Accessibility statement

Information for distance learners

Distance learning image

IT help

If you're enrolled on one of the University's distance learning and online courses, you can access a range of Library services that are designed for, or useful to, students working away from campus.

Click on the tabs below for more information.

Access our resources

Search the Library catalogue‌‌

The Library catalogue, YorSearch, includes details of our wide range of resources, such as e-books and e-journals. You can access these from anywhere with an internet connection by logging on with your University username and password.

Search for specific items or use keywords to find items on a topic. To see just what is available online, refine your search to show Full Text Online only using the menu to the left-hand side of your search results. To expand your selection of Full Text Online articles, use the Search Everything tab.

E-resources Guide‌

Our E-resources Guide gives you access to additional online resources such as subject databases to help you broaden your research. There are lots of resources to explore, which you can sort by subject area or category (such as newspapers or statistics).

Book Takeaway service

Use our Book Takeaway service to request scans of chapters or articles or postal delivery of books. This service is free for online and distance learners.

My Library Account

Access My Library Account to renew books or to see activity on your account, such as loans and charges. Charges can be paid online using a credit or debit card (except American Express).

University of York theses‌‌

We provide access to select University of York theses and dissertations for students. Many of these are available to view online, but some are only available to view in the Library (we can't send them via the Book Delivery service). Contact us if you would like a photocopy of all or part of a thesis.

Your contact details

Please ensure that we are using the correct email address for you by checking My Library Account.

Also, make sure that you have the correct addresses in your term time and home addresses. These can be updated through e:vision. The term time address is the one used for interlending photocopies.

Access resources from other libraries

Access to other libraries

If you're not able to visit the University Library, there are opportunities to access resources from other libraries near you.

Distance learners can use the SCONUL Access scheme, that enables limited borrowing from other Higher Education libraries in the UK or reference access. This scheme operates an online application process that means you can register for access to other libraries without visiting York. You can use catalogues such as Library Hub Discover or Worldcat to search the stock of other libraries. Put your location into Worldcat to find the nearest copy of a particular book.

If you come to campus as part of your degree, you can book onto our free minibus service to the British Library at Boston Spa. You can request books to consult in advance in their Reading Room, giving you access to a vast collection of research materials. The minibus runs on a regular schedule, so you can time your visit to campus accordingly.

LIBER and the European Library list European National Libraries. If you need access to a European library, ask your tutor for an introductory letter, then contact the library you would like to use by email or letter asking about access. It is sometimes helpful to check their website first.

Beyond Europe, you could try your country's national library or a local university. University library websites should have information for visitors, or contact details for further information. You should check the library's access arrangements before you visit; they may also wish to see an introductory letter or other proof of ID.

Interlending and Document Supply 

Distance learning students can also use the Library's Interlending and Document Supply service; this allows you to request books or articles that aren't held in the University Library.

Articles can be sent electronically or via post worldwide. Interlending requests are free but please note that there may be additional postage costs for photocopies.

Help and support

Contact us

Please contact us if you have any questions about accessing Library resources or using our services.

Support for your subject

Subject Guides help you to find support and resources for your subject area. The Guides also contain contact details for our team of Academic Liaison Librarians. You can contact your Librarian for advice on finding sources, evaluating information, managing your references and more. 

Video guides

Visit our YouTube channel to watch introductory guides to Library services, such as:


Visiting the Library

Library building

The University Library

The University Library includes a number of different sites and buildings, including the main Library at the Heslington campus and King's Manor in the city centre. If you are planning a visit to the main Library on campus, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your trip.

Before you visit

Virtual tour

Familiarise yourself with the University Library before your visit:

  • You'll need a University Card to enter our security gates. You may not get a University Card automatically, but you can apply for one online through e:Vision.
  • Your University Card is also your Library card and you'll need it to borrow books. You can use the virtual card on the MyUoY App to get in and out of the library and borrow books, too. 
  • Check YorSearch, the Library catalogue, before you visit to make sure the items you need are available. For guidance on using YorSearch, see our help page or ask at the Help Desk when you arrive.
  • You can request books which are on loan, which will be reserved for you on our self-service hold shelf for 7 days. We can't guarantee how long it will take for books to be returned to the Library, but be aware that it can take up to 7 days for requested books to be returned.
  • Parking is available on campus, but it can get very busy (particularly during University term time). Parking charges apply from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday, but parking is free at other times. University buses stop on the main road outside the Library and run frequently throughout the day.
  • If you have a disability, we have lots of support available, including a range of bespoke services to help you make the most of the Library.

During your visit

Floor plans

View the location of subject resources, study areas, PCs and other facilities:

  • The Library Help Desk is located just inside the main entrance to the Library. Ask here if you need any help finding your way around or using any of our services - our friendly staff will point you in the right direction. Don't be afraid to ask for help - it's why we're here! Please see our opening hours page for information about when the Library Help Desk is staffed.
  • Books in the Library are arranged by subject area, each subject is given a letter to help you find that section on the relevant floor. There's a wall chart explaining the different locations at the foot of the main staircase.
  • The Library has lots of different study spaces, with different zones to suit your study needs. You can also book a study space if you want to guarantee a seat.
  • There are lots of computers available in the Library, you can use them to access electronic resources, useful software and University systems. You'll need to know your University username and password to log on. Wifi is available throughout our buildings if you want to connect from your own device.
  • Don't worry about lugging around lots of books and equipment - we have lockers for you to use during your visit.
  • There's a cafe in the Library that is open throughout the day, and becomes an additional study space overnight. 

There's a lot more information about the Library on our other webpages. Explore the menu on the top-left of this page to learn more.