Virginia Western - The Community's College

Brown Library

Distance Learning/Off Campus

Virginia Western makes every effort to support its distance learning and off-campus students. Library services may be provided through web pages supplemented by telephone and email, as well as shipment of materials by regular mail or UPS. Distance learning and other off-campus students, as well as members of the community, are also welcome to come to Virginia Western's Brown Library where study areas, hard-copy books and periodicals are close at hand, and where experienced staff can assist you personally.

To find a book in Brown Library, please visit the book catalog or to find a magazine or journal, visit periodicals. Additionally, Interlibrary Loan allows you to obtain books, journal articles and other materials that are not available in Brown Library.

Please visit the ask a librarian for help regarding reference materials.

Occasionally teachers put books and other materials on restricted circulation for use by the whole class. This is the reserve service. Usually reserve materials may be borrowed only for an hour or two and are not allowed to be taken out of the building. Do not assume that your teacher has materials on reserve unless you are specifically told this. Many teachers do not use the reserve service. Reserve materials are kept behind a desk and handed to you by a staff member.

Off-Campus Access

While anyone may access the library catalog, access to our databases is limited to employees and Virginia Western students. Students taking dual enrollment courses also have access privileges.

Because access is limited, you will need a user name and password to log on to the databases. When you try to log on from off-campus, you will see a log on screen prompting you for your user name and password. To see a sample log on screen or to find your user name/password, see the information below.

Off-Campus FAQs

Whom do I call for help?

Please test MyVWCC before you call. Then choose a number below.

  • Brown Library (857-7303) - call us if you can access MyVWCC, but not the library databases. Instead of calling you may choose to fill in the report problems form.
  • Help Desk (857-7354) - call the help desk if you are unable to access both MyVWCC and library databases. Instead of calling you may choose to fill in a help desk request form.

How do I log in to the restricted library databases?

  • You log in with a user name and password.
  • All VWCC students are provided a user name and password when they enroll.
  • All VWCC employees are provided a user name and password when they are hired.
  • The password and user name are the same ones used for Blackboard, email, and the Student Information System. (MyVWCC)
  • When you first choose a database from your home computer, you will see a log on screen similar to the picture below prompting you for a user id and password. This is the same user name and password you use to access MyVWCC. The user ID/password will be required only once per session. Once validated, you can move between the databases without interruption. The validation will remain in effect until your session is over.

    picture of log on screen for off campus access

  • Look up your user name and password.

When I try to log in I see this message, "web server specified, not contacted".

The Virginia Western server may be down. Visit the college home page to test it out. If Virginia Western is down, then you can go to the home page for another Virginia Community College, since we share many of the same databases. This link will take you to the page for Tidewater Community College Library Here you will see an alphabetical list of databases. Choose EbscoHost, Issues & Controversies, Factiva, and CQ Researcher to complete the English 111 Library Worksheet.

Still having problems?

  • Your office network may be behind a firewall. To find out, ask your employer.
  • None of the library databases work with AOL or CompuServe. After making a connection, minimize your browser. Then open Internet Explorer or Netscape. We recommend that you choose Internet Explorer. The library databases work better with it. If you do not have Internet Explorer, click here to download a free version.
  • If you get a cookie error you may need to set your privacy setting to low. In Explorer, choose tools, internet options, and privacy tab. Then move the arrow to the low setting.
  • The Factiva database will only work with Internet Explorer version 5.01 or higher. It will not work with Netscape.

Off-Campus Facilities

In addition to the main campus, Virginia Western has three off-campus facilities where students may take classes, drop off books, and have access to computer resources. Unless otherwise noted all of the facilities have direct access to the library databases. This means you will not have to log in first with a user name and password.

If you choose to drop books off at Franklin, Greenfield or the Roanoke Higher Education Center be sure you hand the books to a Virginia Western employee so that they can be returned. Do not just leave them on a desk somewhere.

  • Franklin County Workforce Development Center - at 70 Wray Street, Rocky Mount (across the road from the Franklin County High School). There is a resource room with two computers.  The restricted databases will require you to enter your user name/password. There is also a Virginia Western classroom in the same building. You may use the computers there to access library databases any time a class is not in session.
  • Greenfield Education & Training Center - in Botetourt County, you may leave books in that building at the reception desk which is staffed day and night. There is also a resource room with a computer that you may use for research.
  • Roanoke Higher Education Center - downtown you may turn in books at the library, which is in room 216 on the second floor of that building. There are several computers available and a librarian there to help you with your research.

Book Delivery Services

If you live outside the Roanoke Valley area and do not take on campus classes, you may request that a book be mailed to you. You may then mail the book back (at your own expense) to us at our P.O. Box to the right. Please be aware that you are responsible for replacement charges should the book become lost in the mail.

Alternatively, you may come to the library in person and drop off the books. Books can be returned at any time, day or night, because the library has an outside mailbox-like book return, along the curb across from the back of the campus bookstore.

Please contact the library's Circulation Department at 540-857-6941 or for additional information.

Brown Library

M-Th: 8AM - 8PM
Fri: 8AM - 5PM
Sat: 9AM - 1PM
Sun: Closed

3095 Colonial Ave SW
Roanoke, VA 24015

Info: 540-857-7303
Reference: 540-857-7438
Circulation: 540-857-6941
Fax: 857-6058


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