Library Services and Policies for Distance Learning Students

Florida Atlantic University offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate-level courses to distance learners. The Florida Atlantic Libraries strive to provide a level of support for distance learning students and faculty that is equivalent to that provided on FAU campuses. Resources and services include:

  • Access from your home to electronic library resources, including full text of many articles and e-books
  • Delivery to your home or class location of books and articles owned by FAU Libraries
  • Delivery to your home or class location copies of articles from journals not available at FAU  [Click here to request items] 
  • On-site borrowing and assistance at other Florida public universities and community colleges [Click to learn about UBorrow]
  • Information and reference assistance--via email, telephone, text, or chat [Ask A Librarian]
  • Access to online library tutorials 
  • Distance Learning Resource Guide

Eligibility: Any currently enrolled student taking courses or faculty teaching courses via interactive television, videotape, email, or the Internet who do not have access to an FAU campus are eligible for distance learning services. Home delivery of library materials is available to those students who are only enrolled in Distance Learning classes.

The OWL Card

Owl CardThe FAU OWL Card is your library card and is required to use library services. It provides a 14-digit number that is used to access many library services.

To obtain an OWL Card, visit any of the OWL Card offices on FAU's partner campuses or use the online form to request your Owl Card for pick up


Online Library Resources

OpenAthens is a gateway service that provides access to the FAU Libraries' licensed electronic resources. For the first time, you will have access to the Libraries’ e-resources without needing to be on the Libraries’ website! You can use an Internet search engine like Google or go directly to a publisher’s website to access the Libraries “Athenized” e-resources via FAU Single Sign-On (SSO)!  

Open Athens FAQS

Visit the Libraries' Distance Learning LibGuide for links to commonly used online library resources and materials.

Borrowing Privileges

FAU distance learning students have borrowing privileges based on their patron category.  Undergraduate students have three weeks to borrow their books and can renew them online before their due date.  For specific information, see the Access Services Borrowing Privileges page

Use UBorrow to request books that not owned by FAU but are available from other Florida state university libraries. Begin by searching for materials in the Library Catalog and then follow the UBorrow link. Users can request to receive their book at a specific FAU campus library and will be e-mailed when it is available for pick up. See UBorrow FAQs for more information.

In addition, distance learning students can borrow library materials at other Florida state universities and community colleges libraries, as provided by a state-wide reciprocal borrowing agreement. Present an activated OWL Card to obtain borrowing privileges. For additional information, visit the State University or Florida College nearest you.

Research Assistance: Ask a Librarian

Students can receive research assistance by phone, online, chat, or by e-mail. Contact the Research and Instructional Services Department at (561) 297-3785, go to its online Ask A Librarian service, or e-mail your questions to

Interlibrary Loan

Use Interlibrary Loan (ILL) to submit requests for books, journals and other library materials that are not available through the FAU Libraries. ILL can also be used to request the delivery of FAU library materials from one of its campus libraries to another. See the Interlibrary Loan FAQs web page for additional information about ILL.

First-time users must create an account with ILLiad, the Libraries' interlibrary loan system. Please read these important points:

  • Log onto ILLiad to check the status of current and past requests.
  • When making a request, select "Distance Learner" in "Patron Status."
  • Students are responsible for updating their contact and mailing information in their ILLiad account.
  • Books that are not owned by FAU but are requested and received through ILL must be picked up at an FAU campus library; select a delivery location preference in your ILLiad account.
Document Delivery

Through their ILLiad account, distance learners can request delivery of FAU-owned books by U.S. Mail and photocopies of journal articles by e-mail. These materials will be sent to the address provided in their account. See the ILL Delivery page for additional information.

Course Reserves

FAU distance learning students who need to access online or electronic course reserve materials for their classes will find them on the FAU Libraries Course Reserves site. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to download them. A free download of this software is available at the Adobe website.

FAU faculty who are teaching distance learning courses can provide online class materials by using the Course Reserves service. Consult Faculty Guidelines for FAU Course Reserves for additional information. 

Technical Problems

Having a problem with a specific library resource or service? Consult the following service points:

Problem: Contact:
Unable to connect to the Internet Your Internet service provider
Unable to connect to the FAU Libraries 
web site

FAU OIT Help Desk
PH: (561) 297-3999

Difficulty accessing information from a
database or with finding library materials
FAU Libraries Instruction and
Engagement Services Department

PH: (561) 297-3785
Unable to access an electronic resource
with an OWL card
Access Services Department
PH: (561) 297-6911
Need help creating a search strategy
for your research
FAU Libraries Instruction and
Engagement Services Department

PH: (561) 297-3785
Need an orientation to the LIbraries' 
FAU Libraries Instruction and
Engagement Services Department

PH: (561) 297-3785



Last modified at 08/25/2022 - 15:29 PM