Skip Menu

Return to Skip Menu

Main Content

Tips for new students


Aug. 23, 2010 – The University Libraries would like to welcome new students to Virginia Tech: freshmen, transfer students, and new graduate students. We have a lot of services and resources to offer you during your career here at Virginia Tech. Much information is available in our 2013-2014 Student Research Guide (PDF | 8MB) . Here are some tips and frequently asked questions (and answers!) for new students:

    student hokie passport

Your Hokie Passport is your library card

Use your Hokie Passport when you want to check out books (also called borrowing or charging books). Your student status (undergrad, grad) will determine your borrowing privileges. You'll also use the student ID number listed on your Hokie Passport to access My Library Account.

Access library resources from off campus

Online access to library resources—databases, journals, and some —is restricted to current Virginia Tech faculty, staff, and students. Remote access is controlled by Internet address. Users connecting from the campus network or through the Virginia Tech VPN have direct access to these resources. Users outside the campus network who use a commercial, work, public school,or public library ISP must authenticate their Virginia Tech status before they can access these resources.

We authenticate remote users through a process called Off Campus Sign In. You sign in using your PID/password combination, which then routes your browser traffic through a campus computer so that you appear as part of the campus network and thus gain access to restricted library resources. Almost every library web page provides a button that links to the Off Campus Sign In proxy service. 

We also recommend students install the LibX browser plugin, which greatly simplifies the process of authentication when you reach a restricted page without making use of Off Campus Sign In first.

Self-guided audio tour

Our primary tour option for individuals is a self-guided, audio tour with a graded quiz that can be used to show attendance for classes that require participation or give extra credit.

The tour consists of 16 different information stops/points, accessible by using a device to scan a QR code. Once scanned using the camera in your mobile device and its built-in reader or a separate app, your device will play an audio track (with some photos/videos) explaining the different services that are offered in Newman Library and how our collections are organized. The audio track at each stop will direct you to the next stop, where you will scan the next QR code.

To take the tour you will either need to use a smartphone or tablet, have access to Virginia Tech's wireless network (we recommend wireless over a cellular data network since several sections of the library get little to no cellular signal), and have headphones or earbuds to hear the narration. If you do not have a suitable device, then you can check out an iPad at the Circulation Desk. Circulation staff will show you how to use their iPads and where to start the tour.

Many classes give extra credit for attending a tour; check your syllabus or ask your instructor to see if you will receive credit.

Install library software

The library provides two, free software programs to aid you in your research.

The library (along with the Graduate School and the Vice President for Research office) has a site license for EndNote, a bibliographic management program. EndNote allows for direct searching of citation databases, import of saved sets of citations, and easy insertion of those citations into word processing documents as footnotes, in-text citations, and bibliographies. We offer workshops on EndNote throughout the semester.

LibX is a browser plugin that eases access to library resources by providing quick searches of highlighted terms on a web page in Addison, the library catalog as well as automatically linking web page content like ISBNs to catalog searches.

Interlibrary loan

The University Libraries owns over two million volumes and subscribes to over 22,000 journals, but you will find citations to items that are not in our collections. You can then use interlibrary loan to request these materials for free from other libraries. Submit requests for books, articles, and more through ILLiad, our online ILL system. (First time users will need to establish an account.) Books are mailed here and can be picked up from the circulation desk in Newman Library. Articles are typically delivered electronically and can be accessed through your ILLiad account.

    Get VText button

Using Get VText

Several of our library databases will provide the full text of the articles when you search your research topic. Many databases do not provide full text articles, however. In these cases, you should look for a Get VText button or link. This button will initiate a search for your article from another source, online, in print, or through interlibrary loan.

Your personal librarian

Each college or department has been assigned a librarian with expertise in that discipline. Some college librarians have offices in their respective colleges; others have offices in Newman Library or a branch library. These librarians have also developed Subject Guides to aid you in your research. Contact your college librarian whenever you need assistance with library assignments or research.



Newman Library spring hours

Sun: Open 9:00am*
Mon-Thu: Open 24 hours*
Fri: Close 8:00pm
Sat: 9:00am - 8:00pm

* During 24 hour operation, a valid Hokie Passport is required to access or remain in the library between 12 midnight and 7:30am.

Current semester hours

Art + Architecture Library spring hours

Sun: 2:00pm - 10:00pm
Mon-Thu: 8:00am - 10:00pm
Fri: 8:00am - 6:00pm
Sat: 1:00pm - 5:00pm

Current semester hours

NVC Resource Center spring hours

Sun: Closed
Mon-Thu: 11:00am - 10:00pm
Fri: 11:00am - 7:00pm
Sat: 9:00am - 5:00pm

Current semester hours

Veterinary Medicine Library spring hours

Sun: 11:00am - 11:00pm
Mon-Thu: 7:30am - 11:00pm
Fri: 7:30am - 5:00pm
Sat: 9:00am - 6:00pm

Current semester hours

Tags