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 the geolocation technology is unable to "recognize" a user as an Alabama resident, then residents may log in with an AVL (remote access) account.

AVL accounts may also be used to gain access when a resident is traveling outside the state. Users who live near the state line, users who access the Internet via their cell phone carrier or personal mifi, or users that use a VPN may not be automatically authenticated; these users will need to log in with an AVL account. Visit your local public library to request an AVL (remote access) account. K-12 students/staff in public schools may obtain an AVL account from their school library. 

Are you using a cellular data network, personal hotspot, or satellite internet connection?
Cellular data networks, personal hotspots, and satellite internet connections 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 using a cellular data network, personal hotspot, or satellite internet connection, you will need to log in with an AVL account.
 

Are you using a VPN?
If you are using a VPN, your IP address may come from outside of Alabama. If a user wants to access AVL while using a VPN, they will need to log in with an AVL account. If the user does not have an AVL account, they will need to go to their local public library to obtain an account. If they are a public school student, they will need to go to their school library.
 

Do you live near the state line?
If you live near the state line, your internet connection (provided through your Internet Service Provider) may be coming from a neighboring state. If your internet connection is coming out of another state, you will need to log in with an AVL account.
 

If you do not have an AVL account, please visit your local public library or you are a K-12 student, please visit your school library to obtain an AVL account.

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

  1. If your location is detected within Alabama, click here to attempt login via IP authentication. If you continue to experience issues, this may be due to stored browser information. Click here to clear any stored authentication data and then attempt to login via IP authentication again. This will flush any previously-stored AVL authentication information that may be complicating your access.
  2. If your location is detected outside of Alabama, you will need to sign in with your AVL account information in order to use AVL resources. 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 may request one from your local public library or public school library. 
  3. If your location is "Undetermined", it is possible your IP address has been kept private. This is possible if you are using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). You might try disconnecting from the VPN and retry access.

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

Please visit your local public library to obtain an AVL account. K-12 students/staff in public schools may obtain an AVL account at their school library.

Renewal - AVL accounts must be renewed every five years. A week before your account is scheduled to expire, you will receive an e-mail reminding you that your account is about to expire. The e-mail will contain information on how you can renew your AVL account. If a patron moves, a new account may be obtained from the public library or school system where the patron resides. Accounts can be renewed for patrons that continue to reside in the same community or attend the same school system. Note: Access may be denied at any time by AVL if access is abused.

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

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.

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. 

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.

AVL is compatible with the majority of web browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc). If you use older browsers, you may experience formatting errors or broken pages. For security reasons you should always make sure that you are using the latest version of your favorite browser.

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. 

AVL doesn't show that I am geo-authenticated. I contacted the AVL Help Desk and they asked me for my IP address. How do I find out what my IP address is?

The AVL website has a tool that will show you what your IP address is. To access this tool click on the "Log In" icon Image of not logged in button in the top right corner of the website and a drop down menu will appear. There is a link in the drop down menu called View Location Information. Click on this link and it will take you to another page (within the AVL website) that will display your IP address. 

AVL login window
Image of the AVL login window

If you are automatically Geo IP authenticated you will see the "Logged In" icon Image of logged in button . You will see the View Location Information link in the dropdown menu when you click on the "Logged In" icon.  

To reset your password follow these steps.
Go to https://www.avl.lib.al.us and click on the Login  Image of not logged in button  icon in the top right corner of the webpage.

  1. From the drop down menu click on Request New Password. This will take you to the User Account screen. 
  2. Once you are on the User Account screen enter the e-mail address that was used to create your AVL account and click on E-Mail New Password.
  3. You will receive an e-mail that contains further instructions. 

If are unable to reset your password, please contact the AVL Help Desk.

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 are experiencing issues accessing the multimedia content for an AVL resource, please review the following information and share it with your technical support staff. 

    Technical Requirements

    Some resources require that the following software applications be installed in order to access their multimedia content. Please note that Britannica resources may require additional software applications to be installed. Visit Britannica's support page for more information on their technical requirements.

    Windows Media Player

    Adobe Reader

    If you are an educator or librarian who needs AVL supplies or promotional materials, please send your request to avlhelpdesk@asc.edu.

    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.)