Navigation Aids

Alumni Access to the Penn Libraries


Main Content

Alumni Services at the Biomedical Library

The Penn Biomedical Library offers a wide variety of services to alumni. All graduates are eligible to use the services described below.

Access to the Biomedical Library Building

The Penn Biomedical Library is open to the public on weekdays from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Alumni who wish to use the Biomedical Library on weekends and other periods of restricted access should apply for an Alumni PennCard.

  • Bring a government issued photo I.D to the PennCard Center (Suite 150 Franklin Bldg, 3451 Walnut St.)
  • Alumni may also obtain their Alumni PennCard by mail
  • The card is good for 5 years and the cost is $25
  • For more information, contact the PennCARD Center at 215-898-2646

Access to Penn Libraries Electronic Resources

Access to most library electronic resources is available to alumni within library buildings including the Biomedical Library. A credential must be set up the day access is needed and will allow access only for that day.

  • Present Alumni PennCard at the Van Pelt Library Circulation Desk, 9am-8pm weekdays.
  • Some restrictions apply to use of your Alumni PennCard. Please refer to the policies listed here for more details on restricted times and limits.
  • Due to license restrictions, not all resources are available. For information on specific resources, please consult reference staff.

For additional information, please contact the Van Pelt Library Reference Desk at 215-898-7556 or send them an email.

Borrowing Privileges

Alumni who wish to borrow materials from the Library's collections may apply for courtesy borrowing privileges.

  • The Penn Alumni fee for courtesy borrowing is $200 per year.
  • Detailed information about the service can be found on our Courtesy Borrowing webpage.
  • Application for courtesy borrowing should be made Monday through Friday to the Van Pelt Library Circulation Department. Call (215-898-7566)


The Biomedical Library has extensive resources for conducting research.

  • Penn Alumni may use the historical and current print collections for their information needs.
  • Access to electronic resources requires special arrangements, see the "Access to Electronic Resources" section of this page.
  • Professional librarians are on duty between 11:00 AM and 5:00 PM weekdays.
  • A Consultation Appointment is recommended if you anticipate needing librarian assistance. For reference services, call 215-898-8969 or email us.

RefWorks Access

RefWorks is a web-based program that can store and manage your citation information. Your Penn Alumni status provides you with free access to RefWorks for as long as Penn Libraries subscribes to the service.

  • Those who have used RefWorks as a student are required to create and transfer their collection to a new RefWorks Alumni account.
  • Please consult the RefWorks Alumni Account Instructions for information on how to set up an account under the Alumni Program.
  • Contact the Biomedical Library for more information about RefWorks at 215-898-5818 or via email.