Library launches universal-return service

Returning materials borrowed from one of UC Berkeley’s many libraries has just become much more convenient, under a universal-return policy that went into effect Aug. 27. Borrowers may now return books to any campus library location, rather than having to return them to the owning library. Exceptions apply to reserves, interlibrary loans, materials from the Law Library and special items such as maps, music scores and media.

In a recent campus-wide survey, a number of borrowers “encouraged the Library to formalize this service,” says Elizabeth Dupuis, associate University Librarian.

The Library piloted the new universal-return service with faculty last fall, and with graduate students during spring semester. These test runs allowed library staff, she says, to work out kinks so that “materials make their way back to the owning library quickly and in good condition. We’ve designed this new service to work well for library users and staff alike.”

The campus library system “is pretty complex, with a large number of locations and a wide range of types of library materials,” Dupuis notes. “With the adoption of the OskiCat library catalog, this long-desired service became possible. It allows us to keep better track of items, from where they were returned until they make it back to their owning library.”