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Welcome to the Central Alabama Community College Libraries: Alabama Virtual Library (AVL)

About the AVL

The Alabama Virtual Library provides all students, teachers, and citizens of the State of Alabama with online access to essential library and information resources. It is primarily a group of online databases that have magazine, journal, and newspaper articles for research. Through the AVL, an equitable core of information sources is available to every student and citizen in Alabama, raising the level of excellence in schools and communities across the state.

Navigate to the AVL

How to Access AVL

The Alabama Virtual Library uses geo-location 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 login with an AVL Card.  AVL Cards may also be used to gain access when a resident is traveling outside the state. Visit your CACC library to request an AVL (remote access) card. 

Step-by-Step Directions for Using the AVL

  1. Go to
  2. Hover over "Student Resources"
  3. Click on "College & University"
  4. Choose the database that you want to search.  The database search functions like any search engine (i.e. Google).  Enter your search term and click enter.
  5. In the column on the left side of your screen, under "Refine Your Results," are several options for making your search more specific including limiting your results to only FULL TEXT and or PEER REVIEWED articles.  You can also use the date slider bar to change the range of years spanned by your results.
  6. You also have the option of narrowing by SOURCE TYPE to limit your results to only the type of publication you choose.  For example, if you wish to view only magazines and journals, check Periodicals and click UPDATE.
  7. To the right of your results is another column.  This column includes a section titled RELATED IMAGES.  If you hover over one of the pictures, the image is enlarged.
  8. To explore a full record, choose an article you'd like to read more about.  Click the title.  If the full text of your article is available, you will see an icon that says HTML FULL TEXT and an icon that says PDF FULL TEXT.  PDF FULL TEXT shows the article as it originally appeared in the magazine, journal, encyclopedia, or other publication including photos, charts, and graphics.
  9. There are several functions you are going to find extremely useful.  They can be used to save articles for future reference, print them, and even send to someone else.  If you are required to provide a bibliography or works cited page, the icon that looks like a yellow sheet of paper can be especially helpful.  Click on it and a pop-up window appears with six of the most widely used citation styles.  All you have to do is find the style your instructor requires and copy and paste.

AVL Databases

Academic Search Premier--a leading multidisciplinary research databases which provides acclaimed full-text journals, magazines, and other valuable resources

Alabama Libraries--online catalogs of many Alabama libraries

Alabama Mosaic--AlabamaMosaic is a repository of digital materials on Alabama's history, culture, places, and people.  Its purpose is to make unique historical treasures from Alabama's archives, libraries, museums, and other repositories electronically accessible to Alabama residents and to students, researchers, and the general public in other states and countries.

Britannica Academic--The combination of Encyclopædia Britannica plus Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, magazines and periodicals, and many other research tools provides the variety of reliable sources that students need to consult when conducting thorough collegiate research.

Britannica E-Books--E-books on the following topics:

  • Biographies
  • Geography, Government, & History
  • Literature, Religion, & Culture
  • Science & Math
  • Sports

Business Collection--provides full-text coverage of all business disciplines including accounting, economics, finance, marketing, management and strategy, as well as business theory and practice

Business Insights-Essentials--integrates detailed company and industry news by bringing together articles from periodicals, company profiles, brand information, rankings, investment reports, company histories, and chronologies

Business Source Premier--Full text articles and images from nearly 7,600 periodicals and other sources covering business, marketing, management, MIS, POM, economics, finance, banking, accounting, and much more. Datamonitor Company Profiles are also available

Ebscohost Search--Simultaneously search:

  • Academic Search Premier
  • Alt HealthWatch
  • Business Source Premier
  • ERIC
  • GreenFILE
  • Health Source - Consumer
  • Health Source: Nursing/Academic
  • History Reference Center
  • AHFS Consumer Medication Information
  • Library, Info. Science & Tech. Abstracts
  • MasterFILE Premier
  • Military & Government Collection
  • Newspaper Source
  • Professional Development Collection
  • Regional Business News
  • Vocational & Career Collection

Encyclopedia of Alabama--resource on Alabama history, culture, geography, and natural environment

Ethnic NewsWatch--features newspapers, magazines, and journals of the ethnic and minority press, providing researchers access to essential, often overlooked perspectives

Gale Literary Sources--Simultaneously search:

  • Literature Resource Center
  • LitFinder
  • Contemporary Authors
  • Dictionary of Literary Biography
  • Literature Criticism Online
  • Twayne's Authors Series
  • Scribner Writers Series

Gale PowerSearch--Allows a user to search Gale's Professional Collection, General OneFile, Student Edition, LegalTrac, Expanded Academic ASAP, General Reference Center Gold, Gale Virtual Reference Library, and Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center at the same time

History Reference Center--features cover-to-cover full text for more than 650 historical encyclopedias and other non-fiction books. The database also includes full text for nearly 60 leading history periodicals; 58,000 historical documents; 43,000 biographies of historical figures; more than 12,000 historical photos and maps; and 87 hours of historical film and video

Informe--Full text for 50 general interest Spanish-language and bilingual periodicals and El Neuvo Herald (Miami). Users must formulate queries in Spanish because indexing and thesaurus terms on based on Spanish terms

Medline Plus--extensive information from the National Institutes of Health and other trusted sources on over 650 diseases and conditions. There are also lists of hospitals and physicians, a medical encyclopedia and a medical dictionary, health information in Spanish, extensive information on prescription and nonprescription drugs, health information from the media, and links to thousands of clinical trial

Opposing Viewpoints in Context--supports science, social studies, current events, and language arts classes. Informed, differing views help learners develop critical-thinking skills and draw their own conclusions

Oxford English Dictionary--guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world

Points of View Reference Center--designed to provide students and schools with a series of controversial essays, presents multiple sides of a current issue, and essays provide questions and materials for further thought and study


PubMed--provides access to over 11 million MEDLINE citations back to the mid-1960's and additional life science journals. PubMed includes links to many sites providing full text articles and other related resources

Serials Solutions--a reference tool to determine which full-text electronic magazines and journals are available through the AVL licensed databases

Frequently Asked Questions

Why use the AVL rather than just an internet search engine?  The databases on the AVL website have been reviewed and evaluated by experts and are considered valid and reliable.  

Is there a fee to use the AVL?  No, AVL resources are provided to all Alabama citizens by funding from the Alabama Legislature.

Where can I get an AVL card?  At your CACC library!


Video Tutorial


Guide Author

Karen Thomas's picture
Karen Thomas
34091 US Highway 280
Chilersburg, AL 35044