Distance Learners

A guide for students enrolled in online or off-campus courses at USF


Welcome to the USF Library Guide for students enrolled in online or off-campus courses at USF. The USF Libraries provide special assistance to distance learners. Distance learners have a critical need to obtain materials necessary for their coursework and have access to librarians who can answer their questions about online resources and getting connected. USF Libraries subscribes to numerous online databases, ejournals, and ebooks. In addition there are numerous online tools that are available to all our students.You can explore these resources by clicking on the tabs shown above. Since there  are too many databases to list them all,  there are tabs that will show you how to access our resources, plus ways to obtain assistance. There is a video that can show you how to connect from off campus that may make this easier for you to conntect! Give it a try!

Check out this video for information on resources available for distance learners:

Once you are on the Library Home page, you can access our databases, ebooks, and other search engines that will assist you in locating materials.

Make sure you are logged in to ensure you have access to our databases and eResources. For directions, refer to our video on connecting from off campus: 


Things you need to know!

In order to access or obtain materials, you will need some basics tools! One of the most important things is your USF ID . Your USF ID is your library card and while you may not come to the Tampa Library, your USF ID card is valid at ANY Florida state university or community college so that you are able to check out materials from those libraries along with requesting interlibrary loan items. In addition to your USF ID, your NetID is important. It is your access to CANVAS, which is your portal to USF and your classes.

The alternate method of accessing the Tampa Libraries is using your NetID and going through CANVAS. If you go though CANVAS and select Libraries- pick the Tampa Library Icon and it will bring you to the Tampa Libraries Page which is the gateway to our databases, catalog and other resources.

Your USF ID and Getting Access to Materials

Your USF ID :

  • is your library card

  • authenticates you for access to the Library's online items

  • enables you to renew books online

  • lets you recall books

  •  gives you access to Interlibrary Loan

For information on obtaining your USF ID, see the link below. 


The NetID is your user ID at the University. Students, faculty, and staff are automatically eligible to obtain a NetID. With its associated password, the NetID allows you access to a variety of online services offered at the entire University system, such as MyUSF (CANVAS), student email accounts with Google apps for education, USF Library online services and free software downloads.

To Activate Your NetID

  1. Go to the USF NetID Services website (link provided below).
  2. Click on the link which says Activate Your USF NetID
  3. Enter your First and Last Names in the fields provided.
  4. Click the primary identification item you wish to use:
    • USF ID# will look like U12345678.
    • USF ID card number which starts with 6400. Then press the Continue button.
    • USF NetID if you were provided a NetID and personal code for activation.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions. New users will be asked to select a secret question and provide an answer. Users who have previously activated their NetID will be prompted for the answer to their secret question.
  6. Create your password. Note: Passwords must contain both letters and numbers but no dictionary words and must be at least eight (8) characters long.

Your NetID should now be set up. Users who have previously activated their NetID will be prompted to change their password.


Reset Your NetID Password

Don't worry! If you need to reset your password, please use the link provided below and click Reset Your USF NetID Password.

Forgot Your NetID?

If you've forgotten what your NetID, visit the USF NetID Services website, click Activate Your NetID, and follow the prompts. You will also have the option of changing your password.

University College

Welcome to USF Innovative Education

USF's Innovative Education supports USF’s online programs and provides academic services for credit and noncredit continuing education programs. They facilitate instructional effectiveness and the integration of technology in both face-to-face and distributed instruction.  They also coordinate noncredit continuing education and lifelong learning programs. There are numerous helpful links on this page to assist you in your online learning experience.