To access the Gale Virtual Reference Library, as of 2015, you must have an affiliation with an institution that subscribes to Gale. The Gale Virtual Reference Library provides a database of academic reference texts for use by students, teachers, library professionals and businesses.
The Gale Virtual Reference Library focuses primarily on academic, school and public libraries. Gale offers a wide selection of non-fiction and reference books in a digital format, as well as access to online resources. An institution such as a college or a public library sets up an account with Gale and pays for access to specific digital publications. Gale offers consultations to help institutions determine which publications to stock in their databases based on the type of institution and area demographics.
Users must log in to the Gale Virtual Reference Library in order to access its resources. Subscribing institutions provide students, teachers and other users with login information. For example, a college student may be able to log in to the Gale library with a student email account and password. This grants the student access to the texts that the particular institution has purchased. For public libraries, users may be able to log in with their library card numbers, or they may have local access through that library's network.