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Distance Learners: Request Books

What Can Be Requested

MU Libraries will mail their books to MU Distance Learning students living outside Columbia.

Use the document retrieval service for electronic delivery of periodical articles, book chapters, proceedings, technical reports, government documents in the MU Libraries' collections.


  • Books (cannot be sent overseas)
  • Dissertations
  • Government documents
  • PDF copies of journal articles  (document delivery service )

What types of material cannot be requested?

  • Books from Special Collections
  • Reference materials  (e.g., REF-R location codes)
  • Entire magazine/journal volumes or individual current issues
  • A/V material  ( microfiche, film)
    • Computer disks
    • CD-ROMs
  • Resources on Reserve for courses during the semester that they are on Reserve

Length of time you may keep materials

Who Can Request

MU Students living in and outside Missouri can request books.

All students enrolled in MU's Distance Learning Programs are eligible for Reciprocal Borrowing privileges through:

Students not residing in the United States may be eligible for borrowing privileges at local libraries.

  • We do not mail books outside the United States.

Off-campus faculty living in Missouri or outside Missouri can also request books.

Recalled books, Fines and Lost books

If a book is recalled, you must return the item before you can borrow anything else from the Libraries.

  • You will be liable for a $2 per day fine for the overdue recall.
  • Further delay will result in an invoice for the cost of replacement for an additional $175.

If you have questions about notices or have lost a book, contact Ellis circulation at 882-3362.

Other campuses may charge for overdue items which have not been recalled.

How to Request Books

Search the MERLIN Catalog for books (MU Libraries, UMKC, UMSL and MS&T)
Click on the Request tab in MERLIN or MOBIUS to start the process:

If you live in Missouri within a short distance of a MOBIUS Library, you may use that library as the place to have books delivered for you to check out:

  • Request all items through the MOBIUS Catalog, even those held in the MERLIN Libraries. 

If you do not live near a MERLIN or MOBIUS Library:

  1. Choose MU Ellis Circulation as your pick up location. 
  2. Under Any Special Instructions, enter the following note:

     -- MU Distance Learning Student -- 

    to indicate the item is to be mailed to you. 
  3. Include your address to expedite the processing of the request:

          MU Distance Learning Student
          YOUR NAME: Jane Smith
          YOUR ADDRESS: 110 Abbey Lane St. Louis, MO 63123

  1. When you receive the email note telling you that the book has arrived and is ready for you to pick up, reply to the note or contact the Ellis Circulation desk at or 573-882-3362.
    • Tell the Ellis Library Staff that you are a distance learning student and would like the book mailed to you. 
    • Include an address that has a street name so that we may use UPS or FEDEX for delivery.
  2. If you do not enter the special instructions AND email the message back to the address given above, the book will be placed on the Ellis Library Hold shelf waiting for you to personally pick it up!


  • The Libraries pay the shipping to the DL student or extension faculty on the sending side.  Shipping is by UPS so distance does not matter but the Libraries do not ship internationally. 
  • Students and faculty are responsible for the cost of sending the materials back to the Libraries. To return items to the Libraries, you must use a system that tracks mail (FEDEX or UPS).
    Please return items to:

    MU Ellis Circulation Desk
    102 Ellis Library
    1020 Lowry Mall, MU
    Columbia, MO 65201
    Attn: Distance Learning Loan

If you need further assistance, please contact the Circulation Desk at Ellis Library at, or call (573)-882-3362.