley students, faculty, and staff may be able to place a request for a digital copy through our Interlibrary Borrowing Service.  Check their website for current information on what is available through this service.

Data Publishing with Dryad Digital Repository 

The California Digital Library (CDL) recently partnered with Dryad to provide enhanced data publishing and curation support for researchers. (Photo by J. Pierre Carrillo for the UC Berkeley Library)
(Photo by J. Pierre Carrillo for the UC Berkeley Library)

The California Digital Library (CDL) recently partnered with Dryad to provide enhanced data publishing and curation support for researchers. Dryad is a free service that enables researchers to archive and make publicly available their research data for the long term. Dryad replaces Dash, which was the data repository previously available to the university. 

Datasets published in Dryad receive a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) and a citation, both of which provide the data a persistent location, identification, and makes the data citable in future use. Additionally, Dryad fulfills many of the data sharing requirements stipulated by funders and publishers, many of whom may require that data be made freely and openly available at the end of a project or upon publication. 

Publishing data to Dryad is relatively quick and easy. As a UC Berkeley researcher, begin the upload process by signing in to Dryad using your ORCID ID. The data is then reviewed by a curator, meaning the data is reviewed and enriched to be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable or FAIR. By making your data FAIR, others in your area of expertise will be able to locate, understand, and potentially reuse the data you generated. Data that is made easily findable and publicly available contributes to raising the quality of scholarly output by making the process of data production transparent. Funders require data publishing to better leverage research dollars and publishers require data publishing to enhance the quality of scholarly literature. 

Please visit datadryad.org to explore published datasets. If you have any questions about preparing your data for publication or using Dryad, please contact researchdata@berkeley.edu.

Getting Your Bearings Library Tours

Library Tours Aug. 28-Sept. 3 graphic

Join other students and get your bearings with a 3-in-one tour of the Doe Memorial Library, Moffitt Undergraduate Library, and the Main Stacks. See these central libraries and learn about the student services they provide.

When: Aug. 28-Sept. 3, 2019 every day (with exceptions) from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. and 2-3 p.m.
Where: Doe Library; tour starts at the north entrance

Additions to the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund Records Now Open at The Bancroft Library

A  two-year grant project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to make available a range of archival collections relating to environmental movements in the West has enabled The Bancroft Library to process additions to its already significant holdings of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund records

The Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund was established in 1971 in San Francisco as a not-for-profit public interest group dedicated to litigating environmental battles for the Sierra Club and groups and individuals affiliated with the organization. The Fund works with community partners to fight for clean air and water and to protect wilderness and wildlife through litigating cases and preparing friend of the court (amicus curiae) briefs that provide information and expertise on numerous environmental issues. In 1997, the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund changed its name to Earthjustice and the group continues to fight cases on environmental issues into the 21st century. The Earthjustice motto, “Because the Earth needs a good lawyer,” has been cited as one of the best non-profit taglines to clearly convey an organization’s solemn mission with emotion and humor.

The Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund records additions range from 1967 to 1995 and include environmental litigation cases from more than 30 states and the District of Columbia as well as amicus briefs for numerous cases, including some for the Supreme Court of the United States. A leading repository for the documentation of U.S. environmental movements, The Bancroft Library is home to the records of many significant environmental organizations and the papers of a range of environmental activists.