The Eskind Biomedical Library has a new website; please visit us there. This website will retire on 08/31/16.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions have been frequently asked by library users at the service desk or in the course of library satisfaction surveys. If you have a question not answered here, please contact us.

Library Access and Support
Computers, Internet, Copying and Printing
Training and Resource Support
NIH Public Access Policy
General Questions

Library Access and Support

Questions about library access, use of our collections, and making requests and payments

To whom do I address any complaints I have about library services?

Problems with customer services, including interactions with the guards, should be addressed to the Coordinator of Public Services, Nathan Jones, (615) 936-1417.

Who can have access to the Eskind Biomedical Library?

The library's primary users are current faculty, students and staff of the Vanderbilt University. In addition, local physicians and alumni are allowed access to the library with the appropriate access cards.

Although Eskind is not open to the public, we also extend access privileges to some other users, including current Vanderbilt patients and their family members, Non-Vanderbilt physicians, Meharry Medical College personnel, and others. For a detailed description of library access policies, see our access information page.

I am having trouble accessing electronic resources remotely through the VPN. How can I fix this?

Please see the section "Instructions for VPN Users" on the Remote Access page for the solution to this problem.

Is it possible to come into the Eskind Biomedical Library to view the art exhibits?

Yes, visitors are welcome to see the art exhibits in the library. Currently the library houses many Dale Chihuly glass pieces and works by Red Grooms as well as other artists.

How do I request a service? (help with a search, Document Delivery, storage retrieval, etc.)

Request forms for these and many other services are available online. You can always access them via the Request tab on the home page.

How do I log into Acorn to view my account or renew materials?

Your Acorn User ID is usually your VUnetID and epassword.

How do I recall a library book that is checked out to another library user?

Acorn - the catalog for Vanderbilt libraries - provides a direct link to recall an item online. While viewing the record for the item, if the status says "CHECKD-OUT" you will see a link to "Recall this item." Clicking this button will bring up a form which you may complete in order to have the item recalled. Alternately, you may manually complete this form with the item information. The recalled item should become available within 10-14 days.

How do I renew a book?

To renew Vanderbilt library items online, log into Acorn (the Vanderbilt libraries' catalog) using your VUnetID and password (or alternate ID if you were assigned one), and click on "Renew My Materials."

Books from Eskind may be renewed online up to three times. After three renewals, users must bring books back to the library to renew them in person.

Where can I get a copy of the book for my resuscitation class?

Books for courses offered through the Vanderbilt Resuscitation Program, including BLS, ACLS, PALS, PEARS, & Heartsaver AED, are now available from Commodore Concierge locations during their normal business hours. (AWOHNN\ Fetal Heart Monitoring (for Labor and Delivery) is the only class book that is still available from Eskind Library.)

How many volumes does the library own?

EBL's collection development philosophy focuses on enabling information use at the point of need. EBL provides an extensive digital library of electronic journals, books, databases and other resources, in addition to many print volumes. To preserve biomedical history, EBL provides a unique collection of rare books, photographs and historical items in its Historical Collection, and the Medical Center Archives serves as a repository for manuscripts and institutional records that reflect the history of the medical center and the history of medicine. For more information about our collections, see the Collections page.

I would like the library to buy a journal, book, or other resource. How do I suggest an item?

The library has an online form available to make library purchase recommendations easier. The form accomodates any type of material, from books to journals to other electronic resources. After you submit your suggestion, the library's Collection Development Team will then consider your request. If you are in the library and prefer to fill out a paper form, forms are available at any of the service desks.

I would like to donate some books to the library. Who should I contact?

Thank you for your interest in the library's collections. Contact Julia Strickland to find out about donating materials to the collection.

Computers, Internet, Copying and Printing

Questions about computers and other equipment in the library

Which forms of payment does the library accept?

All major debit and credit cards are accepted. We do not accept cash or checks.

Can I make black & white and color copies/scans in the library?

We have three multifunction printers with both physical and digital copying capabilities. There is also a color scanner that can send files to an email address.

Use of the scan-to-email function on all machines is free. However, you must have a minimum of $0.10 on your Commodore Card/ Vanderbilt ID or Guest Print Card to use this feature on the multifunction printers. For the multifunction printers, patrons may use their Commodore Card/ Vanderbilt ID or a Guest Print Card purchased at either of the circulation desks. Black and white copies are $0.05/page, with color copies costing $0.25/page.

