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Graduate Services: FAQ

FAQ/Research Help

How do I access databases and other e-resources from off campus?

  1. Go to the Library homepage
  2. Scroll down to the Databases & Electronic Resources section.
  3. Click on the database of your choice.
  4. You will be prompted for a username and password. The sign-in box should look like this: 
  5. Type your username and password that you use for your Vanguard email.
  6. Now you can begin searching the databases for journal articles and other e-resources.

You can also watch the following tutorial: Accessing VUSC Databases from Off Campus

As a member of the Vanguard University community, you have full access to a host of electronic resources, including databases, journals, magazines, music, images, videos, archives, and e-books. Because these are licensed subscriptions, only current students, faculty, and staff of Vanguard have access to them.

What if I can't access a database? Check the following:

  1. Is your username and password correct? If you are a current student, faculty, or staff member, and you do NOT yet have your VU username and password, please contact the IT Department at (714)-619-6500 to obtain this information.
  2. Can you access your Vanguard University email? Your username and password to access the library databases is the same as the one you use to log in to your email. If you cannot access your email, contact IT. There might be an issue with your username and password. 
  3. Are the caps lock and numbers lock off?
  4. Are you accessing the database directly from the library webpage?

Who should I contact if I have difficulties accessing the databases?

Call our Information Technology Department at (714) 619-6500 or email at

Do I have to log in every time I open my browser?

Yes. You will be prompted for your username and password when you try to access the databases. Once you have logged in, you can use different databases without being prompted for your username and password. If you close your browser, you will need to log in again.

I sent myself the link to some articles, but I can't access the article. Why can't I get to it?

Did you send yourself the document URL or copy and paste the URL in the address box? Unfortunately, the URL in the address box isn't stable. You need to grab the document URL (more information about document URLs can be found here). If you did grab the document URL, the URL should have at the beginning. If it doesn't, try adding the following URL before the document URL:

For example, if the document URL is 

then it would look like this . 

Then you will be prompted to sign in with your VU username and password. More information about document URLs can be found here.

Can I download ebooks? If I can, how?

Yes, you can! You can download (aka "check out") a book. Depending on the ebook collection, you might have to create an account and download software (Adobe Digital Editions if you're planning on downloading to a computer or Bluefire Reader if you're planning on downloading to a smartphone or tablet). For more information click here.

If I "check out" (download) an ebook, does it disappear after two weeks (the checkout period)?

The ebook will not disappear from the device. It will just become unreadable.

Can I renew the "checked out" (downloaded) ebooks?

Yes! You can download the book again.

How many ebooks can I "check out" (download)?

You can download up to 10 books.

Can you help me find the full text of this article?

Try searching our ejournal portal to see if we have access to that journal. The ejournal portal is located on the library homepage underneath the VANCAT search box. Click on the button and input the title to see if we have access to that journal.  You can find a step-by-step guide on searching the ejournal portal here.

Is there any way you can get this book and/or article for me from another library?

Yes we can! The library can try to get a copy of the book and/or article from a sister institution. You just need to email the following information to Summer Conner at : name, ID #, book title or journal title, article title, authors, and page numbers. Please note that it can take three days to a week for us to get the article, and for books it can take up to three weeks.

How can I renew my book?

You can renew your book by calling the library at 714-966-6381 or by logging into your online account. Directions on logging in to your account can be found here. You cannot renew DVDs or course reserve books online.

How many times can I renew a book?
Students can renew books up to two times. Guests can only renew books once. 

Have a Question? Need Research Help? Contact us!

Call the Reference Desk (714-966-6382) or submit questions to You are always welcome to contact the library with your questions!

Jim Darlack, Senior Director of the Library, 714-966-6377

Elena Nipper, Reference & Instruction Librarian, 714-966-6378

Jack Morgan, Circulation Supervisor, 714-966-6380

Lucas Davis, Coordinator of Library Acquisitions and Services, 714-966-6383

John Sim, Library Associate, 714-966-6709

Handy Links

  • Call 714-966-6382
  • Stop by  a Librarian's Office
  • Submit an Ask-A-Librarian Question Form for an email reply HERE
  • Instant message             with LibChat (below)

Created by...

This guide was created by Christine Shin.