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Services for Distance Learners and UF Online: FAQs


Distance Education and UF Online FAQs


Q: I am a distance student/staff/faculty member. How do I get materials from the libraries?

A: Your first step is to create an ILLiad Account. This account will allow you to request materials held by the UF Libraries and items that the UF Libraries do not own. This account is separate from your UF Library Account.


Q: What kinds of materials can I request using my ILLiad Account?

A: You can request copies of articles, book chapters and conference papers, plus loans of printed books.


Q: I am trying to create my ILLiad Account.  How should I fill in Status and Department?

A: Please choose Distance as your status, regardless if you are an undergraduate, graduate, staff and/or faculty member. Choosing Distance will ensure your requests are processed correctly. When choosing a department, choose the one that most closely reflects your affiliation with the University. (All of the IFAS extensions should be listed as “DISTANCE IFAS – location.” )


Q: I have more than one email account.  Which one should I use?

A: We recommend that you use your GatorLink ( email, but please supply the email address that you check most often!  This is our primary means of communicating with you.

If you are having problems with your GatorLink, please contact the Help Desk at (352) 392-HELP (4357) OR go to


Q: Do you ship to P.O. Boxes?

A: No. We use UPS to ship items to you; UPS will not ship to a P.O. Box.


Q: I am studying outside of the U.S.  Can I still get books and copies?

A: We’re happy to supply you with scanned copies of articles and book chapters, and can ship you books from the UF collections.  Because of the difficulty and risk of shipping to other countries, we cannot borrow an item from another library for you.  If it’s a recently published book, and our library doesn’t own it, we’ll try to buy a copy to lend to you.


Q: How can I tell my books apart? What do these yellow and blue bands mean?

A: As a distance patron, you can request both UF owned items and items not owned by UF. Books that belong to the UF Libraries will have a yellow band; those from other libraries will have a blue band. Please do not remove these bands!  They have important information (such as the due date), and help us process the books efficiently.


Q: How do I renew the items I received?

A: This is where the yellow and blue bands become very important.

If it has a yellow band: it can be renewed using your UF Library Account (which is separate from your ILLiad account. Here is a link to renew UF Library books -  Once you’ve logged in , look under “User Activity” and click “View Loans/Renewals” Then click on the ‘renew’ button for the items you need to renew.

If a book has a blue band:  it has been loaned to you by another institution. These books must be renewed by logging into your ILLiad account.  . Under “View”, choose “Checked out Items”, and then click on the transaction number of the book you want to renew. You can usually renew the book ONCE, unless the blue band says “NO RENEWALS.”  

It is your responsibility to monitor the due dates of all of the books you receive in both your UF Library and ILLiad accounts.


Q: My request was cancelled with the reason “Item available as an e-book.” What does this mean?

A: Many resources (journals, books and databases) are available to you via the UF libraries website. When you’re accessing these from off-campus, you will need to log in via the library proxy or UF VPN first. Go to Off-Campus Access .

Here is another helpful link that explains off-campus access -


Q: I have an incomplete citation. Can I still place a request using my ILLiad account?

A: Yes, but the more information you can give us, the more likely it is that we can get your item quickly. The most useful information to have when placing a request is an ISSN, ISBN, and/or an OCLC number. You can use the WorldCat database:  to locate OCLC numbers for particular journal titles or books.

Please provide full journal titles and not the abbreviated title when possible.  (This is particularly important if the title is in a foreign language). It’s also helpful if you can tell us where you got the citation (from a bibliography, a database, etc.)

If you have a complicated citation, we may need to collaborate with a reference expert to track it down for you.  If you prefer to do this in advance of placing your request, here’s a link to our subject specialists along with their areas of expertise:

You can also get help from the “Ask a Librarian” service:


Q: I looked up a book in the catalog and it is checked-out. Should I place an ILLiad request? Or should I place a hold request?

A: If you see an item you need is checked-out, login to your ILLiad account and place a request. We’ll try to get it for you from another library.

Please do not place a hold request.  

A regular ‘hold’ request will result in the book being held at the circulation desk here at UF – it will not be sent to you. Your ILLiad and UF Library accounts are not linked – so we (ILL folks) don’t know that you placed a hold!


Q: How do I return the books I receive?

A:  PLEASE NOTE; to avoid late fees, please ship your items back to us at least three days before the due date on the bookband.  The date listed there is the day it’s due back in our office.

If you are a distance patron at one of the various IFAS or County Research Centers around the state, please return your item(s) using your normal departmental mail services that go to the University of Florida.

If you are distance patron not associated with an IFAS or County Research Center, you will be provided a single courtesy UPS Return Shipping Label in a brown envelope with your shipment. This label is pre-weighted and covers only the item(s) in the accompanying package. There will be a reference number near the bottom of the label – this corresponds to the request’s transaction number. Use this label to mail the book back to us.


Q: I have more questions. Who should I contact?

A: The main phone number at the ILL office is (352) 273-2535. The general Interlibrary Loan email address is – please put “Distance” in the subject line.  

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