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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.

Library Definition of a Distance Education Student Obtaining an email address
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, 233 Olson Library, (906) 227-2463.


Library Definition of a Distance Education Student

Major revision August 28, 2014

For purposes of Library Services, distance learners are those students registered for at least one NMU course which meets online-only or co-location or hybrid or off-campus/off-site, AND who are not residents of NMU campus housing. This definition includes students registered for a clinic, directed study, field experience, internship, practicum, study abroad, or graduate thesis/project/Continuous Enrollment Credit, AND who are not residents of NMU campus housing. NMU campus housing includes the various halls, campus apartments, plus Lincoln Avenue apartments & townhouses (addresses numbered 1601 through 1701).

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)

If you meet the definition criteria as stated above AND are not residents of the NMU campus: 
Submit a DLS Registration


OR request a registration form by contacting us:

Distance Library Services
ATTN: Mike Strahan
Lydia M. Olson Library
Northern Michigan University
1401 Presque Isle Ave
Marquette MI 49855
Telephone: (906) 227-2463
Fax: (906) 227-1333

After the Distance Library Services Registration form is submitted, library staff will verify student eligibility for services.

If an NMU distance learner was not issued an NMU photo ID, they will be sent a DLS library card. Library staff will maintain a file containing all Library Distance Education Registration forms. This file is regularly updated.

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


Document Delivery of Articles

Olson Library subscribes to over 60,000 periodicals (magazines and journals) available 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 or Full-Text link in the database. Periodicals are not loaned to students. However, photocopies of specific articles not available online will be e-mailed to students. These photocopied articles do not need to be returned to the Library. Request articles through Step #3 of  or use the interlibrary loan form.

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 residence is off-campus and their 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 online catalog to determine what the library owns, and then request items from Olson Library using 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, which is five (5) weeks for most items. 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 log in to your account, by sending an email, or by contacting the Public Services Desk at (906) 227-2260. 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. Article copies will be sent directly to students 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 from the interlibrary loan form or through .

When submitting ILL requests, students must indicate on the form that they are distance students by entering 
I am a distance student on the ILL request form Notes area.

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 email requests and queries or call the Olson Library Public Services desk at (906) 227-2260. 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

Faculty may wish to provide library instruction for their entire student group 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 call the library at (906) 227-2463 or email.

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

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