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English as a Second Language (ESL): Welcome

Welcome to VIU Library

The Library at VIU is an important place for ESL and international students, for many reasons:

  1. You can use the Library's website to search for books or articles for your assignments or free leisure reading.
  2. You can use the Library Commons at any time to meet people or use computers/printers/photocopiers.
  3. You can book study rooms in the Library to work quietly with other students.
  4. You can take out equipment such as video cameras and laptops to help you do your work.

Getting a Library PIN

We recommend that you get a Library PIN (personal identification number). With a Library PIN, you can do the following things:

  • Access e-books, articles, and online video from off campus (some of our electronic resources also require a PIN for access even if you're on the VIU campus).
  • Request books from other campuses, and from other libraries.
  • Check your Library account online, to see what materials you have out and when they're due.
  • Renew your books online.

Important: Your Library account is not the same as your student ID number or the password you use to log in to computers on campus.

Activate your Library account and get your PIN in person at the Library, or online:

LibrarySearch: Find articles, books and more

LibrarySearch Tips

Use LibrarySearch (above) to find information in lots of different formats: books, e-books, articles, videos, and more,  You will also find the LibrarySearch box on the Library's home page.

Use quotation marks for phrases:

  •  "Canadian popular culture" will get better results than Canadian popular culture
  •  Using quotation marks for phrases will improve your Google searches, too.

Use the * symbol to find variations of words:

  • politic* will find the words: politic, politics, political, politically.


Getting Started at VIU

If you are new to VIU, you should also know about...

  • Photo ID Cards:
    • If you don't already have your Photo ID Card, you can come to the Library to get it.
    • You will need to bring 1 piece of picture ID (or 2 pieces of ID with no picture) along with your registration receipt or Student Number.
  • Computer Accounts:
    • For information on getting technology help and starting up, check out the page at VIU Technology.
  • Printing and Photocopying:
    • Black and white printing: 10¢ per page at all campus computer labs.
    • Colour printing is also available in the Library at a cost of $0.50 per page.
    • You can add money to your Payprint account and set up your photocopying PIN online at using a credit card, or, if using debit or cash, at the Library Service Desk in Building 305, main floor. 

More information on these can be found at our Getting Started page.

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