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Distance Learning Library Support

by Beth Perry last modified Apr 28, 2016 04:31 PM


Staff at the Mercer University Libraries are committed to providing library services and resources to our distance education students to support their learning and research needs. This page details the services and resources available to students from off-campus, whether across town or around the world.

Getting Started

All students should log-in to the library website before using any library resources. This will confirm that you are a Mercer student, with the right to access the resources provided. If you log in once here, you shouldn't have to log in again to access the library databases, although you will need to log in separately to view your library account.

To log in, click the blue button in the upper-right corner of the library website (pictured below), and enter in your student ID number and password. This is the same information you would use to log into MyMercer or your Mercer email.


Once you've logged in, the library website will be automatically set to your home library, and show you the resources maintained by, and contact information for, staff at that location. Please note that you will remain logged in while you are actively using the website or databases, but will be logged out after 15 minutes of no activity.

If you cannot log in to the library website, but CAN log in to your Mercer email, please contact our Systems Department to report the problem, and they will resolve it as quickly as possible. Note that only actively enrolled students have access to library resources. If you cannot log in to your Mercer email, either, please contact Mercer IT.


Contact Information

Please refer to our hours page for hours of operations for all services and locations.

Tarver Library (Macon)

Phone Numbers:

Circulation Desk: (478) 301-2961
Reference Desk: (478) 301-2055

Swilley Library (Atlanta)

Phone Numbers:

Circulation Desk: (678) 547-6284
Reference Desk: (678) 547-6282

Regional Academic Centers

Contact information available on the about pages: 


Reference Services

Reference service is provided for distance students via telephone, IM, email, and SMS. During reference hours, students are welcome to call or IM a librarian. If the reference desk is closed, students are encouraged to submit their question via email, and will receive a response as soon as possible, usually when the reference desk next opens.

Please refer to our AskUs Page for the particulars.


Off-Campus Resources

Distance students enjoy the same access and privileges as our on-campus students. Listed below are some of the resources that will be most useful for students unable to visit our libraries in person.

Guides and Tutorials

Mercer University Librarians maintain a variety of written guides and video tutorials to provide instruction assistance and support for our students. These guides provide information on everything from citing sources or writing an annotated bibliography to using some of our library databases and the link resolver. Click here for a full list and descriptions of currently available tutorials.

Library Catalog

The Library Catalog contains ebooks as well as physical materials held by University Libraries. Students should be able to access our ebook collection from off-campus, as long as they are logged into the library website.

Students who are able to visit any of our libraries may also request to have books sent from any of the University Libraries to the location nearest them. Books will typically arrive within a week of being requested.

If you need help using the catalog, there is a written guide and a video tutorial available.

Library Subject Guides

Librarians at Mercer University maintain webpages called Subject Guides, with links and descriptions of a wide variety of resources that will be most useful for students in a given field of study. We recommend using these resources as a jumping-off point for getting started on your research.

You can access the subject guides from any of these libraries on our consolidated list.

Library Databases (Finding Journal Articles)

The University Libraries subscribe to a wide variety of databases for our students. You can use these resources to locate academic journal articles, newspaper and magazine articles, images, and more. We recommend using the subject guide for your area to see a list of pre-selected databases suited to a particular field of study. If you know the name of the database you would like to use, you can also browse the A-Z list of databases.

Here are some general databases that are good starting points.

Government Documents

The vast majority of government information and publications are now made available electronically, which means they should be easily accessible to off-campus students. Students may search for government documents in the library catalog, and access them through a link, as with ebooks. More information about Government documents and collections is available here.

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