FAQs

The Alabama Virtual Library uses geolocation technology to authenticate Alabama residents, which allows most Alabama residents to access AVL from their homes without the need for a username and password.

If you are geographically located in Alabama and geolocation technology is unable to determine your location, you can click here to attempt to authenticate via your device's physical location.

If you are unable to authenticate using geolocation or your device's physical location, you will need to log in with an AVL account in order to access AVL resources. Usually AVL accounts are obtained by visiting your local public library or school library if you are a student. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak libraries and schools in Alabama have closed and it may be difficult for you to obtain an account. If you are unable access AVL resources via geolocation or your device's physical location, please call the AVL Help Desk and receive temporary log in credentials. The temporary credentials will remain valid for at least two months. We do not give out temporary credentials via e-mail.

Are you using a cellular data network, personal hotspot, VPN, or satellite internet connection or do you reside near the state line?
Cellular data networks, personal hotspots, satellite internet connections and Internet connections from neighboring states may pull their IP addresses from outside of Alabama. If you live in Alabama (and you are using one of these connection types) your IP address may be coming from another state. If you are geographically located in Alabama and are using a cellular data connection, hotspot, VPN, satellite internet or your Internet connection is coming from a neighboring state, you can attempt to authenticate via your device's physical location.
 

If you do not have an AVL account, you would usually visit your local public library or school library if you are a student to obtain an account. Due to the COVID-19 Outbreak libraries and schools in Alabama have closed and you may have a difficult time obtaining an AVL account. If you need an AVL account in order to access AVL resources, you can call the AVL Help Desk at 1-800-338-8320 or 256-971-7487 and receive temporary AVL login credentials. You will be able to use these temporary credentials to access AVL resources. We do not give out temporary log in credentials via e-mail.

If you are having problems accessing AVL resources, please try the following:

  • If your location is detected within Alabama, click here to clear any stored authentication data and then attempt to log in via IP authentication on the log in page. This will flush any previously-stored AVL authentication information that may be preventing you from accessing AVL resources.
     
  • If you are geographically located in Alabama and are unable to log in via IP authentication, click here to to attempt to log in via your device's physical locationOnce you have authenticated via your device's physical location, you will not need to attempt to authenticate via IP.
     
  • If your location is detected outside of Alabama, you will need to sign in with an AVL account. Click here or click the login icon (located in the top right of the webpage) to login. If you do not have an AVL account, you would usually request one from your local public library or school library if you are a student. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak libraries and schools in Alabama are closed and you may find it difficult to obtain an AVL account from your public library or school. If you need an AVL account, please call the AVL Help Desk at 1-800-338-8320 or 256-971-7487 and receive temporary log in credentials. These credentials will remain valid for at least two months.

If you continue to experience issues accessing AVL resources, please contact the AVL Help Desk.

With schools and libraries closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you may find it difficult to obtain an AVL account. If you are unable to obtain an AVL account and you need access to AVL resources, please contact the AVL Help Desk by phone at 1-800-338-8320 or 256-971-7487 and receive temporary login credentials. These credentials will remain valid for at least two months.

Teachers who are implementing online learning plans that require access to AVL resources can complete this student access request form for teachers to request AVL login accounts for any of their students who may be unable to access AVL resources automatically from their home Internet provider.

Shortly after your account is issued, you should receive an e-mail that contains a one-time activation link. You will need to click on the one-time activation link in order to activate your AVL account and to set your password. The e-mail will be sent to the e-mail account that was used to request your AVL account. Once you have activated your account and set your password, you can log into AVL using your new AVL account. To log into AVL with your account, please follow these steps:

  1. Click on the AVL login login_unauthenticated_bluebg.png icon.
  2. Enter your user ID into the User ID field. Your user ID is your full e-mail address.
  3. Enter your password into the Password field.
  4. Click on the Log In button.

If did not receive the e-mail containing the one-time activation link or if you experience any issues setting your password, please contact the AVL Help Desk.

If you need to reset your password, please follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Log In login_unauthenticated_bluebg.png icon.
  2. Click on the Request New Password link (underneath the Username and Password fields).
  3. One the User Account screen, make sure that you are on the Request New Password tab.
  4. Enter the e-mail address that is associated with your AVL account.
  5. Click on the E-mail New Password button.
  6. You will receive an e-mail that contains a link that you will need to click on. Clicking on the link will take you to the Reset Password screen.
  7. From the Reset Password Screen click on the Log In button.
  8. Enter your new password into the Password and Confirm Password field and click on the Save button.

If you do not receive the e-mail containing the link to reset your password or if you experience any issues resetting your password, please contact the AVL Help Desk.

 

There are no fees associated with AVL. AVL resources are provided to all Alabama citizens through funding from the Alabama Legislature.

If you need to renew checked out library materials, you will need to contact or visit your local public library.

Census and genealogy records are not available through the Alabama Virtual Library. Your local public library may have access to these records. Also, the Alabama Public Library Service has access to Ancestery.com through their website. To learn more about accessing Ancestery.com through the Alabama Public Library Service, please click here.

The Alabama Virtual Library (AVL) provides quality library information (magazine articles, newspapers, encyclopedias, and other reference sources) licensed for Alabama citizens. Information collected for AVL account registration will only be used to authenticate AVL users and provide updates on AVL and its databases.

AVL databases are licensed for personal use by Alabama citizens, students/staff at Alabama public schools, and users of Alabama public libraries. Please keep your account credentials secure and private. Use of AVL by unauthorized users outside of Alabama will jeopardize use of the databases by all Alabama citizens.

An AVL user may not sell, distribute or commercially exploit a product nor make an AVL database available on a network or through remote access technology. Misuse of services provided by AVL may result in denial of service.

