New benefits for alumni usher in a new era of library access after graduation

May 18, 2020
Three people talking at a table at the B is for Beer event.

VCU Libraries announces that, through a partnership with VCU Alumni, all VCU alumni now have expanded library privileges.

People who have completed a degree program at VCU or at one of its predecessor institutions, Richmond Professional Institute or the Medical College of Virginia, have access to these expanded privileges.

This new program is related to the reorganization of VCU Alumni from a paid membership model to a new model that eliminates membership dues and offers programs and services to all alumni.

Previously, VCU alumni have been able to walk into James Branch Cabell Library or Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences and access digital resources, read books and newspapers, and enjoy the use of library spaces and seek the expertise of staff. Now, VCU alumni also can set up a library account that will grant them borrowing privileges for books in the collection. In addition, they can now obtain an electronic ID that will also allow access to in-building library desktop computers equipped with word processing, spreadsheet, email, and other productivity software, as well as network access.

Borrowing privileges

To activate free alumni library borrowing privileges, VCU graduates must register online for a library account. It will take about two weeks to receive an alumni borrowing card. Alumni can then bring the card along with a photo ID to borrow materials from the library collections at either James Branch Cabell Library or Tompkins-McCaw Library.

The alumni library card also gives access to library spaces and services when VCU’s libraries are open. People using a library building after 10 p.m. should be prepared to show your card to enter or remain in the building.

Use of in-building computers

VCU’s libraries have a few guest-access computers that anyone can use for research purposes, including accessing online journals and databases. These computers are first-come, first-served and may be used for only up to one hour at a time. Please see the Information Desk for more information.

Users who need computer access for longer times or on an ongoing basis, can request a VCU eID that will allow login to any library public computer and in-building use of productivity software and online access. To obtain this eID, contact the library development office at (804) 827-1165. This process will take about two weeks. Users will be notified by email with instructions on how to activate the eID and set a password.

Library users are required to know and follow the VCU Libraries' guidelines for building and computer use.

Access to The Workshop


Alumni with library cards are welcome in The Workshop, the hands-on makerspace on the lower level in Cabell Library. Current VCU faculty or students are priority users of the production studios and equipment. Alumni and Friends of VCU Libraries library cardholders may use computer workstations--that offer a range of video, audio, GIS mangement software and more--when they are not in demand for academic use. Alumni may also reserve studios and enjoy use of in-house machines including the 3D printers and laser cutters. Only students and faculty may checkout three-day loaned equipment.

Visitors from other universities, libraries and groups in the metro Richmond community who would like a tour or more information about The Workshop should contact us for an appointment.  


Invitations to VCU Libraries events

VCU Libraries sponsors many educational and literary events that alumni can attend for free. Be sure we have your updated email address so that you don’t miss any communication about upcoming events. Alumni who sign up for borrowing cards will be added to certain library mailing lists to receive notices and invitations.

< Previous  Next >