Distance Library Services (DLS)

rev. 8/26/2018

Olson Library provides services to support distance education courses and programs sponsored by Northern Michigan University. A variety of services are extended to students enrolled in these courses and to the faculty teaching such courses.

Eligibility for Distance Library ServicesObtaining an NMU user ID & password 
Student Registration for Distance Library Services (DLS)DLS Services
 Faculty Who Teach distance courses 



Olson Library will provide information resources and research support to students enrolled in distance education courses. Services to our distance education students will be comparable to the services offered to students who are enrolled in courses which all meet on campus. It is recognized that effective and appropriate services for distance education students may be somewhat different from those services required by on-campus students. The requirements of the academic programs and courses will guide Olson Library staff in the planning and delivery of library services to distance education students.

The contact person for Distance Library Services is Michael Strahan, Gries office #32, (906) 227-2463.


Eligibility for Distance Library Services

Important revision as of July 1, 2021

Only students who are designated as Northern Michigan University Global Campus students are eligible to receive Distance Library Services. 

Note: NMU faculty/instructors and NMU Staff are not eligible for DLS (already receive faculty/Staff library services).


Student Registration for Distance Library Services (DLS)

NMU Global Campus students are automatically registered for DLS. They do not need to submit a form.



Obtaining an NMU User ID

Students will need an NMU User ID and password to access most of the library provided web databases. If students have not received this information, please contact the NMU HelpDesk at (906) 227-2468 or access http://myuser.nmu.edu


Document Delivery of Articles

Olson Library subscribes to over 85,000 periodicals (magazines and journals) online. Students are encouraged to use the online full-text library resources, which are available to all NMU students through online databases which contain full-text articles, or by using the @NMU link or NMU logo in the database. Periodicals are not loaned to students. However, photocopies of specific articles not available online will be emailed to students. These articles do not need to be returned to the Library. 

Circulation of Library materials owned by NMU

Books, government documents, and other materials owned by Olson Library will be loaned and sent to DLS students whose local public library does not participate in MeLCat.

We encourage students living in Michigan to request these materials through MeLCat using your local/hometown public library.

However, for those students who do not have a local library, they may access the library catalog through OneSearch (library home page) to determine what the library owns, and then request items from Olson Library using OneSearch system or the interlibrary loan form. Students without Internet access may mail or fax requests to Olson Library using the Loan/Article Photocopy Request form. These forms will be sent to students who do not have Internet access.

Items requested by students will be retrieved from the shelves and checked out to the student using the student's Library barcode. The item(s) will be mailed directly to students using U.S. mail service. The library reserves the right to limit the number of items mailed. Due dates will be assigned in accordance with standard library loan periods. To return borrowed items, students should mail the materials using U.S. postal service, book rate. The library will accept the postmark date as the return date. In some instances, materials may be sent and returned to the library at the course site location. Overdue fines and charges for damaged or lost items will be assessed as per standard library policies.

Materials may be renewed via the library catalog by going into OneSearch & logging into your account, by sending an email, or by contacting the Public Services Desk at (906) 227-2250. Be sure to include your name, author and title of the item to be renewed, and the barcode number (inside back page).

Delivery Time: Students should plan ahead to account for delivery times. Please allow a minimum of ten days for receipt of requested materials from Olson Library.

Interlibrary Loan of Items NOT Owned by NMU

Periodical articles will be interlibrary loaned as needed. Olson Library will seek the most time and cost efficient method for securing periodical articles. Digital copies will provided to students through an email link, and do not need to be returned. All interlibrary loan (ILL) subsidies provided to NMU students apply. Students may request an interlibrary loan by Internet through the Library's @NMU / logo icons in databases, or through the interlibrary loan form.


Reference Services

Students who need instruction on how to search particular databases, how to prepare bibliographic citations for papers and projects, how to evaluate sources or other reference questions should reach out to their library liaison, or use various means (Live Chat, phone, email) through our Ask Us page. Lengthy reference questions may be referred to library faculty as appropriate.

Faculty Information

Course Reserves

Faculty who wish to place reading materials on reserve should consult Course Reserves, and strongly consider e-Reserve.

Library & Information Instruction

Course instructors may wish to request library faculty to provide library instruction for their class on a specific topic such as how to access a particular online database (e.g. OneSearch, ERIC, PubMed, etc.), how to prepare bibliographic citations, or how to evaluate information resources. Instructional materials will be provided to faculty and/or students upon request. To make arrangements for class instruction, faculty should contact the library liaison to their department/program. 

Olson Library staff are committed to providing quality Distance Library Services. Questions and comments should be directed to Michael Strahan, Reference/DLS Librarian.

Ask Us