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Distance library services

06 October 2023

UC Library provides a range of services to support our students and staff who are off campus. Check if you're eligible for our distance library services.


Distance Service Information


What services are provided?

The Library can provide you with access to books, articles, and audiovisual material. We will post items you have requested to you or send scans of chapters & journal articles to your email address. We cannot post journals. Each parcel sent to you will include return postage. Items not held by the Library may be requested using the interloans service.


You will also have access to many online resources, including guidance on using library resources, advice on search strategies, databases and other electronic resources.


Students living outside of New Zealand are welcome to register for library distance services. The Library cannot post books overseas but we do offer the following services:

  • Access to the Library's website and electronic resources
  • Scanned copies of book chapters and journal articles
  • Use of the interloan service
  • As a UC student, you are able to borrow from other academic libraries throughout New Zealand and Australia. See here for further details 


Consult a Subject Librarian


Contact a subject specialist or use our AskLIVE service for individual help. We can assist you with:

  • Identifying relevant information sources for your topic
  • Designing search strategies for finding information
  • Using the Library's resources, both print and electronic
  • Ways of keeping up with what is being published in your subject


Distance Services


Freepost Library
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140


Freephone: 0800 763 676
Internal extension: ext 94888


UC Library provides a range of services to support students and staff off-campus.


Am I Eligible?



Are you enrolled in:

  • A recognised distance course?
  • A UC College of Education regional initiative?

If Yes, you are automatically registered for distance privileges.

If No, you may be granted distance privileges if you meet the following criteria:

  1. You are a fully enrolled, current UC student.
  2. You live outside Canterbury (but within New Zealand). See the map of the Canterbury region on the Environment Canterbury website.
  3. You have contacted your department and they will support your study by distance.
  4. You have an agreement signed by the UC Equity & Disability Service.


How do I register?

If you meet the above criteria, ask your department to send us a signed service agreement (PDF 77KB).


Current, fully enrolled students living overseas may apply for limited distance services.


Frequently Asked Questions

You can load money onto your Canterbury Card, either at a reload station by EFTPOS, or online by credit or debit card (via MyUC). See the Fines and payments page for more information.

Unfortunately, we are unable to update student addresses. You'll need to do this yourself on myUC. It is vital that you do this to avoid items being posted to the wrong address.

Use our remote online payment option. If you have any queries about lost book charges please contact library staff.

Standard items are issued for 32 days (undergraduate) and 60 days (postgraduate). If items are recalled, you are still guaranteed an issue period of 18 days.

If an item has other requests queued it will be issued for 10 days only. High Demand 3 day loans are issued for 10 days.

High demand items are issued for 10 days. Renewals are for 3 days only, regardless of how long you have had the book. We suggest you renew your High Demand item as close as possible to the due date to avoid the due date being reduced.

If you have already renewed your item and your due date has been reduced call us (0800 763 676) and we will reinstate the correct due date for you.

If the journal article is available electronically then you can access it online with your UC username and password. If the journal article is held in paper/print form only, you can request the article from us and we will scan and email it to you. Please phone (0800 763 676), send us an email or use AskLive to make this request.

Yes, NZ Post does accept items with a handwritten FreePost address. The address is available near the top of this page.

No, please reuse the packaging the item was posted in and place the return sticker on the front. If you no longer have the packaging, please make sure the items are wrapped securely and protected.

Talk to us. Let us know the issues and we can make a note on your account. We are not going to penalise you for something that is beyond your control.

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