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Distance Library Services: Getting Articles and More

for distance students

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Access articles on your topic by searching in general or subject-specific databases. You can access the databases from the A-Z Database List or from specific research guides created for your discipline or a particular course.  Articles are often available online in full-text format. However, if you don't find the fulltext of the article that you are looking for or need an article that is from a print journal located in Library, you can always request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

If we have the journal/magazine/book physically in the SU Libraries, we will scan the article or the chapter you need and send it to you. This is a service for our distance students only. So it is imperative that you identify yourself as a distance student on the form.

Great news for Distance Students!

We will be mailing items to distance students' home addresses. We piloted this project for spring 2018, however, we decided to continue it since it has been beneficial!  Keep reading...


Want a library book to be delivered to your home? It can be done now!

SU Libraries decided to continue with this service for our distance students. You can get books shipped to your home address (continental US only) if you DO NOT:

  • come to SU main campus for classes
  • reside within 50 miles of Salisbury

Here’s how it is done —

Items from SU Libraries:

  • Check the library catalog to determine that the item is  available in the Guerrieri Academic Commons (GAC)
  • You will need to contact your subject liaison librarian with the book details and mention that you are a distance student living beyond a 50 mile radius of Salisbury
  • Library staff will then contact you with further information


Items from USM Libraries:

  • Check the library catalog to determine that the book is available through one of the University System of Maryland (USM) libraries
  • Request direct borrowing through the catalog
  • If you live close to one of the USM institutions, you can select it yourself as your pick-up location; your item will be sent to that location. You will also need to return the item to a USM pick-up location. 
  • If you do not live near a USM pick-up location, please select SU Guerrieri Academic Commons as your pick-up location.  The book will be shipped to SU, and we will ship it to your home address the next business day via UPS, after verifying your address.  You will need to return the item to SU with the UPS return label.


Items from non-USM libraries via Interlibrary loan:

  • You will submit your request via your ILL account (make sure you note that you are a distance student!)
  • You will receive an email asking you to verify your address
  • Item is shipped next business day with a return label via UPS
  • Once you receive the item, DO NOT throw away the box; you are responsible for shipping the item back to Guerrieri Academic Commons using the SAME box and the return label


How long can I keep the books I borrow?

Books from SU Libraries’ collection have the same loan period that on-campus users receive. The length of the loan depends on your status (undergraduate, graduate) and the type of material being loaned. Non-circulating materials, such as reference books, cannot be borrowed by distance learning students.

Regarding books from other libraries —the length of the loan period depends not only on the borrower status and type of material, but also on the lending library’s policies – each library has a different loan period and renewal policy.


Things to remember:

All books (including those in the SU collection and USM titles) are subject to recall. In the event this should happen, please return recalled items immediately.

To ensure that you do not accrue fines, factor in the shipping time and mail the items a few days before the due date. You are responsible for late fines or costs associated with damaged materials.

Questions? Get in touch with us:

Amy Jones, Head of Circulation –

Mou Chakraborty, Director of External Library Services –

Your Subject Librarian -



flying book

Here's more information about Interlibrary Loan:           

Creating your account:

Here are the basic differences between ILL and Direct Borrowing/Patron Placed Hold


Interlibrary Loan  Direct Borrowing (aka Patron Placed Hold)

1. You request the item after you have created your account at

or via FindIt

ILL Login screenshot

1.  You request the item directly from the catalog

2. Materials can be requested from any library outside the USMAI consortium

2. Books are requested from the USMAI libraries only

3. Materials may take longer to get to Library. The average turnaround time:

a. for articles2-7 days

b. for books 1-2 weeks

Hard to locate materials may take longer

3. Materials get to the Library within 3-5 days approximately

4. A one-time online registration form via ILL must be submitted before requests can be made. Login with your SU username and password


4. No registration required but you will  login with SU username and password

5. There may be occasional charges if the lending library charges us, however we notify you first to see if you are willing to pay for the materials




5. Free