VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Visitors & Community Members

Use of Library Facilities Guidelines

Full details on the use of library facilities. 

On-Campus Wireless

Access to most electronic resources are available via the VCU Guest Wireless. For full details, review the details on this pdf.

Building Use Guidelines

VCU Libraries provides limited access to physical and online research collections for non-VCU academic researchers. These resources are to be used for academic purposes only. The majority of VCU Libraries computers require secure login to computers with a VCU eID username and password. To ensure that non-VCU researchers can obtain appropriate access to our licensed research tools and print collections, we offer the following options.
 
Access to physical collections
Physical collections may be used on site by any researcher with a VCU Card or an affiliation with an academic institution. Health sciences practitioners may use on site collections with a current hospital ID or other proof of status. Students and faculty at other colleges or universities may qualify for borrowing privileges through the Richmond Academic Library Consortium or the VIVA cooperative borrowing program. Faculty may also be eligible for borrowing privileges through the OCLC Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program. Students at local high schools which have partnered with VCU Libraries may also check out materials from our physical collections (additional information available in our guidelines outlining Access Privileges for High School Students and Teachers). Physical government documents may be used by anyone with a government-issued photo ID.
 
Individuals who are not eligible for borrowing programs through any of the aforementioned programs can join the VCU Libraries Friends of the Library at the $100 ‘Friends’ or higher level to obtain borrowing privileges.
 
Note: A VCU ID is required to use James Branch Cabell Library between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 am. VCU ID or proof of health sciences practitioner status is required for entry into Tompkins-McCaw Library after 8:00 pm."
 

Visitor Access to Online Resources

On-site visitors with a current ID from a college, university, or high school may access online collections for academic research by visiting any VCU library. All users must comply with VCU Libraries computer resources regulations and VCU Computer and Network Resources Use Policy. To ensure that non-VCU researchers can obtain needed access to our licensed online research tools, we offer the following options:
 
1) Access to resources via VCU Guest Wireless network
Visitors with their own wireless-enabled devices may use the VCU Guest Wireless network in library facilities to access the majority of VCU Libraries online resources. Details on how to create a free guest wifi account are located to the left in the box labeled "on-campus wireless." Most licensed content prohibits commercial use of any kind.  
 
2) Eduroam
Visitors  from other research organizations or educational institutions may use the Eduroam network to access the majority of VCU Libraries online resources while visiting library facilities.
 
3) Daily courtesy access at guest-only computers
  • At Cabell and Tompkins-McCaw Libraries, non-VCU academic researchers may request one hour of access at our guest-only computer stations by showing an ID issued by a college, university, or high school, and/or by verifying current enrollment.  
  • At the Health and Wellness Library in the VCU Medical Center Gateway Building, patients, their family members, VCU and VCU Health System students and employees may request one hour of computer access by showing a photo ID. Priority is given to patients and their family members; printing is limited to patients and family members only.  
  • VCU Libraries staff will issue a one-time password to log into a guest computer; access is limited to one 60 minute session per day at Cabell and Tompkins-McCaw libraries. Guests at the Health and Wellness Library are given a 30 minute session and may request a 30 minute extension. Guests must be logged in within 10 minutes of a scheduled reservation, and must be onsite to request access at all locations.   
4) Scholarly Access on Saturdays
On Saturdays, space permitting, at James Branch Cabell Library or Tompkins-McCaw Library, non-VCU researchers may request expanded access by showing an ID issued by a college, university, or high school, or by verifying current enrollment.  When classes are not in session on the Monroe Park Campus, such as during spring or winter break, Scholarly Access may be available in Cabell Library on other days.
 
5) Access to Government Documents
Non-VCU guests who wish to access electronic federal government documents must bring a current government-issued ID card to the service desk when the library is open to the public. Staff will issue a one-time password to log in to a guest computer; access is limited to one 60 minute session per day. Guests must be logged in within 10 minutes of a scheduled reservation, and must be onsite to request access.  
 
6) Privileges for VCU Alumni Association Members
VCU alumni can access online resources while in VCU Libraries by obtaining an electronic ID that will also allow access to in-building library computers. To be eligible, VCU alumni must have completed a degree program at VCU or at one of its predecessor institutions, Richmond Professional Institute or the Medical College of Virginia.
  1. Alumni must first register online.
  2. Once registered with VCU Alumni, library privileges can be requested. 
  3. After activation of borrowing privileges, alumni can request an electronic ID; processing may take several weeks. 
  4. Alumni with their own wireless-enabled devices may use the VCU Guest Wireless network in library facilities to access the majority of VCU Libraries online resources. Details on how to create a free guest wifi account are located to the left in the box labeled "on-campus wireless."  Most licensed content prohibits commercial use of any kind. 
7) Friends of VCU Libraries 
Friends of VCU Libraries donors at the $100 a year or more level can access online resources while in VCU Libraries by obtaining an electronic ID that will allow access to in-building library computers. 
  1. Friends must first donate to activate borrowing privileges.
  2. After activation of borrowing privileges, Friends can request an electronic ID; processing may take several weeks. 
  3. Friends of VCU Libraries with their own wireless-enabled devices  may use the VCU Guest Wireless network in library facilities to access the majority of VCU Libraries online resources. Details on how to create a free guest wifi account are located to the left in the box labeled "on-campus wireless."  Most licensed content prohibits commercial use of any kind.