VCU Library Resources

One of the many fabulous advantages of our school’s location is being within walking distance of VCU, including the beautifully renovated James Branch Cabell Library.

Resources Available from VCU Libraries 

  • For suggested resources about your topic, review the relevant Research Guide created by a VCU librarian. Guides are developed for certain topics and/or courses and typically highlight key books, databases, and other resources.
  • Once you have a subject or book in mind, perhaps a title you found in the footnotes of an article you’ve read, search the VCU Libraries online catalog.
  • If you’d like to know if VCU subscribes to a specific journal, use their journal finder

Finding Books in VCU’s Cabell Library

University libraries are big, bustling places and our lunchtime shuttle will arrive at VCU during one of Cabell’s busiest times. Proper preparation is essential.

  1. Compile a list – at least title and author(s) – of books that interest you. You may discover these through article citations/footnotes, teacher/mentor suggestions, in Research Guides, or by searching the VCU Libraries online catalogNote: If you’d rather browse the shelves in a favorite subject area (e.g., psychology), check this LC subjects page to learn which letter those call numbers begin with (e.g., call numbers for books about psychology begin with B).
  2. Check the VCU Libraries online catalog to see if they have the books. If so, notice where the books are located in the library (1st, 3rd, or 4th floor).
  3. Familiarize yourself with the LC Classification system.
    • Read this intro. What letter appears at the beginning of call numbers for books and other resources about your topic? (e.g., call numbers for books about education being with L).
    • Consult floor maps of Cabell Library to see where books with call numbers in that classification are shelved (e.g., Education books are on the third floor).
    • Watch this two-minute video about how to read an LC call number so that you can quickly find your book on the shelves.
  4. Complete and submit your university borrower form, VCU Libraries registration form, and repeating field trip form to Ms. DeGroat no later than the Friday BEFORE the date of the shuttle you’d like to take. When you return all your forms, you will receive a borrowing pass.
  5. On the first Wednesday you select, meet near the activity bus in the student parking lot by 11:40am. The bus will depart promptly at 11:40am and return by 12:15pm.

Borrowing Materials from VCU Libraries

Books, CDs, and DVDs available from VCU Libraries are a valuable complement to the MW Library’s resources. In order to check out their materials, follow the steps below (forms are available in the Resources area of the Dragons Research group in Schoology):

  1. Submit a completed university borrowing form (requires signature of parent/guardian) to Ms. DeGroat to obtain a borrowing pass* for VCU Libraries.
  2. Complete a VCU Libraries registration form
  3. Take the borrowing pass, the VCU Libraries registration form, and a photo ID (e.g. MLWGS student ID) to Cabell Library to check out the items of interest to you
  4. You may check out a maximum of 10 books for 28 days, one renewal. Loan period for DVDs and CDs is 7 days, limit 5 DVDs at one time. Books may be renewed by calling Information Services at 804-828-1111 before the due date.

*The borrowing pass is a single-use pass. Once you return those items, you may obtain another borrowing pass from Ms. DeGroat.

Fees assessed for late and lost items at VCU Libraries are significant. Overdue fines on CDs and DVDs begin as soon as they are late at the rate of $1 per day; on the 4th day late, they’re considered lost, as are books more than 28 days late. An item returned after it has been marked lost will be assessed a $10 processing fee. Items not returned will be assessed a replacement fee of at least $80 per item, sometimes more. Materials borrowed from the Tompkins-McCaw Library are subject to a $150 replacement fee.

On-site Access to Research Databases through VCU Libraries

If you have your own mobile device, you may take your device to Cabell Library, log on to the guest wireless with a valid email address, and use most of their online databases.

If you need to use one of VCU’s computers, you may use one of their library computers (subject to availability) for up to one hour per day.  If you visit Cabell Library on Saturdays you may have access for longer periods of time (subject to computer availability) as part of VCU’s Saturday Scholars program for high school students. Computer use requires a photo ID (e.g. MLWGS student ID) and valid email address.

After 10pm Mon-Thur, Cabell Library access is limited to VCU students with a valid ID card (card must be swiped at entrance doors).  The library is also closed on some holidays and other days. Check their hours page for a semester schedule.

Remote Access to VCU databases

You must be enrolled in a VCU dual enrollment course to access VCU databases remotely.

If you’re in a VCU dual enrollment course, you may set up remote access to VCU databases during the second semester of the course. To get database access, you’ll need your VCU eID which you can look up on their eID lookup page by inputting your date of birth and either your VCU Banner ID (a.k.a., V Number) or the last ten digits of your VCU Card number.

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