Materials from local libraries
If you are working away from Portsmouth, you should investigate what might be available to you in other libraries close to you. It will save waiting for the postman and material may not be in such heavy demand locally.
All Distance Learners
Obviously local services may vary greatly, but students based overseas should explore if they have use of a local public library service (some of whom offer further links to academic libraries), or can acquire borrowing rights to a local academic library for a fee. Also, consider what your employers may offer in the way of library services. In some locations you may be able to set up a co-operative study group with other distance learners to pool ideas and share information.
Distance Learners in the UK or Ireland
If you are based in the UK or Ireland, you are fortunate to have access to the the national SCONUL scheme via the University of Portsmouth, but do not ignore the other suggestions of useful sources we have to offer.
You may also find your public library service offers more than you think. For example on Hampshire County Library or Portsmouth City Libraries you can access the catalogue for the entire county/city’s library stock, renew & reserve books, find out about opening hours, IT & photocopying facilities, reference & information services and access major online resources. Some library services also offer e-book access. Why not check out your own local public library service’s webpage and see what's on offer?
If you are employed by a major employer such as the police or NHS, you may find that they provide in-house library services to support staff development. It's always worth asking around to find out if such services are available locally or centrally.
Letters of Introduction
Some overseas libraries may require a letter of introduction from your home academic institution library. Neither a letter of introduction nor Sconul Access is likely to allow borrowing privileges and access to computer and wireless networks at other institutions will depend upon their policies.
Check with the institution you wish to visit to confirm what identification and other documents, such as a letter of introduction, University of Portsmouth student card, etc are required before you can use their services and facilities.
If you require a letter of introduction from the University of Portsmouth Library, please contact your Assistant Faculty Librarian. Please note that requests for letters of introduction need five working days to complete and the student is responsible for arranging a translation, if necessary.
If you are UK based and have particularly good experience with any library service which is worth recommending to other students, do please contact us.