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The online student’s guide to the library

This article appears in: Study tips
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So, you’ve made the decision to study your degree online, but you’re a bit confused about how to access library resources as a distance learner. After all, how can you borrow a book when you can’t visit the library? Or where can you access library resources, like journal articles, so you can complete your assignments? Don’t worry; we’ve got all the answers!

CDU has been delivering online degrees for nearly 20 years, and around 74% of our students study with us online or a combo of both online and on-campus, so we have this distance learning thing down pat! Read on to find out how you can access hundreds of thousands of library resources as an online student.

How do I borrow a book/journal/other library resource?

One of the questions we get asked most from our online students is how to access a book or journal article. Luckily, with our massive range of books, eBooks, journal articles, digital media and more, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your own home (or get changed out of your PJs) to access over 400,000 titles from the CDU library.

It all begins with a search of the library catalogue at  Once you have found what you’re looking for, you’ll be prompted to log into your account so you can see more details about the resource. As a student, you automatically have a library account. It’s that easy!

You also use this account to:

  • Renew items that you have borrowed
  • Create lists of saved items and searches
  • Export, save, email or print results

How do eBooks work?

This one’s easy! Once you’ve found the eBook you want through Library Search, you just need to log into your library account to access the eBook, where you can borrow it online. Once your time is up, the access finishes. Some eBooks can be read on the web, while others can be downloaded and read on portable devices – super handy when you need to smash out some reading on the morning commute!

What if I want to borrow a hard copy book?

Prefer to read your books in paper form, but not close to a CDU library? No worries! We’ve got you covered with our Distance Library Services. We can post books to you and even email scanned chapters or journal articles – all at no cost to you. Return postage is also free for CDU students! You can use this service if you:

  • live more than 80 km from a Northern Territory campus
  • live overseas
  • are incarcerated
  • are registered with Equity

Online workshops

The library also offers a heap of online training options. Learn about plagiarism and how to avoid it, EndNote essentials, Harvard referencing guides and skilful searching. Can’t make it to that online workshop you had your heart set on? The Liaison Librarians can do a one-on-one online session with you.

How can I get help from a Librarian?

Need to talk to a Librarian? Our super tech-savvy Liaison Librarians can help you with your questions via online chat, phone, email or Skype.

If you need more info about CDU’s library services for online students, drop us line at or give us a call on 08 8946 7016.


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