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Distance Learning Services: Online and Off-campus classes

If you're taking a SUNY New Paltz class online or at one of our off-campus sites, you're a distance learner! The library has some unique services designed to make research for your distance class successful and meaningful. Use this page to learn more.

Getting into the library

The Library is your gateway to all of STL's databases and services.

Our web address is


A NPCUID or Banner username and password are required to search our databases.

  • It's the same as the ones you use for Blackboard, NPmail, hawkmail and my.newpaltz
  • Banner information
  • STL doesn't manage or distribute usernames and passwords. If you don't have one or it stops working, contact te Academic Computing Helpdesk

I'm Teaching a Distance Course. How can STL help me?

Welcome to SUNY New Paltz's Extension and Distance programs! New Paltz extension & distance learners are eligible for a number of unique research services; these include remote access to the library's databases, document delivery, and personalized instruction and research assistance. These resources can be tailored to suit your class's needs, and are available free of charge.

Our distance services include:


  • EXPERT ADVICE: Research assistance is available via phone, fax, e-mail, and by real-time CHAT and Instant Messaging. Speak with a librarian who can coach students through a database, provide search tips, help focus a research report, and suggest helpful websites. The librarian can also travel to your extension site or participate in online class discussions, upon request.
  • ELECTRONIC RESERVES: Place articles and other documents online. Students can retrieve high-quality, password-protected documents from your "virtual reading list" through the Blackboard system. No more photocopies to haul around to your classes!
  • DATABASE ACCESS: Distance students can search our databases from home. A growing number of these resources provide the full-text of articles from magazines, journals, and newspapers. We even provide help guides and search assistance!
  • DOCUMENT DELIVERY: If an article isn't in full-text online, we'll send it to you. Students studying at a distance can request materials with our online Interlibrary Loan form, found on the STL homepage. Remote students can request articles from publications we own, as well as those that we order, at no charge.



Many instructors have asked us how they should provide information regarding the library within their Blackboard sites. We recommend you copy one or more of the following into the "course description" area of your course:

"Students are strongly encouraged to use Sojourner Truth Library's physical and virtual collections to do their research. Students who are able to travel to the library are welcome to use its collections and services. All students may use the databases and other resources available through the STL website. Visit the library's website for information about the library's hours, databases, and services []."

"As this is considered a Distance Learning course, you are eligible for a number of unique and personalized research services through the library. These include access to the electronic databases available through the STL website []

Sojourner Truth Library looks forward to meeting your distance classes' unique research needs. Incorporating research and other library services into distance classes can often be an especial challenge: we can help you devise research solutions to make your course efficient and memorable.

Making the Most of Blackboard

Want to Encourage your students to use the library?  Try the following:

  • Conspiculously place links to the library and its services throughout your course site.  The more often students see links to the library, the more they may use it
  • Create course content with embedded library links.  Link to articles in our datanbases and to books and other materials you find in our catalog.  Create "find and summarize" or "find two and contrast" exercises that incorporate our resources.  
  • Link to library subject guides like this one!  Don't see one that fits well?  Contact the library and we'll develop one together!
  • Invite a librarian to meet your class as a guest in your course site.  We can chat (text, video, audio) with students at a prearranged time to offer instruction and research advice in an online, roundtable setting. 
  • Talk about how you use the library.  Although students and seasoned researchers "look up things" differently, students will benefit from your stories about how you've used the library to accomplish a recent project.  Sharing a few words about how you "found this on Medline" or discovered a new feature in one of our databases will encourage students to try them, and to share their stories, too.
  • Talk about how you use the Internet.  Sure, more and more high-quality content from fellow researchers, scholary organizations and other reputable sources is available for free online.  But so is a lot of dubious content.  Share with your students how you make choices about what to believe, and what to use in your own teaching, research and publication.  Contrast what you find with what you locate in our databases.   Your students will appreciate the discussion about how quality varies from souce to source, and how they can judge for themselves.