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Distance and Online Learners: Home

Most of your research needs can be found on the Library's website, including your ability to email a Librarian, search the Library's catalog, and search over a hundred online resources



Norfolk State University supports all NSU students, regardless of location. The links here are devoted to guiding students to the services provided for you as an online learner.

If you would like additional information about the various services available to you as an online learner, please call the Information Services department at 757-823-8517.

Start Searching


Where you search depends on your topic and what you need to know.

Need an overview? Try searching Gale Virtual Reference Library or Opposing Viewpoints in Context.

Need a little more detail? Search for books on your topic

Need some peer-reviewed articles? Try a subject database - or ERIC, which  is great for topics on education.

Getting Started


Here are a few tips to start your research.

Make sure you have chosen an appropriate subject. Turn your topic into a question: who, what, where, why and how.This will give you direction to assist you in focusing on your topic.

Before you start your search for information, think about what you already know about your subject and develop a research strategy.

Look through the Databases by Subject list on the library's website and choose the subject related to your topic. When you click on a subject, you'll see a list of recommended databases.

Try this also:

Still not sure?

  • Try one of the following multi-purpose academic databases (please see below).
  • Or send an E-mail to a Reference Librarian at

Multi-Purpose Academic Databases

A great database for beginning searches to find scholarly journal articles and popular magazines articles covering all topics.
This database is an archive and will not contain information on current topics within the last 2-5 years. Use this database to find full-text articles of core scholarly journals in the Arts and Sciences.
If you're not sure what discipline your topic falls under, use this database. Start in Google but do not stay in Google.
If time management is a problem for you, use the Assignment Scheduler 

Blackboard and the Library


You may access the library from the Backboard portal through MyNSU.

MyNSU is the preferred way to login from off campus.

The LibGuide, Resources for Distance or Online  Learners will assist you in emailing a Librarian, searching the Library's catalog, databases and more.

More resources can be found by clicking the following links. If you would like additional information about the various services available to you as an online learner, please call the Information Services Department at 757-823-8517.

Check out the virtual online tours below:

Gain a better understanding of Fair Use and Copyright Guidelines?

The Lyman Beecher Brooks Library has developed a list guidelines for the use of copyrighted materials. Please click the Copyright Guidelines link to access guidelines for educational fair use as well as fair use exceptions in the classroom.

Obtain bibliographic instructions as a student at a distance?

Yes, please check the Library Events Calendar to determine the dates for the synchronous bibliographic instruction dates for distance education learners.  Bibliographic instructions workshops will be offered via a web conferencing tool.  Sessions will be recorded and posted for playback.

Access the on-demand mini-tutorials provided by the Library?

The Lyman Beecher Brooks Library provides instructional mini-tutorials on a variety of subjects, such as:

  • Basic Information Literacy
  • Basic Search Techniques
  • Primary Sources
  • And many more...

Please see the library's Tutorials Guide. This guide is intended to connect students, faculty, and staff with video tutorials useful for learning how to conduct library research. It holds short video tutorials on a variety of topics.