How can I save files when working on a library computer? Can I save them to the hard drive?

You can temporarily save files to a workstation's desktop. You can then email them to yourself or save them to a flash drive to move them to a different computer for permanent storage. The library has USB flash drives for checkout.

Files saved to the laptop desktops are erased at the next Restart or Shut Down. To save a file, e-mail it to yourself or use a storage device such as a flash drive. If you are working on a library laptop, you also have the option to burn files onto a CD.

Can I install software on the library's computers?

Library desktop computers are locked down for security and safety; loading of any new software is not allowed.

You can temporarily install some educational software (e.g., software ACLS or PALS courses) on library-provided laptops. When any library computer (laptop or desktop) restarts, your installed programs and files will be erased. This means that software which requires you to restart the computer cannot be installed on a library computer.

Can I use CDs in the library?

You may use CDs in the library workstations and laptops. If installation is required for use of the CD, the installed programs and files will be erased when the computer restarts or shuts down. The library also offers educational CD-ROMs that can be checked out from the Service Desk.

Does the library have computers with the Microsoft Office Suite?

The library provides access to Microsoft Office on laptops available for checkout and 8 workstations located just before the study carrels on the first floor. These workstations require a valid VUNet ID and password. The Clinical Work Stations (CWS) do not have the Microsoft Office Suite.

Can I connect my own laptop to the Vanderbilt wireless network when in the Eskind Library?

Patrons may bring their own laptop and connect to the library's network. You can access the network wirelessly or with an Ethernet cable. Vanderbilt students and staff will find instructions for accessing the secure network at the Vanderbilt IT Wireless Network site; visitors will find information on accessing the unencrypted public network here as well.

See our printing page for information on printing from your own laptop.

If you have issues accessing the wireless network, contact the help desk at (615) 343-4357 for assistance.

Can I use an Ethernet cord to connect to the internet when in the Eskind Library?

You may borrow an Ethernet cord to use at the library or bring your own cord. Ethernet jacks are located in all the study rooms and along the long study counters on the 2nd and 3rd floors. For maps detailing the connection locations, please visit the bottom of this page.

Are there any Mac computers in the library?

Yes, the library offers 5 MacBook Pros with OS X Mavericks to Medical Center staff, faculty, students and other Vanderbilt graduate students for in-house circulation. These may be checked out for a period of two hours, with renewals for an additional 2 hours allowed provided no other patrons are waiting to use one. Installed programs include all standard Mac software (Safari, iTunes, FaceTime, iPhoto, iMovie, etc.), Microsoft Office 2011 (with Lync), Pharos pay-for-print, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Also, please be aware that the MacBooks have the same Deep Freeze software installed on them as the Windows laptops; this means that any files you have saved onto the computer will be permanently lost after any restart or shutdown.

Does Eskind provide EndNote or Zotero Manager on computers for patron use?

The library does not purchase citation management software available for patrons to use, but we do offer training on the use of these and other tools. To schedule a training session, contact the library using this form. Also, see our citation management resources for links to info on software discounts and online tutorials.

Training and Resource Support

Questions about training opportunities, including PubMed training

How can I get help with biomedical literature searches?

The library has many opportunities for you to receive assistance. You may get brief assistance from library staff at the library service desks, or by calling (615) 936-1410. See the Training services page for more details on available training sessions, or use this form to request a session.

We provide links to a number of online tutorials for major medical and bioscience resources. You may also contact us with questions, or request further assistance using one of our online request forms.

How do I install the UpToDate Mobile app?

Visit the UpToDate mobile installation page for step-by-step instructions and screenshots.

NIH Public Access Policy

How do I find information about the NIH Public Access Policy?

The NIH Public Access Policy is meant to ensure that the public has access to research that has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Visit for additional information and resources to assist you with NIH public access compliance.

General Questions

Common questions about Vanderbilt University and the Medical Center not handled by the library

How do I access my e-mail from home?

Connect to the webmail version of your Vanderbilt email at and follow the instructions. If you have problems with Vanderbilt webmail, please contact the Help Desk at (615) 343-4357 for assistance.

Where can I access a FAX machine?

The library does NOT have a FAX machine.

The closest campus location that provides a fax service is at Campus Copy in Rand Hall (615) 322-6849. They are open Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 4.30 pm, with a lunch break from 11.30 am to 12.30 pm. Local faxes cost $1.00 per page; international faxes are $2.00 for the first page, and $1.00 for every subsequent page thereafter.