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Gelman Library:

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Information for Off-Campus Students

The GW Libraries provide resources and services to off-campus students to meet you where you are! We're committed to filling your library and research needs, even when you physically can’t come to us. 

Get Help

Ask Us staff provide quick assistance for basic library questions via phone and chat. Make an appointment for an in-depth remote research consultation with a librarian or for help with statistics, coding, and data. 

Library Tutorials (“How Do I?”) give online step-by-step instructions for searching library resources, getting materials, and constructing your research topic. Research Guides created by GW librarians point you in the right direction for your specific topic.

Finding Information

Begin your research at the GW Libraries website for access to millions of books and thousands of journals, databases, and other materials. We recommend that off-campus users connect to the GW VPN before starting library research to avoid multiple login prompts.

Borrow and Return Physical Library Materials

Borrow Print Books 

Most library materials that aren't available online can be borrowed. A book retrieval and pick up service is available at the Gelman, Eckles, and VSTC Libraries. If you are an Online-Only/Distance Learning community member, you may request library books for delivery to your home or preferred address.

Plan ahead! The turnaround time for print materials varies, depending on availability and owning library circumstances. Expect 1-2 business days for GW items, 3-4 business days for local Consortium partner library items, and 1-2 weeks for Interlibrary Loan (sometimes longer for rare or very popular titles). Home delivery adds shipping time to your location. 

Borrowing Loan Periods and Renewing Books

Off-campus students share the same library borrowing and due date policies as their on-campus residential undergraduate or graduate peers.

Log into your Library Account to view and renew your currently checked-out items and to check the status of your requests in process.

Return Books to the GW Libraries

You are responsible for the prompt return of library books and media when items are due. There are no fines for late books, but you may be charged if a book is overdue more than 40 days. The GW Libraries welcome returns to our physical locations' service desks and book drops, as well as returns by mail.

Connect to Software via Remote/Virtual Computing

Many GW courses and research projects require specialized software for coding, data analysis, GIS, and more. You might also need general productivity applications or programs for photo and media editing. Connect to software remotely, available to GW users for free.

Visit the Libraries

Pandemic Update

Entrance to the Gelman, Eckles, and VSTC Libraries is available only to GW students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have a GWorld Card enabled for physical access to campus buildings. Authorized individuals must bring their GWorld Card to tap in.

Getting to the Libraries

Entrance Policy

Entrance to the library buildings requires an active GWorld Card; the only exception is for Carry Out book pickup appointments. If you need to obtain a GWorld card as an online or distance student, or if you need to replace a lost/stolen card, visit the GWorld Card Office website for instructions.

View our current library entrance policy (subject to change in accordance with pandemic phased reopening plans). 

Study Spaces & Reservations

Gelman and Eckles Libraries have a variety of individual and group study spaces throughout the buildings. Gelman also has reservable study rooms. The VSTC Library offers a small number of study rooms available on a first-come, first-served basis. Open seating is also available at each location without needing an appointment.

Library Wireless and Computers

Connect to GWireless onsite at any of our library locations.

Library computers enable full Web browsing and offer a variety of productivity and specialized software. Wireless printing is available at our onsite kiosks. You may wish to download the print driver specific to your mobile device prior to your library visit.

Get Help from Anywhere

Chat with a librarian.

Email: Questions will generally be answered in one business day. 

Schedule a Consultation: Get help with a one-on-one meeting, either in person or virtually. You can book a consultation with the next available librarian, by academic subject area, by research tool, or with a specific librarian.

Call: (202) 994-6048 

Online Workshops