Information for Community Visitors

VCU Libraries buildings are open to members of the public. Visitors are expected to follow guidelines around Use of Libraries.

Visiting VCU Libraries locations

James Branch Cabell Library (901 Park Ave.) was named a “Landmark Library” by the Library Journal. Ask for a self-guided walking tour handout at the service desk, or use our online floor maps to find your way around. 

Health Sciences Library (509 N. 12th St.) holds one of the largest and most extensive collections of health sciences literature in North America. 

The VCU Health and Wellness Library, located in the Gateway Building of the VCU Medical Center (1200 E. Marshall St.), offers many free programs on health topics, and the library has abundant resources on health, fitness, illness and wellbeing. The library is free and open to all 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and also offers online resources. 


VCU Libraries welcomes the community to attend its Events, ranging from movie screenings and book talks to panel discussions and keynote lectures. To stay up to date about events and other library news, we invite you to join our mailing list.

Internet access

VCU Guest Wireless allows community access with a simple sign-in process. Choose “VCU Guest Wireless” and follow the prompts.

To log on to computers within a library building, VCU electronic ID (eID) is required. Alumni and members of the Friends of VCU Libraries may request an eID when you sign up for a borrowing card. With an eID, you can access online resources in library buildings using your own device or using one of the public computers. 

Borrowing and online access

VCU alumni may request a free library card to borrow items and to access online resources while in the library. Community members can receive the same privileges by supporting the Friends of VCU Libraries. 

Community borrowers can include VCU alumni who request an account, students and faculty at participating Virtual Library of Virginia (VIVA) institutions, students and faculty at Richmond Academic Library Consortium institutions, and high school students at local partner schools.

Access to online resources

VCU Libraries offers many that are free and available to all and that can be accessed from anywhere. Additional research resources are listed in this guide for community members.

Alumni and Friends members may request a VCU electronic ID (eID) when they sign up for a borrowing card. With an eID, you can access online resources in library buildings using your own device or using one of the public computers. 

The Workshop

The Workshop, located on Cabell’s lower level, is a hands-on makerspace. Alumni and community members with library cards are welcome in The Workshop. Only current VCU faculty or students may check out equipment, and they are priority users of the production studios and equipment. Alumni and Friends cardholders may use computer workstations, which offer video, audio, GIS management software and more, when they are not in demand for academic use. Depending on availability, alumni may also reserve studios and enjoy use of in-house machines including the 3D printers and laser cutters. 

High school access

James Branch Cabell Library has relationships with regional high schools whose students and faculty have borrowing privileges and in-building access to digital materials. For 2018-19, these secondary schools had use of VCU Libraries:

  • James River High School
  • Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School
  • Manchester High School
  • Meadowbrook High School
  • Patrick Henry High School
  • Richmond Community High School
  • St. Catherines School
  • St. Gertrude High School
  • Thomas Jefferson High School
  • Trinity Episcopal School

Additional information

Library buildings are open varied hours, often overnight, and a VCU ID card is required for entry after 8 p.m. at Health Sciences Library and after 10 p.m. at Cabell Library.

The Starbucks Cafe in Cabell Library is usually open when the building is open but does close earlier than the building during summers and breaks. 

Study rooms at both libraries are in high demand and may not be reserved by community guests.