About this Page
If you are a Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) student or faculty member taking or teaching classes at NPS from an off campus location, you are part of the Distance Learning community at NPS. This page is for you. It explains how you can use library resources and services.
START HERE: You need a library account to use library materials...like electronic books, journals and article databases
A library account is vital to a Distance Learning student. It is required to access electronic books and other downloadable resources not freely available on the web. Library databases index (and sometimes provide) journal articles. Those that show the Library logo next to their names require proxy authentication (your user account information) if you use them from any place except on campus (or via VPN). A library account gives you access to other library services as well: you can use the Request Article or Book service (also known as " Interlibrary Loan") to have us locate items for you which we don't own, and you can have library materials sent to you with a library account. All NPS students, faculty, staff and contract workers are entitled to a library account. (Here is a link to our Circulation Policy, which lists categories of users and borrowing privileges.)
Here is how you can get a library account:
Distance Learning Students
Distributed Learning students who register in Python should receive an e-mail with their Library account information within one week. SAVE THAT EMAIL. Never registered in Python? Forgot your account information? Lost that email? Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a library account.
Resident students can obtain a library account at the Circulation Desk, located just inside the library's front doors. Your military ID is required.
The PROXY SERVER ACCESS PAGE
Because copyrighted electronic content requires authentication, library users not on the NPS campus (or not using the VPN) may encounter the PROXY SERVER ACCESS page when trying to access electronic materials in our collections. This page asks for your User Name (ALT ID) and Password (PIN). Those items are provided with your library account.
Below is an image of that page, and how to fill in the authentication information:
You can tell at a glance if a resource will require authenticaion. Licensed library resources in our catalog and on our web site will either have an NPS logo to the right of their name or will have a URL beginning with http://libproxy.nps.edu. For more information, please see our Proxy Server Information page.
What does the library own? Use the Library Catalog (BOSUN) to find out
BOSUN is the name of our library catalog. Look for the link to BOSUN in the Quick Links to the left of this page. Anyone can search BOSUN for books, theses, reports, journals and other materials that the Library owns or subscribes to. Use your library account to access full-text electronic content from links in the BOSUN record, including eBooks (Electronic books) and other downloadable documents.
Below is an example from BOSUN, showing the image of a record for an eBook. We have eBooks, too: When ebooks are available, the BOSUN record contains the link to the actual book in downloadable electronic format.
Want to see a list off the eBooks providers we subscribe to? Here is a list for our eBooks databases. You can search each one individually, if you prefer.
Note that BOSUN does not index journal articles, although it includes links to journals we subscribe to. For more information on indexes to journals, read on, or learn more about BOSUN.
Library Databases are Indexes to journals...and more
Databases are indexes that can also provide links to content in journals,conference papers, government reports, and certain electronic books and other documents not included in BOSUN. Databases typically specialize: some offer only news content while others may index the scholarly literature of a single discipline. Some aggregate a number of smaller databases into a single interface, and others offer only their own, original content. Many NPS researchers use their favorite databases exclusively, but others may get to know a wide variety of databases that index the literature of their field. If you 'd like to know which databases index journals in your field, look on the right of the Search Databases page for a topical list, or Ask a Librarian.
Finding a Specific Electronic Journal (eJournal)
Obtaining (Physical) Materials from Us - Instructions for Distance Learning Students
Our collection contains much electronic content, including electronic books, electronic journals and other downloadable documents, but when the time comes that you need access to traditional paper-format books or other items, you can request them from us. Here is how you do so:
For Paper-format Books, Reports, Theses, and Conference Proceeding Volumes that would have to be sent via U.S. Mail:
Check BOSUN, our online catalog, to see if the book is owned by the Library.
If the library owns the paper-format book, click on the Quick Link to Request Article or Book. (If you have never before used the service, click First Time Users Click Here and follow the directions.) When filing out the New Request form, use the space provided for Notes, to tell us that you found the book or other document in BOSUN, and provide the call number. The book will be sent to you along with information about how to return it to us. In some cases, you may be sent a link to a downloadable electronic file, made directly from the paper-format item.
If the Library does not own the book, click on the Quick Link to Request Article or Book and fill out the form as above. We will do our best to borrow the book from another library for you. In some cases, you may be be sent a link to a downloadable electronic file.
Journal Articles and Individual Conference Papers
Check BOSUN, our online catalog, to see if the periodical or conference volume is owned by the Library. (Be sure to search by journal or conference proceeding title, not the author or title of the individual article).
If the library owns the periodical or proceeding, click on the Quick Link to Request Article or Book. In the space provided on the form for Notes, please tell us that you found the periodical or conference title in BOSUN, and provide the call number. You will receive either a photocopy, electronic file, or faxed copy of the article.
If the library does not own the periodical or proceeding, click on the Quick Link to Request Article. We will do our best to obtain a photocopy or electronic file of the article or paper for you.
Sakai and the Library
Many classes for Distance Learning Students are offered via Sakai, a "Collaborative Learning Environment" that provides an online place for classes to take place, virtually. For more information, see the Sakai Collaborative Learning Environment page. The Dudley Knox Library is linked directly from every Sakai page.
Help with Research
We realize that returning to the academic environment can be challenging. We invite you to contact us if you need assistance with finding research materials, or just want to talk to a “real person” at the library. Librarians are online and available during regular hours to assist you. Each Research Librarian serves as a Subject Specialist to one or more academic departments. You may contact your Subject Specialist for help getting started with research. To find out more, please use the Ask a Librarian QUICK LINK on the left hand side of any Library web page.
We look forward to working with you!
One last thing:
Are you looking for recorded material, such as lectures?
NPS provides several venues for recorded material related to coursework. The following resources are provided as a convenience to the Distance Learning student.