Skip to Main Content

Local Libraries

Information on local libraries

Different Kinds of Libraries

Merritt College students have access to a wide variety of local libraries. While it is probably the most handy and useful to use the Merritt College Library's in-person and online services, you may choose to visit a library closer to you, or one with different operating hours.

You will encounter different types of libraries near you. The two you are most likely to use are Academic and Public Libraries.

  • Academic Libraries are associated with a college or university. The Merritt College Library is an Academic Library. To fully use all the offerings of an Academic Library, you need to be enrolled in that school. Many Academic Libraries allow nonenrolled visitors to use their spaces but may restrict computer use, database exploration and book check-outs to enrolled students and faculty. Academic Libraries focus their collection on books, journals, databases and reference materials that will support educational research.
  • Public Libraries are owned and operated by local governments. They are free and accessible to local residents. Most of our local public libraries only require you to be a California resident (of any city) to get a library card. Cards are necessary to check out books but not to use the facilities. Public Libraries serve all ages of patrons and will often have extensive children's or young adult sections in addition to general fiction and nonfiction texts.

Both types of libraries will offer books to check out, films and use of databases. We encourage you to use the Merritt College Library as well as your local public libraries to support your education!

Academic Libraries

The Peralta Libraries

As a Peralta student, you are allowed to use any of the Peralta libraries. You may check out print books, use the library computers and study at all of the libraries, however you will only be allowed to use the online databases at schools where you are currently enrolled in classes.

In addition to the Merritt College Library, you may use the:

Please select the links to the individual colleges to confirm hours of operation.


University of California Berkeley Libraries

University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720

UC Berkeley has several libraries open to the public to visit (map). Visitors may use the library computers to gain access to the University databases. You may access the Main Library Stacks for research by applying for a free Stack Pass. To borrow books from the UC Libraries, you will will need to purchase a 1-year borrowing card for 1 year ($100). 

For parking information and additional details about visitor access, please refer to the Berkeley Library Information for Visitors.


Cal State East Bay Library

25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard, Hayward, California 94542

Visitors to the CSEB Library have access to library computers, on-campus database use, guest WiFi and may apply for a free 21-day Community Borrowers account to check out books.

For parking and visitor information, refer to the Library Visitor Guide.


Public Libraries

Any resident of California may use these public libraries. Borrow books, movies, toys, tools, and more! You do not need to have a permanent address or to be a US citizen or permanent resident. These libraries are free to use!


City of Oakland Public Libraries


City of Alameda Libraries


City of Berkeley Libraries


City of San Leandro Libraries