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Collection management policies and guidelines

Content providers of our electronic journals, ebooks, and other materials can detect when an individual downloads a large amount of their content. A typical vendor will cut off access for an entire campus when systematic downloading (by the vendor's definition) is detected. In order to prevent campus-wide blocks to databases, the Library's authentication system will preemptively block any user who downloads more than 2 gigabytes of data in 24 hours. (The average Off Campus Sign In user downloads less than 100 megabytes in 24 hours). The automatic block will expire after a 1 hour cool down period. At 5 gigabytes, users are blocked automatically for 24 hours.  

The Library does not assume malicious intent on the part of the user; this system is in place to ensure everyone can access our resources. If you find your account is still blocked after the 1 hour cool down period, please contact

Please see our FAQ and the Acceptable Use of Information Systems at Virginia Tech policy for more information.