Information for Cadets

Using Library Materials

As a cadet, a library account has been set up for you automatically, so you can start borrowing materials at any time. Your VMI ID card serves as your library card, but if you don't have it with you, library staff can access your account by your name. The maximum number of items you may check out is 100: you may check out up to 10 serials (magazines and journals), 5 recreational reading or audio books, and 10 audiovisual materials (CDs, DVDs, or Blu-ray).  The loan period for library items is as follows:

  • Books, bound serials, and government publications: 4 weeks
  • Recreational reading and new books: 2 weeks
  • Audio (CDs) and video (DVD or blu-ray): 1 week

If there is a book or DVD that you think the library should have, you are welcome to recommend it for purchase by submitting a purchase suggestion.

You may access your library account using My Library (if you don't remember your 7-digit Colleague ID, ask at the circulation desk) where you can view your checkouts and renew items.


Research Help

Our reference librarians want to make sure you have access to the materials you need to complete your coursework. You can stop by the reference desk, make an appointment, or contact the reference librarians by phone, email, and IM.  Just check out the LibAnswers page.

How can they help you?

  • Getting started with your research
  • Finding books and articles in Preston Library and through VMI's online databases
  • Finding other sources that you may access with an Interlibrary Loan


Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary loan allows cadets to access materials that Preston Library does not own from libraries around the state, the country, and internationally. You may borrow library materials from other libraries at no cost to you. All you have to do is submit a request for the article or book that you want. If you have questions about this service, contact a reference librarian.  You may submit a request or view your Interlibrary Loan account by accessing your Interlibrary Loan account

WiFi, Printing, and Computers in the Library

The preferred WiFi network in Preston Library for Cadets is VMI-Sentinel. This will allow you to access shared drives as well as library resources and printers. If you have problems connecting, the circulation desk always has ethernet cables available, which you can use in group study rooms and study carrels.

Wireless printing is available from all of the library printers. Learn more here.

There are 32 public workstations throughout the library, and a printer is located at or near each of these.

Please report any problems to the circulation desk.


Study Areas

There are 6 group study rooms on the 600 level of the library: two on the Nichols side of the building; two on the Mallory side of the building; and two at the front, facing the parade ground. Each is equipped with a dry-erase board, power outlets and ethernet outlets.  These are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

There are study carrels throughout the building.  These are also available on a first-come, first served basis, and are not meant to be used as a cadet's "office" but to be available to all cadets, so they must be left neat and tidy.  Study carrel policies are posted in each carrel.



The VMI Archives contain the Institute's primary source research collections including historic official records, manuscripts, photographs, and rare books.  Cadets are welcome to use these materials for research or out of personal interest.  Many of our most popular collections are available online in our digital archives.