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Distance Students: Distance Library Service

This is a guide to Library services and resources for Distance students


  • Go to the Library Homepage for information about our library resources and services
  • Remember to access Databases from the Library Homepage when off-campus. This will give you fulltext access to the Otago resources.
  • Recalls - All books may be recalled by another borrower, at any time, and an earlier due date automatically assigned. Usually you will get seven days to return a recalled book. The overdue fine rate for books that have been recalled is $3.00 per day

Students on placement

The Library can send books to students who are on placement.
We will send the books to your address in eVision so change this to your placement address before you place your request; eVision

  • Find the book using Library Search | Ketu
  • Available online indicates an ebook and you should be able to access it online. You will be prompted to sign in.
  • Available in the Library indicates a book that you can request
  • Click on Available in the Library and sign in to place a request
  • Click on Request
  • Select pickup location of your local library and add a note to indicate where you would like the book posted to you;
    • eg: I am on placement please post to 123 Hart St, Petone
  • We will email you when the book has been posted and you will receive a courier track and trace number as well.
  • There will be a Freepost return label with the book.

Other Libraries you can use

If you live in one of the main centres around New Zealand you may use the local University Library to borrow books.
You will need proof of your enrolment at the University of Otago, and address details to join. 

The New Zealand Libraries which have agreed to share  their collections  are:

  • Auckland University of Technology
  • University of Waikato
  • Massey University
  • Victoria University of Wellington
  • University of Canterbury
  • Lincoln University
  • University of Otago

Welcome! from the Distance Library team

The friendly Distance Library Team (from left) Christy, Jacinda, Emma, Jessie, Bronwyn and Claire

Absent: Tanya and Lucy

Who can use the Distance Library Service?

  • Any student studying a Distance paper through the University of Otago  is eligible to use the Distance  Library Service.
  • Any student enrolled in an on-campus paper who lives outside Dunedin or who goes outside Dunedin on placement is eligible to use the service.
  • Students registered with the Disability,  Information and Support may also be eligible

About the Distance Library Service:

  • All Distance Library Services are FREE !
  • We will scan a book chapter or journal article and supply it to you via email within 48 hours
  • Books are sent via courier and we include a Freepost label so there will be no charge for return postage
  • We will email and let you know if there is going to be a delay
  • All library messages go to your student email account so if you do not check it regularly you may want to set up an auto forward.  To do this login to your student email, click on Settings, then from the dropdown menu click on Options, from the right hand menu click on Forward your email, enter your preferred email address. Any problems contact ITS on 0800 4798888 or
  • Find the book using LibrarySearch | Ketu  
  • Available Online indicates an ebook and you should be able to access it online. You will be prompted to sign in.
  • Available in the Library indicates a book that you can request.
  • Click on Available in the Library and sign in to place request.
  • Click on Request.
  • Select pickup location of Home Delivery.

This short video talks you through the process - click on the image to open the video in a new window:

Contact us...

For questions about delivery of books and journal articles email:

Freephone: 0800 347 826 or 0800 DISTANT (NZ only) (24 hour answer phone)

Phone:   64 3 479 8940 (24 hour answer phone)

For help on using Library resources for your assignments and research contact your Subject Librarian

Request journal articles and book chapter scans using Library Search | Ketu

You can request part of a book or a journal article to be scanned and emailed to you, using Library Search | Ketu:

Watch an instructional  video -  or follow instructions below

Use the Library Search | Ketu for your campus: Library Search - campus view

*Sign in – You need to be signed in to get full access to online content and options for placing requests.

          * this step is very important!

Enter the book or journal title in the search box, choose Title from the drop-down menu.

Click on Search. If we hold the item it will appear in the results list. If needed, you can refine your results using the filters on the left-hand side.

 ‘Available Online’ indicates an ebook or ejournal and you should be able to access it online.  For journals, check the dates listed against the database name to make sure the database has the year that you want.

If the book or journal isn’t available online, look for an ‘Available in the Library’ version in the results list.

Click on ‘Available in the Library’.

Click on ‘Scan Request’.

  • Book Chapters:  

In ‘Part to scan’ enter the chapter details, you can copy and paste your citation.

  • Journals:

Enter the volume, issue and date of the article into the ‘Manual Description’ box.

In ‘Part to scan’ enter the article details, you can copy and paste your citation.

If we don’t have the volume / issue number you require use the ‘Request an Interloan’ option and we will get it for you.

‘Not needed after’ is an optional field.

Click on ‘Request’. You’ll see a Request placed message, if your request was successful.

We will scan the section you want (within copyright guidelines) and email it to your @otago email address.

Can’t find it in Library Search?

If we don’t have the item you want in print or online, you can request it using ‘Get It’ Interloan: Get It Interloan                           

Need help?

If you have any queries, please do contact us:  Or Freephone: 0800 347 826