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Alumni Services: Visit the Libraries

Visiting the Libraries

Alumni are welcome to visit the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center and all campus departmental libraries. An Alumni PennCard or Penn Fund Library Alumni Access card provides access whenever library buildings are open — other than during reading period/exams, when special access policies may be in place. For alumni who do not hold an Alumni PennCard or Penn Fund Library Alumni Access card, access to libraries is restricted to weekdays during general visitor hours. Presentation of a current, valid government or school-issued photo I.D. that contains an expiration date is required.

Alumni are encouraged to consult individual library access policies for details before planning a visit, or call the Van Pelt Library Reference Desk at (215) 898-7555 for information.

Borrowing Library Materials
Alumni who would like to borrow materials from the Library may apply for courtesy borrowing privileges at the special alumni rate of $200 per year. To apply, visit the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Circulation desk, call (215) 898-7555, or email us at for information. Please note, an Alumni PennCard is required.

Access to Library Electronic Resources

Access to most of the library’s subscription electronic resources is available to alumni within library buildings.* Upon presentation of an Alumni PennCard or Penn Fund Library Alumni Access Card at the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center Circulation Desk, 9am-8pm weekdays, a credential will be issued that will provide single-day access to a public computer and the library's collection of e-resources.

Due to the limited availability of computing resources the following policies govern availability:

  • Any one individual will be provided with a credential up to a maximum of 10 days per calendar month.
  • The maximum number of credentials available daily to the alumni community is 10. The library reserves the right to decrease this number at its discretion.
  • The service will not be offered during reading or exam periods when all library computing resources must be available for current students.
  • Computer access is available in the following libraries: Van Pelt-Dietrich†, Holman Biotech Commons, Dental, Fine Arts, Museum, and Veterinary.

For additional information please contact the Van Pelt Library Reference Desk at (215) 898-7555 or email us.

* Some restrictions apply due to individual resource licenses. For information on specific resources, please consult reference staff. 

For business resources, please consult  Alumni Business Database Access On Campus

Information on off-campus access to e-resources may be found here.

† Certain public computing areas in Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center are unavailable to visitors. These include: The Undergraduate Student Center (ground floor), Weigle Information Commons/Vitale Digital Media Lab (1st floor west), and the Lippincott Business Library (2nd floor west).

Wireless Access is restricted to current Penn students, faculty and staff and requires PennKey authentication.

Obtaining an Alumni PennCard

Alumni PennCards are issued at the PennCard Center, located on the second floor of the Penn Bookstore at 3601 Walnut Street, or may be requested by mail. A $30 fee is charged for the card, which is valid for 10 years. For details visit the PennCard Center website.

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(215) 898-7555