Distance Education

The library's web site offers most of the functions of the library over the web, but we also offer some special services for USA Online students. You can read the overview below, or if you have more specific questions, read the Distance Education FAQ page.

Reference Services

Reference librarians are available to advise USAOnline students on choosing appropriate reference books, indexes, databases and other research tools. Ready reference questions (with short, fact-based answers) are also accepted. You can send your reference inquiries several different ways: 1) use our live chat service 2) email us at medlib@southalabama.edu or 3) call us at 251-460-7044. E-mails can be sent anytime and are generally read once a day, Monday through Friday except holidays and answered within 24 hours. Answers will be sent as a reply to the e-mail message we receive, so be sure that you are using your own e-mail account. Phone calls and the live chat reference service are available during our usual business hours.

Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery Services

Interlibrary Loan is the provision of books, articles, and other library materials that this library does not own. We will attempt to fill your request by asking for the material you need from another medical library. Document delivery is the photocopying and delivery (through various methods) of materials owned by the Biomedical Library. For more information about ILL and Document Delivery, visit the ILL page.

Circulation Services

The loan period for graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in USAOnline classes will be two weeks. Distance Education students will request materials via the library's web site. Use the appropriate Interlibrary Loan form and put "USAOnline Student" in the comment field. The student's first request for materials will result in the creation of a library card to be delivered with the students' book(s). This card is subject to the same replacement fees/procedures as on campus students. If a Distance Education student comes to the library, he/she must bring his/her library card to borrow materials. Materials requested by Distance Education students will be retrieved, checked out and packaged by library staff for delivery. Students will be required to return the book(s) within the two week loan period or to request a renewal by contacting medlib@southalabama.edu or calling 251-460-7043.

Students will be charged the actual cost of shipping the book via UPS. When returning books to the Library, students will be required to insure each book for $100.00 (standard when shipping via UPS).