Building access is available to GW students, faculty, and staff who have completed all of the steps outlined on GW's Onward website. No one will be allowed to sign in without a physical GWorld card or enter the library if their GWorld card tap is denied. Library access is not available for alumni or visitors. Masks are required inside all library buildings.

Information for Alumni

GW Libraries and Academic innovation appreciates the continuing support of the GW alumni community. Whether you are located in the D.C. area or across the world, the Libraries are here to answer your questions and direct you to relevant resources for your needs.

Library Buildings

Entrance Policies

During the Summer 2021 semester, there is no access for alumni or visitors for any reason. 

During the Fall 2021 semester, alumni and visitor access to the library buildings is only available for:

  • Users of specialized collections* (including the Special Collections Research Center and Global Resources Center),
  • Students/staff of the School Without Walls, and
  • Attendees of scheduled events*. 

*Specialized collections users and event attendees must be escorted at all times.

Learn more about our current entrance policies for alumni.

Library Resources

Alumni have extensive access to GW books, journals, databases and media while inside a library building, as well as library computers.

Borrowing Materials

Alumni can obtain borrowing privileges for most circulating items by:

  • Paying a $50 annual library borrowing fee, payable at the Check Out Desk. 
  • Presenting their Alumni GWorld card

Alumni with borrowing privileges may request books or physical materials for contactless pick up in the entrance lobby of Gelman Library or at the VSTC Library. 

Learn more about alumni borrowing privileges.

Library Computers, Printing & Wireless

Learn how to access computers, print inside the libraries, and connect to GW's guest wireless network on our Visitor Access to Technology page.

Workshops & Events

Although there is no access to the library buildings during the Fall 2021 semester, Alumni are invited to attend our virtual workshop series

E-Resources for Alumni

Selected premium online resources have been made available to you through the generous support of the GW Alumni Association and GW Libraries and Academic Innovation.

Accessing e-resources

Most e-resources require login with a GW NetID. Visit the alumni website to learn how to determine if you have a NetID and claim your NetID, if you do not. 

If you have problems, contact or 202-994-6435 / 1-800-ALUMNI-7 or GW Libraries at

Two-step authentication (2SA) needed for accessing e-resources

GW Information Technology (GWIT) requires the use of Two-Step Authentication (2SA) to access most of the e-resources below. 2SA is a second layer of security beyond your password. It means you have to confirm your identity in two ways – with something you know (your password) and something you have (a code sent to your phone). You may be familiar with 2SA as it is commonly used in online banking and shopping. If you have not previously used 2SA with another GW account, such as email, you will be directed to set up a new 2SA account. 

Students, staff, faculty and affiliates of the university are already required to use 2SA to access e-mail and other services.  If you already use 2SA with your email, you will use this same process for signing into e-resources. No additional setup is needed.  

For information or assistance with Two-Step Authentication, visit GW IT or email

Subscribed Resources

ABI/Inform Complete:  Access to nearly 4,000 business-related titles, with most in full-text.

JSTOR Archive:  Access to 1000+ scholarly journals.  Free content if published before 1923 in the U.S. and 1870 outside of the U. S.

Project Muse:  Full-text articles  from over 300 scholarly humanities, arts, and social sciences journals.

Proquest Research Library:  Covers a wide range of subject matter in both popular and scholarly periodicals.

Dissertations & Theses @ GW:  Information about dissertations and theses published by GW students. 

RefWorks: An online research management tool that assists in creating citations and bibliographies. NOTE: This links you to Legacy RefWorks (v.2). Log in, then look for a link near the top of the screen to upgrade to New RefWorks (v.3). After upgrading, you can log in at

SAGE Research Methods (Core):  Comprehensive online resource for material to guide users through every step of the research process, including datasets, cases, books, articles and videos. For more information, see

SAGE Research Methods (Data):  Collection of teaching datasets for learning quantitative and qualitative analytical methods used in the social sciences. Each dataset is accompanied by a short, clear narrative description of the data and easy-to-follow instructions on how to apply the research method.

Free Resources

ERIC:  Access to 1+ million citations in education going back to 1966, with 110,000+ full-text materials

PubMed:  Access to citations from biomedical literature

GPO Access:  A service of the U.S. Government Printing Office providing free electronic access to  important information resources produced by the Federal Government

Using Local Resources in Your Area

LibWebCats:  Find local public libraries and state colleges or universities. They may allow remote access to their online databases once you are registered as a user

WorldCat:  Access to over 1.5 billion items from libraries worldwide with an emphasis on U.S. titles.  The search  also provides access to article citations. 

Google Books:  Access to books and table of contents, at times providing access to previews or full text for titles out of copyright. Check out the Magazines section for current awareness

Google Scholar: Google Scholar focuses on scholarly literature that may contain full text

Questions About E-Resources?

For questions about your GWorld card or NetID, contact the Alumni Online Community at or 1-800-Alumni7

For help with a database, Ask Us

Today’s Hours

Gelman Library:

Virtual Workshops