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Online Learning Resources

A guide to the Ball State University Libraries' resources and services for students and faculty participating in Online & Distance Education programs.


As a student taking online courses at Ball State University, you have access to the full range of Library resources and services, including database access, Interlibrary Loan (ILL), and research appointments with librarians.


I am a distance education student. How do I get books from the library?

  • If you are registered with Ball State as a distance education student, circulating items you find in our collection can be mailed to you.
  • For details, see Find Books.

I am a distance education student, but I do live in the Muncie area. Can I come to the library and check out books?

  • Yes! You may check out items from the library. If you have a student ID, bring it with you. If you do not have a student ID, bring a photo ID like a driver’s license.

I am a distance education student. Can I use library databases?

  • Yes! The vast majority of library databases are available from off-campus with your BSU login.  Just go to the University Libraries homepage, select Databases under Popular Services and Resources, and choose your database by subject area or by name in Databases A-Z.
  • For details, see Find Articles

I am a distance education student. Can books I find at other universities through WorldCat be sent to my home address?

  • Unfortunately, no.  Interlibrary loan requests for items not owned by Ball State may only be delivered to and picked up at the Bracken Library.  You can contact your local public library, which may offer interlibrary loan.  Or, if you live near an Academic Libraries of Indiana member institution, you can obtain borrowing privileges at that library by contacting our Interlibrary Loan department.
  • For details, see Find Books

I only need one chapter in a book.  Do I need to request the entire book?

  • You can request individual chapters through Interlibrary Loan by choosing the Book Chapter option under New Request.  Just like a requested article, the chapter will be made available to you as a PDF file. 
  • Be aware that Interlibrary Loan must follow the fair use guidelines put in place by the U.S. Copyright Office; therefore, if the chapter is considered to make up too significant of a percentage of the total book, or if you request several chapters from the same book, your request may be denied.

I've found an article I need, but full-text is not available.  How can I obtain the article?

  • Databases will display a blue "Find It @ BALL STATE" button that you may select to find out if we own the article electronically through another database.  If no online holdings appear, you can click on the Interlibrary Loan/ILLiad link on the Find It @ BALL STATE page to request the full text.
  • For details, see Find Articles

I need help!  Who can I talk to about...

  • Finding resources (e.g. articles or books) to help me complete my assignment:
    • You can contact the library for assistance by chat, phone, and email. Visit our Ask a Librarian page and remember you can also schedule an individual research consultation.
  • Writing my paper, figuring out citation style, and compiling my bibliography:
    • The Writing Center offers help over phone, email, and chat during their business hours and also offers online appointments for more in-depth assistance.
  • Using my computer, Blackboard, or another technology issue: 
    • The Technology HelpDesk offers assistance over phone and email as well as allowing you to request online assistance.