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Alumni Library Portal Sign In FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Alumni Library Portal Sign In and why do I need to use it?

Alumni Library Portal Sign In is the mechanism the Library uses to authenticate alumni to access licensed resources. The Alumni Library Portal includes links to many freely accessible databases that provide journal articles, ebooks, conference papers, data sets, and more, but a few licsensed databases require authentication prior to access.

What can I access as an alumnus?

The Virginia Tech Libraries has licensed a small selection of databases (sources of journal articles and ebooks) for use by Virginia Tech alumni. While most of our databases are licensed solely for use by current students, faculty, and staff, these select databases combined with our vetted list of freely accessible, scholarly databases and the licensed databases available to you through your local public library provide a wealth of academic, consumer, and business publications and data.

We control access to these select licensed resources through the Alumni Library Portal Sign In service. By authenticating with your PID and password, the databases will recognize you as a Virginia Tech alumnus and allow access to their content that is included in our subscription (we don't necessarily have access to everything through a given database).

In addition, anyone can access the majority of our restricted resources while on campus (including the National Capital Region campus).

I can't get connected. Why?

The sign in system uses the same CAS authentication as MyVT, HokieSPA, and numerous other Virginia Tech services. There are only a few reasons it would not work for you:

Are you a Virginia Tech alumnus? 

Only Virginia Tech alumni have access to Alumni Library Portal Sign In. We look up your PID in the university's database of PIDs to check that you have the alumnus status. If you don't have that status, you will have to contact the Alumni Association to figure out why; the library has no ability to change your status with the university.

Are you entering the right PID/password?

Your PID is not an email address; don't include the part. You also can't enter any aliases you have set up. The corresponding password is the same one you would use for HokieSPA and MyVT (but not your email on Google--it uses a different password). Can't remember your PID/password? You can reset it online.

Has your password expired? 

All PID passwords now expire after one year. If your password is expired, you won't be able to use Alumni Library Portal Sign In until it is changed.

You are trying to access a resource not authorized for alumni

Only the databases listed in the Alumni Library Portal can be accessed through this system. If you attempt to access a database outside this list, you can get an error message.

Check your PID/password and your current status

You can check you are entering the correct PID/password, that your password has not expired, and that your status allows access by logging into MyVT. If you can login there, you are using the right PID/password combination.

To check your status, switch to the Personal Info tab, then use the Manage Your Profile link. Under Affiliations, you want to see this:


To check your password expiration date, switch to the Personal Info tab, then use the Manage Your Profile link. You will see both your Last Password Change date, and your Password Expiration Date. If your password is expired, use the Change Your Password link just above these dates. This change should be active in Alumni Library Portal Sign In in less than 15 minutes.

Accessing licensed resources through Alumni Library Portal Sign In must comply with the Acceptable Use of Information Systems at Virginia Tech policy, which prohibits mass downloading of licensed databases, sharing your PID so others can access these licensed databases, or using these resources for non-personal, commercial purposes. When we detect or are notified of any of these situations, the offending PID will be permanently blocked from using the Alumni Library Portal Sign In service.

How long will I stay authenticated?

It's hard to say exactly. In principle, as long as you do not exit from your browser you should stay authenticated, but experience has shown that Alumni Library Portal Sign In authentication can be disrupted for a variety of reasons, so you may have to login more than once during your online session.

If you find that you are frequently losing your authenticated connection, install the LibX browser extension. When you reach a restricted resource and realize you have not passed through the Alumni Library Portal Sign In server, you can simply right-click on the page and reload the page through Alumni Library Portal Sign In.

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Access online databases at your local library

May require registration with your local library

Freely accessible databases

Listed here are databases that have no access restrictions (you don't need to be a current student to search them). Some databases provided free access to only a part of their content; check the database description for details.

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