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Online & Distant Students: FAQ

Library services and tips for students enrolled in online and off-campus programs.

FAQ - Library Services for Online and Distant Students

What resources are available?

  • Library Search for books, eBooks, articles, and other library materials.
  • Research Guides  to help you find the best library resources for your field of study.
  • Tutorials and the Online Library Orientation to help you get started and to improve your research skills.
  • Databases: multidisciplinary and subject specific collections of peer-reviewed articles, including Academic Search Complete, CINAHL, ERIC, JSTOR, MEDLINE, ProQuest, PsycINFO, SocINDEX and more. Many databases provide full-text access to articles.
  • Access to articles in thousands of journals, newspapers, and magazines, through Periodicals @ Foley. 
  • Streaming videos on a wide variety of topics from the Films on Demand and Kanopy databases

What services are available?

  • Librarians, at your service! Get research assistance through our 24/7 online chat, phone, video conferencing, email or by appointment.
  • Interlibrary Loan service to help you get books and articles not available at Foley.
  • Document & Book Delivery. If you live 35+ miles from campus and do not come to campus on a regular basis, we will mail library books to your home. 

Are these services free?

  • Most listed services are free.
  • Distance learners are responsible for postage to return books.
  • All library users are responsible for replacement costs for lost or damaged items.
  • Interlibrary loans are usually free, but occasionally other libraries may charge lending fees. Often copyright charges may apply to journal articles. Foley Library covers most of these costs, but if a lending fee exceeds $17 or a copyright fee exceeds $50, we will contact you and give you the option of paying the difference or canceling the request.

How do I request a book or an article?

  • Use the Gonzaga Library Search to find books in our collection. Log in to place a request. If your address in the GU system indicates you are a distant student (35+ miles from campus), we will mail books to you.   
  • Use Interlibrary Loan to request articles that are not available online or to request books that are not owned by Foley Library.
  • TIP: Check Periodicals at Foley before submitting an article request. The article you need may be immediately available online through one of our subscriptions.

What is Interlibrary Loan?

  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL) is a means of sharing resources between libraries. Most public and academic libraries offer ILL service.
  • Through Foley Library's ILL, you have access to books, articles, and other items not available in our collection or databases. When you request an item, we send your request to other libraries that participate in ILL. If the item is available, they will mail us the book or send electronic copies of articles.

How long will it take to receive requested items?

  • Articles requested through ILL typically take 24 hours (or less) to arrive, but it may take longer on weekends or during busier times of the semester.
  • Books and other physical materials requested through ILL arrive at Foley Library within 5-10 days. We then mail it to you (if you are a distant student), unless you specify a different pickup or delivery option. 
  • Canadian students,  mail delivery to Canada is slow! Allow at least 4 weeks for mail from Spokane for books to arrive.

How will I receive items requested?

  • Articles are always delivered electronically. You will receive an e-mail notification when an article is available.
  • Interlibrary Loan books are mailed to your home address if you live 35+ miles from campus. You will receive an e-mail when the book is put in the mail.
  • Canadian students in School of Education cohorts, may be able to make arrangements for books to be delivered or returned by their Gonzaga-based professors. This option depends entirely on your professor. You make the arrangements and then let us know when and with whom to send any books that have come in for you. Use the "Notes" field on the request form to supply that information or email us at
  • If you will be visiting Spokane, we can hold materials for your arrival. Just let us know when you will be on campus by adding a note on your request form or by sending an e-mail to

How long may I keep books that are sent to me?

  • Books from Foley Library's General Collection check out to graduate students until the end of the current semester and may be renewed two times, as long as no one else needs it.
  • Books obtained through interlibrary loan are subject to the due dates set by the lending library, but generally are on loan for 2-4 weeks. You may request a renewal of an ILL book, but renewals are entirely at the discretion of the library that owns the item.

Can I renew books?

  • You may renew Foley Library books up to two times. Use the My Account/Renew Items button on the library homepage.
  • Interlibrary loan renewals must be requested through your Interlibrary Loan account or by contacting the ILL office: / 509-313-3824.

How do I return books that were mailed to me?

  • Pack books in a box or a sturdy padded envelope and secure it with packing tape. 
  • Use this address to return both interlibrary loan books and books from Foley Library:

 INTERLIBRARY LOANS, Gonzaga University Library, 502 E Boone Avenue, Spokane, WA 99258-0095

  • Let your postal service know you are returning library books to get the correct (usually less expensive) rate.
  • If you are returning books close to the due date, email and let us know the books are in the mail.


ONCE YOU HAVE YOUR DEGREE, YOU MAY ASK:   mortar board and diploma

Can I still check books out of Foley Library?

If you want to borrow books from Foley Library, you will now need a Community Borrower card.  There is a $35/year fee which is waived for current members of the Gonzaga Alumni Association. For more information see our Circulation Policies

Can I still use the online databases? 

Sorry, no. Access to library databases is determined by our licensing agreements with vendors. Off campus access is restricted to current students, faculty, and staff of Gonzaga University.  However, if you are on campus, you can access the databases on the library's designated Visitor Computers. See Visitor Policies.

Can I still use my digital portfolio after graduation?

Alumni of Gonzaga can get a Foliotek account for a deeply discounted price. Please contact ATAS Support  about getting a Gonzaga affiliated alumni account if you want to continue using your digital portfolio after graduation.

Where can I go if I need to use a database or interlibrary loan?

  • Public libraries also have databases and interlibrary loan services. Get a local library card and ask about available services.
  • Academic libraries and state universities usually offer some services to visitors, such as using online databases when you are in the building. Off campus database access and interlibrary loan services are not provided to the public. However, if you live near a public university, you may be able to get a library card and check out books. 

Who do I Contact?

Book Renewals & Library Account / 509-313-5803 /

Information  & Research Assistance / 800-498-5941 / 509-313-5931 /

Interlibrary Loan / 509-313-3824 /

Library Instruction Session / 509-313-3829 /

Research Appointment Scheduler

Technology Issues / 509-313-5550 /