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Library Resources & Services for Online Students

Mailing Address

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

PHONE: (262) 243-4554
Library tab at:


Online students have access to all of the services and resources available at Rincker Memorial Library, including on-campus items and services. This page provides information and instructions. We encourage our #uncommon students to choose the options that best meet their individual needs and preferences.

Access all library services through the CUW Portal under the Library tab.

To start, please watch this 3-minute orientation video:

This 5-minute video covers ways to access library materials on campus or from other libraries via digital scan, request, or mail. Other sections of this page will cover these options in more detail.

Your Library Online Access

  • You Library login is the same as your login for Blackboard and CUW Portal.
  • You will be prompted to login frequently to access electronic resources (every 30 minutes).
  • Your library account will be created after you are first registered for classes.
    • If you are a returning student, your account may be inactive. If you see an inactive account message, please follow the instructions provided within the error message or contact the library for help.

Searching for Books and Articles

Primo is the primary search tool to locate books, articles, and other resources. You will find a PRIMO box on this page.

You can find a Primo search box on the library homepage, on the library tab of CUW Portal, and under the CUWAA Library Resources tab at the top of Blackboard.

Limiting your search to Electronic Materials

To limit your results to these options in Primo, on the left side of the search results, find the Show Only filter and click on Available Online.

Concordia has access to over 100,000 electronic book titles and journal articles from over 50,000 e-journals.


Instructors may occasionally require you to search a specific database. CUW has over 100 databases available for your use. You may see a complete list at Databases A-Z or selected option from Databases By Subject.

Please contact the library if you are having difficulty locating or accessing a specific database.

Accessing & Reading Electronic Journal Articles

  • Sign-in to Primo using your Portal Login.
  • When you click on the article title, Primo will open the item page. On this page, click any link under the Online section to open a database or website with the full-text or a PDF file of the article.
  • For PDFs, many web browsers have built-in PDF viewers. Otherwise, students must install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to open PDF files on their computer. There is also a mobile app available for Android and Apple Devices.
  • Downloading or printing PDF articles may take a few minutes over slower internet connections.
  • In most cases, you must open PDFs in Adobe Acrobat Reader before you can print them.

Find a Journal, Magazine, or Newspaper

Use the Journal Title Search to see if CUW has access to a particular periodical (ex. New York Times). If a journal is only available on campus in paper, you can request a digital scan of an article through Primo.

Getting Help from the Library

Finding and using information can be challenging, 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:

  • Phone: call 262.243.4330
  • Live Chat: Look for the “Chat With Us” button in Primo and CUW Portal
  • Email: Submit questions via the Web Form: Ask a Librarian
  • Appointments: Request an appointment with a librarian for involved research help with Ask a Librarian

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 business days of receiving your request in Primo. Students are responsible for any costs involved with returning the materials to the library.

Concordia is 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. Online students can request materials from SWITCH libraries (see instructions in the next section).

Materials not available at Concordia University Wisconsin or SWITCH can be requested via the Interlibrary Loan form.

You are responsible for mailing/returning all library materials back to Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon, WI.

Once You Identify a Book, DVD, or Article:

  1. Open Primo.
  2. Click Sign in on the top menu bar.
  3. A box will pop up. Click CUW Portal and use your Portal/Blackboard Login. Your name will now appear on the top menu bar.
  4. Search for the item by title in Primo using the Everything option. 
  5. Click the item title to open the item page. Each item page has options for requesting digital scans (if available) or home delivery inside the in the library box.
  6. Choose “Home Address” for your Hold Shelf Location to have the item(s) shipped to you.
  7. If the items you need are not available at CUW Library or a SWITCH library, you can request digital copies of individual book chapters or single articles using the Interlibrary Loan form.
  8. Interlibrary loan service does not cover full books or DVDs for online students.

To Check Your Current Loans and Requests:

  1. Open Primo.
  2. Sign in to your library account from the top menu bar.
  3. Click on your name on the top menu.
    • My loans: A list of your CUW and SWITCH checked out materials, due dates, and renewal options.
    • My Requests: Check the progress of items requested by you from CUW or SWITCH.
    • My Library Card: see all account information, including current fines and messages.

Note: Interlibrary loan articles and book chapters do not appear under my requests. Notifications and document delivery will be sent to your CUW email address.

Checkout Periods for Physical Items

Checkout Periods for materials from Concordia for Students and Staff:

  • Books: 28 days
  • Videos: 28 days
  • Journals: Do not circulate (request article digital scans in Primo)
  • Reference Books: Do not circulate

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

Renewing Materials

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

Fees for Delivery/Overdue Items

When you request books or audiovisual materials from CUW or SWITCH libraries, Concordia pays the cost of sending the materials to you and you are responsible for the cost to return items to Concordia. 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. If items 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

This page is part of the CUW Research Guides, which is a website with instructions and help for students and faculty. Use the top menu of this page to find help and resources. Our YouTube channel has video tutorials.

Journal Article Requests

Most journal articles will be available online via links or PDFs on the article’s database link. Some journals will be in print or microfilm at a SWITCH library (including CUW). You must request an article scan on the journal page in Primo under the In the library box. Any library staff can help with this process via phone.

A copy of the article will be emailed to you as an attached PDF within 1-2 business days.

If neither Concordia nor SWITCH has the journal in print or microfilm, 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, and books and articles, on the same form.

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