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Help for off-campus and online learning 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 online programs may request materials through the OhioLINK Library Catalog for pickup at any OhioLINK member library.

Here are some basic steps for completing such requests:


  • Use the OhioLINK Library Catalog to locate books or other library materials. 
  • 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 the pickup institution to an OhioLINK member library closer to your residence.
  • Pickup Location: Bluffton University has only one pickup location, but other OhioLINK member libraries may have multiple pickup locations.
  • 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.


You may receive an email message alerting you that your requests are ready for pickup.  You can also check your library account online to track the progress of your requests.

  • Visit our website at and look for the Library Account Login link.
  • Enter your name and barcode number to access your account.
  • After logging in, you can see your checkouts, any outstanding requests, and any fines or other information. You can renew checkouts here 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.  When you pick up your items, tell the library staff that you have "Pickup Anywhere" items to check out.

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.