Using SU Libraries as an Online or Distance Student

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Aug. 28, 2023, 1 p.m.
Here for you whether you’re a fully online student, living more than 30 miles away from campus, or temporarily away for an internship or study abroad.
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Original post Oct. 11, 2022; Updated Aug. 28, 2023

by Juan Denzer and John Stawarz

Whether you are a fully online Syracuse University student, someone who is living more than 30 miles away from campus, or a student who is temporarily away for an internship or study abroad, Syracuse University Libraries are here to support you and your learning.

As a library, we strongly support the Association of College & Research Libraries’ Standards for Distance Learning Library Services, which states that “All students, faculty members, administrators, staff members, or any other members of an institution of higher education are entitled to the library services and resources of that institution…wherever they may be.

Here are some of the primary ways that SU Libraries support you and other online learners, and how you can make the most of your learning experience:

SU Libraries’ Support for Online & Distance Students

In recent years, partly due to the rising number of online students, partly due to lessons learned during COVID closures, SU Libraries has dedicated a greater share of our collections budget to online resources available to members of the SU community regardless of where you are located in the world.

To access our online resources, begin your search directly on the SU Libraries website and you will be prompted to log in to our EZproxy system with your NetID and password to access our licensed online resources. If you do not begin on our library website, you might encounter paywalls asking you to pay for resources that you might be able to access at no cost through SU Libraries.

If you are not able to find in our catalog a particular resource that you need, SU Libraries might still be able to track down the item for you through our interlibrary loan service (ILL). Through this service, SU Libraries can often send you a pdf scan of an article or book chapter within a few days, or we might be able to mail an item from our collection to you and include a return shipping label, so that you are able to borrow and return the item at no direct cost to you.

If the interlibrary loan service (ILL) is unable to locate a resource for you. Please reach out to your subject librarian, they may be able to request that the resource be added to the library’s collection. Additionally, you can suggest a resource by using the Suggest a Title form which will be forwarded to the appropriate subject librarian.

Finding Library Resources Near You

If you are looking for resources or items that are not available via Syracuse University Libraries (including interlibrary loan), or if these resources would not arrive by the time you need them, there might be options for you to locate these resources near your current location.

One great tool for finding local resources is WorldCat, which can search through the catalogs of more than 10,000 libraries to help find the item you are looking for. After entering your zip code, WorldCat can then tell you whether the item is available at nearby libraries. You may be able to view or even check out that item at some libraries, such as public libraries.

For college and university libraries, Syracuse University is a member of OCLC’s SHARES program, which allows faculty, students, and staff from Syracuse University and other participating institutions to gain on-site access to collections at many research libraries, museum libraries, and archives in the United States and several other countries. Similarly, some additional libraries, such as those affiliated with public universities or those taking part in the Federal Depository Library Program, often allow members of the public to access and sometimes borrow items from their collections. In each of these cases, we recommend reaching out to the libraries before you visit so that you are aware of the library’s latest policies on visitors.

Finally, if you are away from Syracuse University and in need of an internet connection, check to see if any institution you are close to is a member of the Eduroam program, which offers secure Wi-Fi at more than 5,500 institutions in more than 50 countries, including over 160 institutions in the United States.

Getting Help from SU Libraries

If you have questions about using SU Libraries or locating particular resources, you can visit our Get Help page and contact us through a variety of methods, including email, phone, and a 24/7 chat service for assistance. Additionally, you could also contact any of our subject librarians, who have extensive experience supporting students and faculty in their academic areas.

Subject librarians and other library staff members have also created a wide variety of online research guides that offer guidance and research support not only in specific academic areas, such as business and library and information science, but also provide support for creating citations, registering for free access to the New York Times website, discovering resources for specific courses (such as BPS 144 Orange Immersion), and discovering additional support for online and distance students. To view all available guides, visit our research guides from the website homepage, then click on “By Type,” located near the top of the page.

Finally, SU Libraries also offer access to a wide variety of online videos and tutorials covering a wide variety of topics that include Research Starting Points, Searching with Summon, Finding Journal Articles, and citing resources in APA, Chicago, MLA, and other citation styles as well. We even offer live events and workshops, many of which are held online and available to anyone who registers.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Syracuse University Libraries if you have any questions about how we can or might support you and your learning. Thank you for being part of the SU community!

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