OhioLINK Services for Distance Learning Students

Definition of Terms:

Home Institution: The institution at which a student is enrolled. The library of the home campus is referred to as the home library.
PCIRC: Patron-initiated print borrowing done through the OhioLINK Central Catalog.
Pickup Anywhere: A feature in the Central Catalog allowing PCIRC materials to be delivered to any OhioLINK member's campus.
Visiting Patron: A feature that allows a patron at one OhioLINK member library to borrow material from another OhioLINK member library using the patron's regular student ID when visiting that library in person.

Students enrolled in distance learning classes are entitled to library services from their home campus as if they were enrolled in traditional, on-campus classes. To optimize access to these services, a patron record must exist in the local library system of the student’s home institution. If one does not exist, then it must be created at the home institution before services can be offered.

Direct Borrowing.  Students are allowed to borrow materials from their home library or from any OhioLINK library through direct checkout and/or through PCIRC. Borrowing privileges should match the student’s rank of undergraduate or graduate. The student’s home institution is expected to make arrangements that ensure that distance learners have the same access to PCIRC borrowing privileges as students on campus. For students living within the state of Ohio, other OhioLINK libraries may serve as a "host" for distance learning students through the Pickup Anywhere feature. For students living outside the state of Ohio, libraries shall extend to PCIRC materials the same delivery arrangements that they use for the circulation of their own materials. In all cases, the patron's home library is responsible for negotiating for the return of borrowed items when necessary.

Many distance learners are not supplied with regular student IDs. For checking out OhioLINK materials either via Pickup Anywhere or Visiting Patron, it is appropriate for the student to present a picture ID instead of a student ID as long as they know the credentials that will allow them to check the item out. The student's home library can provide them with the correct credentials if they do not know them.

Interlibrary Loan. The home library provides traditional ILL services for the student and is responsible for requesting the materials and for the delivery to the student.

Electronic Databases. The student should have remote access to all electronic databases and full text sources that the home institution subscribes to locally or receives access through OhioLINK.

Reserve Materials.  The student should have access to reserve materials associated with the class he or she is taking. If the materials are not available online from the home institution, special arrangements may be made by the home library to provide the materials.

Reference Services & Collections.  The student should have access to reference services from the home library. Preferably, this should be offered by the patron's home library either online or through a phone service, but the student may need access to materials at a local host library. All OhioLINK libraries should allow access to their reference collections for any distance learning student enrolled at an OhioLINK institution.

Home Campus Services.  The student should have access to appropriate authentication services from the home institution that allow full access to all services whether the student is remotely accessing these services or is on campus.

Access to Services from Host Campus.  Access to the Internet from host institutions should be allowed from on campus for OhioLINK resources and for the home library resources.

Original Policy Written 9/1/1999; revised 11/16/2000, 9/10/2010, 8/23/2012, 12/8/2017