Community Patrons

Using Library Spaces and Materials

Things to know about visiting our library spaces

Visitors are welcome to Library buildings for research and study during regular operating hours. Different libraries hold different kinds of collections, and all have places to read and study.

Some library buildings have restrictions:

The Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library is open to the public.

  • Researchers not affiliated with U.Va. have access to the collections upon filling out a brief form and showing a photo ID issued by a government agency or employer.

Reference Services & Using Materials

  • Reference assistance is available in Library buildings.
  • Virginia residents 16 years of age and older, and registered researchers, can check out books using their Virginia driver’s license or other photo ID. If there are materials you want but we do not have, visit your local public library—they may have them or be able to request them through their interlibrary loan system.
  • Community patrons may check out CDs and other sound recordings from  the Music Library for a week.
  • The use of videos and DVDs is limited to U.Va. students, faculty, and staff.
  • Alderman Library, as a federal depository library, makes government information in all formats available for use by anyone. The Library use policy applies.

Access to Research Databases

The research databases the Library subscribes to are available from public computer terminals in Alderman, Charles L. Brown Science & Engineering Library, and Clemons.

  • Please be aware that the number of computers is limited and priority is given to students doing research.
  • If a computer is available, you can get a guest ID from the public service desk to log in.
  • You are encouraged to bring your own laptop or computing device.
  • Wireless PINs are available from public service desks in Alderman, Brown Science & Engineering Library, and Clemons.
  • All patrons are expected to abide by our library use policy and database access policy.

Attending Programs and Exhibits

  • The Library’s exhibitions are free and open to the public.
  • The Mary and David Harrison Institute has a major exhibit every year on the main floor, plus rotating exhibits of special collections materials downstairs.
  • Library programs are also open to the public and individual libraries host programs during community events such as the Festival of the Book and Garden Week. There are also Library programs during Reunions and Family Weekend.