VCU LibrariesResearch Guides

High School Students, Teachers and Librarians

Library Computers

Students and teachers with a current academic ID may use our guest access computer workstations to make use of our electronic resources, such as databases, and electronic journals and books, for one-hour per day. High school students can also use public computers in Cabell Library on Saturdays, when, space permitting, Information Services staff can log them in for an extended basis; this access is for academic use only.

Wireless Access

VCU Guest Wireless is available for all visitors to the VCU campus. When trying to connect to the guest wireless on your computer or mobile device, select the VCU Guest Wireless network and a log-in page will appear. Read the terms and conditions, accept them by entering your email address. Access to most electronic resources are available via the VCU Guest Network. 

Borrowing Materials

Your school needs to be a participant in our borrowing program. Your school librarian or media specialist is the coordinator; please contact them directly to find out if you are eligible.

Click here to learn more information about borrowing books from VCU Libraries.

Conducting Your Research at VCU Libraries

Research is a process, and you will soon discover that VCU Libraries has an abundance of resources - so many that it may seem overwhelming. Take your time, you'll find what you need with some patience. 

When you come to visit Cabell Library, we recommend you start your research by using the main VCU Libraries Search box at If you need tips on how to conduct your research check our our Research Basics Guide.

If you'd like to learn more about Cabell Library - where to find books, and other information - check out the Cabell Library Basics Guide. 

If you need help while you are on campus, feel free to drop by the first floor Information Desk. Our staff is happy to assist you. 

Don't forget, your high school librarian is a GREAT resource for all your research needs!

Free Online Resources

There is a lot of great -- and often scholarly -- information available for free online. Selected options are below. In addition, Virginia's public libraries and community colleges offer borrowing privileges to Virginia residents with a photo ID (usually a driver's license). Some public libraries may require a parent or guardian present for those under 18 years of age.

Copying, Printing and Scanning

Copying & printing: Purchase a pre-loaded printing card for $2 ($1 in printing is included in the purchase price) and add money to the card as needed. B&W two-sided printing is 12 cents; single-sided is 8 cents; color is 50 cents. Copies are 10 cents for single sided only. 

Scanning is free, you may email the scan to yourself; there are scanners on all floors.

Borrowing Materials - Full Details

When borrowing books, DVDs or CDs, students and teachers will receive a loan receipt. This loan receipt will include the title of each book borrowed and the due date. We encourage patrons to keep the email as a reminder of the due date. We will also send a courtesy email reminder 3 days prior to the due date and another the day the books are due. Emails are sent to the email address provided by the student upon registration.

Students are allowed one renewal for an additional 28 days. To renew a book the student may call Information Services at 804-828-1111 before the due date.  

The base replacement fee for lost books from the collection of Cabell Library is $80 plus a $10 lost item processing fee, and for books from the collection of Tompkins-McCaw Library, it is $150 plus a $10 lost item processing fee. If such a book is returned after being labeled as lost, the replacement fee is removed, however, the school will be responsible for the non-refundable processing fee of $10 for each lost/returned item and the maximum overdue fine of $10.

DVDs and CDs are subject to overdue fines if not returned on time. The overdue fine rate for these items is $1 per day. DVDs and CDs will be considered lost 4 days after the due date.