Off-Campus Resources & Services Handbook

Off-Campus Resources & Services Handbook

Contact Information

Library address:
Concordia University Library
12800 N. Lake Shore Drive
Mequon, Wisconsin 53097

PHONE: (262) 243-4330
Portal access at:


This handbook provides a brief overview of library services for Concordia University Wisconsin’s Off-Site students. Please view this 5-minute orientation video:

Please note that the information and policies described in this handbook are subject to change without notice.

You may access all library services through the CUW Portal under the Library tab.

Getting Help from the Library

Finding and using information can be challenging sometimes, and library users have questions about making the most of online search tools. Concordia University Wisconsin’s library has Primo, individual databases, and books/e-books for scholarly and peer-reviewed material to utilize in your studies and specific assignments.

For answers to questions about the library or to request research help:

  • Call the main library number at 262.243.4330
  • Live Chat: Look for the “live chat online” button in the Contact Us box on the CUW portal
  • Submit questions via the Email Web Form: Ask a Librarian
  • To meet with a librarian for an involved research session, you can also schedule an appointment using Ask a Librarian

View Your Library Account

  1. Open Primo.
  2. Click Sign in on the top menu bar.
  3. Click CUW Portal and use your Portal Login.
  4. Click on your name to access My Library Card from the drop-down menu.

Use your library record to see:

  • A list of your CUW and SWITCH checked out materials
  • Due dates for materials checked out to you
  • Requests/Holds on CUW and SWITCH materials you have requested
  • Renewal options for materials checked out to you
  • A list of your unpaid fines and bills

You will also use this login to access online resources from off-campus.

Library Delivery to Off-site Students

Concordia students who do not attend classes at the Mequon, WI campus can have library materials shipped to them. Materials available in Concordia’s library will be shipped within 1-2 days of receiving your request (business days).

Concordia is also a member of SWITCH (Southeastern Wisconsin Information Technology Exchange), a consortium made up of eight southeastern Wisconsin academic libraries. SWITCH shares an efficient week-day delivery service of physical items giving the CUW community direct access to over one million items. Off-Site students can request materials from SWITCH libraries (see this page for these instructions).

Materials not available from Concordia University or SWITCH can be requested via other libraries via Interlibrary Loan form.

You are responsible for mailing/returning all library materials to Concordia University Wisconsin at Mequon.

Once you have identified books and/or articles needed:

  • Search for materials by title in Primo and directly place electronic requests for materials in your Primo account.
  • If the items you need are not available at CUW Library or a SWITCH library, you can request individual book chapters or single articles using the Interlibrary Loan form.
  • Interlibrary loan service does not cover full books or videos.

Checkout Periods

Checkout Periods for materials from Concordia for Students and Staff:

Books: 28 days
Videos: 28 days
Journals: Do not circulate (we send article copies off-campus)
Reference Books: Do not circulate

Loan periods on SWITCH libraries’ materials is at the discretion of the owning library. If you have any questions about due dates or about renewing items for an additional period of time, please check your library account or call (262) 243-4330.

Renewing Materials

You can renew CUW materials up to two times, in your library account, as long as the materials are not overdue and no one else has placed a hold on the materials. Please contact the library at (262) 243-4330 if you have any questions or if you are unable to renew the materials yourself in Primo.

Fees for Delivery/Overdue Items

When you request books or audiovisual materials from SWITCH libraries, CUW pays the cost of sending the materials to you and you are responsible for the cost to return those items. The library will notify you of any fees and/or fines for overdue books.

Overdue Books & Videos
If you need items beyond the due date, please contact the library regarding renewing for additional time or renew the items in your library account. If materials are not renewed and are not returned by the due date, you may be charged an overdue fine.

Students are financially responsible for all materials checked out to their accounts until they are returned to Concordia’s library.

Research Guides & Tutorials

Click on the Research Guides link in the Primo box in the upper left channel of the Library portal tab or visit:

This is the library research guide homepage. From there you can navigate to different pages based on your needs.

Subject guides contain links to the best databases, videos, e-books, websites, and other materials.

You can also access the Research Guides from the Library Tutorials and Guides box on the Library Tab in Portal.

Searching for Books and Articles

The primary search capability to locate books, articles and other resources is our discovery search called Primo.

You can find links to Primo or a Primo search box on the library homepage of CUW’s website, on the library tab of Portal, and under the Services and Resources tab in Blackboard.

To view a two-minute video that covers its basic features click here: Primo 101 Tutorial

Limiting your search to e-books

Concordia has access to over 100,000 electronic book titles that are available to off-site users.

To find these titles in Primo, search your topic and then on the left side menu choose Books under Content Type and Available Online Under Show Only.


Instructors may occasionally require you to search for a specific database for your assignments. CUW has over 100 databases available for your use. You may see a complete list of them at Databases A-Z or under the Quick Links box on the Library portal tab.

Feel free to contact the library if you are having difficulty locating or accessing a specific database.

Accessing Journal Articles

  • Sign-in to Primo using your Portal Login.
  • When you click on the article title, Primo will open the item record. In the window, click any link under the Online section to open a database or website where you can find the full text or a link to the PDF of the article.
  • Google Chrome has a built-in PDF viewers. Otherwise, students must have an Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on their computer (downloadable for free at There is also a mobile app available for Android and Apple Devices (downloadable for free at
  • Downloading or printing articles is time-intensive (may take a few minutes to load).
  • You must open a PDF in a browser or Adobe Acrobat Reader before you can print it.

Availability of a Particular Journal

To see if CUW has access to a particular journal title, you may use the CUW Journal Title Search link in our “Quick Links” box of the library Portal tab or click here: Journal Title Search.

Requesting Materials Electronically

Print Book & Video Requests

After you find a physical item that the library has, click on its title, and a new page with open with the item record in Primo.

  • If you haven’t already, Sign-in to Primo by clicking on the Sign-in link in the yellow bar.
  • In the Physical section, you will see a list of Request options.
  • Click the Request Link. Be sure to choose “Home Address” for your Hold Shelf Location to have the item(s) shipped.

See “Library Delivery for Off-site Students” for the policy and procedures regarding the shipping and are returning of library items.

Journal Article Requests

Most of the time when you click on the title of a journal article you can access the article online (see above for instructions). If we have the journal in print at the Mequon campus, you will see Request Options listed under the Physical section.

Click on I need this Article to have print articles scanned and sent to you electronically. Typically, if we have it in paper or microfilm, a copy of the article will be scanned and emailed to you as an attached PDF.

If the journal title is not one that CUW has access to, click the Request It option and fill out the Interlibrary Loan form. Put as much information as possible in the item box including the article title, author/s, journal title, year, volume, and page numbers, if available. You can request more than one item in the same form.