Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Online Students Use of the Library

This guide is intended for students who are using the library online to help guide the experience and make the library website easier to understand and use!

Description of Library Services

There are many services that the library offers to you to help you in your studies. This page helps you to easily locate and understand what some of these services are. Do not consider this an exhaustive list, but it is a good starting point for you to learn more about library services. 

Library Services

As World Campus students, you have access to several library services. Some of the more valuable services like interlibrary loan, book requests, and E-Reserves are explained on this page. 


To learn more about more services available to you, check out this page


As an online student, a service of the library that you will probably be using frequently is E-Reserves. E-Reserves is essentially a way for your instructor to keep a safe and copyright allowed list of resources and readings that you will be using throughout your course. To find your E-Reserves all you need to know if your course number or instructor name.

Requesting Resources

As a World Campus student, you have access to many of the same services as residential students. One of these services is the ability to access resources that Penn State Libraries subscribes to for your use. Here you will learn how to request physical or electronic materials you may need. There are two main systems to use to get access to resources. First, if it is an electronic resource (like an e-book or journal article) and Penn State already purchases that resource you will have the ability to read that article immediately. The image below shows you how to access an article that Penn State has. 

A screen shot of how to get an article that Penn State already owns on the Lionsearch results page. The image is directing to the 'Read Online' underneath the article summary and on the right hand side of the page by using red arrows.

At times, you may also find that you need a book rather than an article. If you live in the United States/Canada, we can deliver a book directly to you with a return label for shipping. You are responsible for the return shipping costs. You will do this by using the "I Want It" service. If you are a student who resides outside of the United States/Canada then you will work directly with the department to receive PDF copies of sections of the book. Refer to the following link as a way to understand how to get access to these materials. 

Finally, there may be times that you find an article but Penn State does not own it. In these instances, you will use a service known as Illiad to request the article. Refer to the following video and links to borrow materials.

You will need to make sure that your address is correct so that you receive materials you request. Watch the following video to learn how to do this. 


Scholarsphere is a wonderful resource that you have access to as a Penn State student. Scholarsphere is essentially a place for you to 'deposit' your work in a way that makes it accessible to others. As a student, you can put your capstone projects in Scholarsphere or any other important works that improve your online portfolio. Check this out for the background information on Scholarsphere. 

Data Learning Center

Data seems to be at the forefront of virtually every job, regardless of the field. It is essential that you learn how to successfully represent information through data in an engaging and effective way. Luckily, the library has a service called the Data Learning Center. The data learning center can help you with data related tasks such as finding data, statistical support, understanding how to use GIS data, and connections to other data centers on campus. You can schedule an appointment via their page in library website that will be linked below.