Computer Access

If the following does not answer your question please contact a Reference Librarian in any branch or submit an Ask a Librarian email request.


How to access electronic resources when I'm not in the Library?

The Library Catalog is accessible from any computer with Internet connection.



All the Web electronic journals, electronic books and databases are accessible from any computer with internet access within all Alexandria Library branches.


Most of the Library's resources are accessible from off-site/remote locations via the Library Web site. Authentication is handled by the "remote patron authentication server". Enter the Patron Id barcode number from your library card at the prompt for identification as a valid Alexandria Library cardholder.


How to solve an access problem at a remote computer?

Many factors lead to a failure in accessing an electronic resource. Check these troubleshooting tips for a technical solution. Ask a Librarian if you suspect there is a subscription service access problem.


What should I do when a database asks me to enter username and password?

Normally, you are only prompted to enter your Patron ID and PIN (last 4-digits of your registered telephone number) for authentication as an Alexandria Library patron. Some databases may require another level of login such as "creating an account" to store and retain tests or session data. In such case, you should see instructions in the database HELP for creating an account to use their services. Most databases are set up to for a "login" to be the Patron ID Barcode number. If a particular database asks for subscription information or password, there may be a problem with the subscription. Ask a Librarian for help.


Can I access electronic resources of other libraries?

To access electronic resources of libraries within the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments, you need to visit that library in person to obtain a library card indicating that you are an Alexandria Library patron wishing to utilize the COG Library reciprocal sharing agreement. Alexandria Library patrons may not access other libraries' electronic subscriptions from a remote site.


How to connect to wi-fi in the Library?

All public areas of the Library provide wireless access. Find out more about Wireless Network Access in the Library.