FAQs

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. 

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