An Internet connection is required to access AVL. General knowledge of web browsers and simple search forms is recommended. Tutorials and help screens are available.

Follow these easy steps to create a shortcut to AVL on your desktop.

Windows Users

  1. Open your browser and go to https://www.avl.lib.al.us.
  2. Select a blank spot on the webpage (an area that does not contain any text or images), right click, and select Create ShortcutNote: If you are using Chrome, right click and select Save As. If you are using Firefox, right click, and select Save Page As.
  3. Click Yes when asked if you create a shortcut on your desktop.
  4. You now have a shortcut for AVL on your desktop.

Android Users

  1. Open Chrome and go to https://www.avl.lib.al.us.
  2. Tap the menu button and then tap on Add to Home Screen
  3. You now have a shortcut for AVL on your home screen.

OS X Users

  1. Open Safari and go to https://www.avl.lib.al.us.
  2. Select the entire https://www.avl.lib.al.us URL that is in the web address bar. 
  3. Click and drag the URL onto your desktop and release the mouse button.
  4. You now have a shortcut for AVL on your desktop.

iOS Users

  1. Launch Safari and go to https://www.avl.lib.al.us
  2. Tap on the Share button on the browser's toolbar. Note: For iPad users the toolbar is located at the top of the screen. For iPhone users the toolbar is located at the bottom of the screen. 
  3. Tap on the Add to Home Screen button.
  4. iOS will prompt you to name the shortcut before you can add it to the home screen. Once you name your shortcut tap the Add button.
  5. You now have a shortcut for AVL on your home screen.

AVL has a site search that can be used to search the AVL website for information about AVL. The site search will search AVL for Contact Information, Help with AVL, AVL Archives, information on the AVL Council, Database Descriptions, and Usage Statistics just to name a few.

To access the AVL site search click on the green magnifying glass icon Image of the magnifying glass icon located in the top right corner of the AVL website. Once you have clicked on the magnifying glass icon the Search AVL window will open.

 

Image of the AVL Search window

 

The right side of the AVL Search window contains the Search for Information about AVL search box. 

 

Image of the Search the AVL Website search box

 

To utilize the search, enter your search criteria into the Search the AVL Website search box and click on the blue magnifying glass. You can also press the Enter key on your keyboard to start your search.

 

Image of the Search the AVL Website search box

 

Once your search has been initiated, you will be taken to the Search Results page. The Search Results page will have a list of links that matched your search criteria

 

Image of Search the AVL search results page

 

Clicking on these links will take you to the section of the AVL website that contains more information on your search criteria. For example if you searched for “Contact AVL”, your search results will display links for any part of the website that contains information on how you can contact the AVL Help Desk.

If you click on the link for “Contact AVL Helpdesk”, you will be taken to the Contact AVL Helpdesk section of the website. From here, you can obtain information on the various methods that are available for you to contact the AVL Helpdesk.

If your account has been compromised, please contact the AVL Help Desk as soon as possible. Please provide as much information as possible including the user name of the compromised account. If a review indicates that the account has been compromised, the account will be deactivated. You can obtain a new account at your local public library. If you are student/staff at a K-12 school, please visit your school library to obtain a new account. 

To access the AVL Discovery Search select one of the categories under Resources for Alabama... at the top of the webpage. 

 

Image of the AVL resources menu

 

Alternatively, you can also access the AVL Discovery Search by clicking on the  green magnifying glass icon Image of the AVL magnifying glass that is located the top right corner of the AVL website. Once you have clicked on the magnifying glass icon the Search AVL window will open.

 

Image of the Search AVL window

 

The left side of the Search AVL window has links for accessing AVL databases (resources) for the various grade levels. Clicking on these links will take you to the resources page for that grade level. From the resources page, you will be able to access the resources and the AVL Discovery Search for that grade level.

 

Image of the Search AVL Resources (Databases) window

 

To begin your AVL Discovery Search enter your search criteria into the Discovery Search box and click on the magnifying glass icon. You can also press the Enter key on your keyboard to start your search.

 

Image of the AVL Elementary Discovery Search box

 

Once you have initiated your search, you will be taken to the AVL Discovery Search results page. This page will display matches based on your search criteria. 

 

Image of AVL Elementary Discovery Search results

 

Not all of the resources that AVL subscribes to are included in the AVL Discovery Search. To access resources that are not included in the AVL Discovery Search click on Search Additional Resources and then click on the resource that you want to access. 

Image of the Search Additional Resources page for Elementary Resources

 

Some AVL resources have integrated search boxes in their informational pop up window. To access this feature, click on the information icon Image of the information icon in the resource tile and then enter your search terms into the integrated search box. 

The AVL website has a tool that will show you what your IP address is. To access the IP tool, please click here. If you are automatically Geo IP authenticated you will see the "Logged In" icon Image of logged in button .

Do you have firewall/security software installed?
You may find it necessary to adjust some settings in your firewall/security program. If the problem is with EBSCO, visit EBSCO's support page.
 

Are your Internet Explorer privacy settings set too high?
Your Internet Explorer privacy settings may be set too high. Go to the "Tools" menu and select "Internet Options". Click the "Privacy" tab and make sure your settings are "medium" or lower.

Have you tried using another browser?
There may be an issue with browser you are currently using. You may want to try using another web browser.

For further assistance, please contact the AVL Help Desk.

Most AVL databases have citation information in a toolbar at the article level. You may also consult the appropriate style manual. https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/resources.html

    If you need additional help, contact your local public library or contact the AVL Help Desk.

    If contacting the AVL Help Desk, please provide the following information:

    • Your name, e-mail address, and a phone number.
    • A description of your issue and the steps you took to access a particular database. Please be sure to include any error messages.
    • The date and time the issue occurred.
    • Indicate which browser you are using (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.)