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Services for Online Learners

The Drexel University Libraries provide services to Drexel's online learning community equivalent to those available on the physical campuses. Here are some special tips for Online Learners:

Our extensive collections of online databases, books, journals, etc. will provide many of the research tools that you need. With very few exceptions, all online resources in our collections are available to students regardless of whether they are on-campus or not.

Doing Research

Databases/Article Indexes

The Drexel Libraries offer more than 500 online databases. Most provide indexing of journal articles; some include technical reports, conference papers and other monographs. Some specialized databases provide business data, chemical structure information, economic and political information, etc. See: Databases and Article Indexes for listings, alphabetically and by subject specialty.

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, etc.

Reference works including dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks and biographical dictionaries are available in nearly every subject area. These can be found in the Library Catalog (search by keyword, subject or title, limiting to “All Electronic Resources”).
Also see: Electronic Reference Resources and Health Sciences E-books

Librarian-recommended Resources

Information Services (Reference) librarians maintain Research Guides listing recommended resources and providing research tips in course-related and subject-specialty areas. Look for the Red Stars for highly recommended sources!
See: Research Guides by Subjects

Electronic (Online) Journals and Books

Use the Library Catalog to find a book or journal; you can restrict what you find to resources available online by selecting "All Electronic Resources" in the pull-down box under "Search In:".

Getting Books and Articles

Sometimes, even our extensive collection of electronic (online) books and journals might not be enough. ILLiad, our Interlibrary Loan service can help you get journal articles that aren't available electronically, and [print] books from our collections and from other libraries. Please try to provide as much information as possible about the book or journal article; it will help us to fill your request faster.

Journal Articles, Book Chapters, etc.

Journal articles, book chapters, and conference papers requested via ILLiad are scanned and posted to a web site; we send you the link via e-mail. Most requests are filled within 2-3 days.


Books, whether from our collection or from another library, will be sent to you via Certified Mail.

  • Books owned by Drexel University Libraries: Requests are placed directly from the Library Catalog record -- just click on Request Item, enter your email ID and password, and select "Distance Education Delivery" as your pick up location. When the book is available, it will be mailed to you, due in 28 days. You can renew Drexel-owned books online twice. See more about Borrowing Policies.
  • Books not owned by the Drexel University Libraries: Place requests through ILLiad. The lending library sets the due date, which is usually indicated on a slip in the book. Loan periods vary, but are generally two to four weeks. Renewals are allowed only under unusual circumstances.
  • Return all books at least five days before the due date to the Drexel University Libraries Interlibrary Loan Office from which the material was received. If it is an Interlibrary Loan book, do NOT return it to the lending library. The cost of shipping and insurance for the return of all material is your responsibility.

Register and Request Books or Articles via ILLiad:

Be sure to indicate in your registration and on every request that you are a Distance Learning Student.

For Interlibrary Loan assistance, contact:

  • Hagerty Library 215-895-2769
  • Hahnemann Library 215-762-7630 - Email:

When You Need Help

We're always happy to give you any help you need:

  • Via email, with response within 24 hours
  • Chat/IM via AIM, Yahoo Messenger, Windows Messenger or Gmail
  • Call us! Reference Librarians are available at W.W. Hagerty Library (215-895-2755) until 10 pm most weeknights; at Hahnemann Library (215-762-7184) until 9 pm.

Most importantly, get to know the subject specialist/reference librarians who work with your program. You can contact them by phone, email, IM -- some may even be connected directly through your online courses.


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