Beginning July 6, VCU Libraries will provide enhanced document delivery services and pickup for materials from its physical collection.

Since library buildings closed in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the physical collection has been unavailable. This new service restores access to library materials while library buildings remain closed. VCU students, faculty and staff can now request books and media be pulled from the shelves and reserved for them.

The materials can be delivered to a preferred address or picked up at James Branch Cabell Library or Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences. In addition, users can request scans of articles and chapters from print materials to be delivered via email.

The process is simple: 
VCU users may request physical items from circulating collections in Cabell Library, Tompkins-McCaw Library and offsite storage through the request option in VCU Libraries Search or by submitting a direct request through the interlibrary loan request system, ILLiad.

Users may choose to have these materials shipped to their home at no charge. Materials can also be delivered to campus offices. Or, users can schedule a physically-distanced pickup at either Cabell Library or Tompkins-McCaw Library. Most requests will be fulfilled within two business days.

Users can expect email communication about their requests. These will include:  

  • Confirmation that the requested items are available and details about pickup or shipping.  
  • Instructions on making an appointment for the Front Door Pickup service Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 
  • At both libraries, a drive-up option will be available upon request.   

Other details about this new service

  • Users may also return materials when picking up new items. 
  • The limit of such requests is 50 combined interlibrary loan and document delivery requests. 
  • When users arrive at their scheduled time, they will call to signal their arrival. At Cabell call (804) 828-1111; at Tompkins-McCaw call (804) 828-0636.  Staff will bring items to a table located at the building entrances on each campus.  
  • Shipped items not received within 10 business days should be reported to
  • Requests for items not held by VCU Libraries or unavailable for any reason will become interlibrary loan requests. It is not known at this time how fast interlibrary loan services will be as academic libraries nationwide reopen and adapt to new service models. Interlibrary loan items can also be picked up via front door service or shipped to users.
  • As the circulating collection reopens, the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service will end. 
Categories Remote Learning, Update