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Help for off-campus users

Many of the library's resources are available to anyone with Internet access. This includes access to the online catalog. Library card holders also have access to their library accounts, which will allow for online book renewal and borrowing privileges from OPAL/OhioLINK libraries.

Off-campus access to research databases is available to current Bluffton University students, faculty, and staff. If you are using a computer which is not connected to the Bluffton University campus, you are considered an "off-campus" user.

To use any of our research databases from off-campus, simply click on the database name. One of two things will happen:
1 > You will be taken directly to the database if the database is freely accessible to anyone, or
2 > You will be asked to enter your last name (first and last name will NOT work) and the barcode number from your Bluffton ID card in order to authenticate/login as a valid Bluffton user. After logging in, you will be taken to your chosen database.

If you experience any difficulty accessing any of our databases, please Ask Us for assistance.


Students in Bluffton University programs at off-site locations like Edison Community College or Northwest State Community College may request materials through the OhioLINK Library Catalog for pickup at those campus libraries through OhioLINK's "Pickup Anywhere" service. Here are some basic steps for completing such requests:


  • Use the OhioLINK Library Catalog to locate books or other library materials. The OhioLINK Library Catalog is here:
  • Once you see the book you want on the screen, and you verify that there is at least one AVAILABLE copy, click on the "REQUEST THIS ITEM" link, usually in the top third of the page, in the center. Note: if there are no available copies but there are copies that are currently checked out, continue with this requesting process to put yourself "next in line" for these materials. When a "requested" checked out item is returned to its home library, it will be forwarded to the next person in line.
  • The next screen will ask for the name of your institution. Select Bluffton University.

The next screen will ask for the following four pieces of information:

  • Name: Enter your name as it appears on your Bluffton ID card.
  • Barcode: Enter the number on the back of your Bluffton ID card. It should start with 21195 and have 9 more digits.
  • Pickup Institution: You will see Bluffton University here. You may change this to your coursework site (i.e. Edison CC, Northwest St CC, etc.) to have your requests delivered to the library at the site where you take classes.
  • Pickup Location: For example, when you choose Edison CC from the Pickup Institution menu, the only option in the Pickup Location box will be "Edison Library". This is correct.
  • Click on SUBMIT when you've filled in these four options.

You should receive a confirmation screen that your request was successful. If you don't get that confirmation, Ask Us for assistance.


Because you are a Bluffton student, we are responsible for sending you a pickup notice once your book is ready for you to pick up - even if you have the book sent to a location other than the Bluffton University library. You can call or visit the library at your coursework site to see if your book/books have arrived, but you can also check your library account online to track the progress of your requests.

  • Visit our website at look for the Check your account link.
  • You'll be asked to enter your name and barcode number to access your account.
  • Once you're inside your account, you can see what books you have checked out, any outstanding requests, and fines or other information. You can renew your books through your online account as well.
  • In the Requests area, look for "OHIOLINK RCVD" or "READY FOR PICKUP" to appear - that's your signal that a book or books is ready for you to pick up at the Circulation/Info desk.

Please note: Books or other materials that you request to be sent to and check out from your coursework site's library should be returned to that same library to make sure the items clear your account after they're returned.

Questions? Please contact us for further assistance.

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