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Research Help: Are You a Distance Learner?

This page provides information about reference services at Southwest Minnesota State University Library.

Is there anything special I need to access library services?

You will need your SMSU StarID-- that should be it!

Login to My Account to request interlibrary loans, check the status of your existing requests, and ask for renewals.  You will use your StarID and password to log into the library's system, just as you would to SMSU email and other services.

Are College Now students "distance learners"?

The answer to this question is yes-- most of the time. 

However, to answer questions specific to College Now students and instructors, check out the College Now ILL page and the College Now & the SMSU Library Research Guide

What's a Distance Learner?

You are a distance learner if

  • you are a graduate student
  • you are a 2+2 student OR
  • you are a College Now student

If you don't recognize yourself in the above categories, and you still consider yourself a distance student, contact us so that we can make adjustments on our end to continue providing you library services. 

What services are available to me?

We strive to offer our distance learners the same services available to on-campus students. Therefore, as a distance learner you have full access to: 

However, as a distance learner there are a few extra hoops to jump through (we try to keep them low to the ground ;-).

The purpose of this page is to help you understand what you need to do to get there!

How do I use interlibrary loan?

If you find a book through the online catalog that SMSU owns, you can request that we pull it from the shelf and send it to you. Also, if SMSU doesn't own a book or the full-text of an article that you need, we have a wide network of libraries we can ask to borrow it from-- and then pass it along to you. Here are the essential things to know about this service:

  • Books will be shipped to your home address. 
  • You are responsible for the cost of returning the book to SMSU: we recommend mailing it "media mail." You can also return it to SMSU or any other colleges/universities in the MnSCU system in person. 
  • Electronic versions of articles will be delivered to your SMSU email. 
  • If you are enrolled as a distance learner or a College Now student, we know to send books and paper copies of articles to your home-- you don't have to ask. :-)
  • The Interlibrary Loan (ILL) office takes care of your requests, so feel free to contact Maria or Conni with questions! 

How do I schedule a research consultation?

We're happy to schedule research consultations with our distance learners! Here's what to do if you'd like to make an appointment: 

  • Select the date/time/person that will work best for you, just as if you were requesting an on-campus appointment.

  • In the "Anything else I need to know" box, tell us that you are a distance student. 

  • When we receive your request, we will contact you about available platforms (Skype, Adobe Connect, Google Hangouts) that might work best for you and together decide which one to use.