Canvas integration of Library resources

Canvas integration

The University Libraries offers a number of ways to integrate library resources and services into Canvas.  Using library resources in your Canvas course site saves your students from paying for materials the Libraries already have available, and it ensures all students have access to the desired material.

If you need assistance with any of these options, or if you have any questions, please contact

Add course readings/reserves to Canvas

The University Libraries integrates course reserves, library content, and services into Canvas through the automatic inclusion of a "Library Course Materials" menu option in the navigation menu of any Canvas course.  Clicking on the "Library Course Materials" link presents the student with course reserves where available, as well as library resource and service suggestions tailored to the course site they are currently viewing.  Instructors can work with their department's subject librarian to enhance content on the Library Course Materials page to maximize student success.

Faculty and instructors using Canvas should not have to do anything for the "Library Course Materials" link to appear.  It should appear automatically on all Canvas course sites.  Faculty and instructors can remove the link if needed. If the "Library Course Materials" link is not available in your Canvas course, check the "Navigation" tab under "Settings" and make sure the "Library Course Page" menu option is visible in the course menu.  Please see Enable your Library Course Materials Page for more information.

To create a course reading list in the "Library Course Materials" you can request library staff make the list for you on the course material request form, or you can create the reading list yourself.


Add library Subject Guides and Course Guides to Canvas

The University Libraries creates a variety of subject guides and course guides featuring resource recommendations from librarians with subject and course expertise.  To add a library course or subject guide to your course, simply copy the URL and put that URL into your course modules and pages.

Library guides can also be embedded into Canvas course sites by adding  the "Library Subject Guides and Resources" External Tool to any Canvas Module or Page.  To add a Library Subject Guide or Course Guide to a Module click the Plus sign ("+") in any module and then select "External Tool."  Choose "Library Subject Guides and Resources," and follow the prompts to find the subject or course guide you would like to add:

Add item to Subject Guide screenshot. An arrow points to "Library Subject Guides and Resources"

To add a Library Subject Guide or Course Guide to a Canvas Page edit an existing Page or create a new Page under "Pages" in the Canvas course menu. While editing the Canvas Page, choose the drop down menu item in the edit toolbar menu and then choose "Library Subject Guides and Resources."  From there, follow the prompts to select a Subject Guide or Course Guide to integrate on your Canvas Page.

The next step of Library page integration. An arrow points to a blue drop down arrow and another arrow points to the action: "Library Subject Guides and Resources"

If you can't find the right subject or course guide, subject librarians can also create a customized web page of library resources for your course. Contact your subject librarian for more assistance.

Add library Ebooks to your course

The Libraries already provide access to over 1 million ebooks.  We can also try to buy your course books and provide an online version to your students. In partnership with the University of Minnesota Bookstores we provide a current list of all course required books available through the University Libraries. All library ebooks are free for U of MN - Twin Cities’ students to read online and to checkout.  Please contact your department's subject librarian for assistance in finding or purchasing ebooks for your course, and for help linking to them in your Canvas site.

Add Pressbooks content to Canvas

University Libraries makes Pressbooks available to all U of M faculty, staff, and students system-wide at  Pressbooks is a simple, web-based book production tool used by educational institutions around the world. It provides a user-friendly experience for authors and collaborators, and can be used to write and publish open textbooks, lab manuals, monographs, syllabi, fiction and non-fiction books, white papers, electronic portfolios, and more. Using a U of M Internet ID and password, faculty, staff, and students can sign into where they can quickly create content without staff assistance.

Please follow these instructions to integrate a Pressbooks book into Canvas.

Use "Libraries Search" to find materials to add to your course

Use Libraries Search to find hundreds of millions of items, including:

  • Books (electronic and print)
  • Articles
  • Music, videos, DVDs, and scores
  • Maps, archival, and digital collections
  • Government documents and research datasets
  • Journals, magazines, and newspapers (electronic and print)

Note:  Use the "Get Link" option in Libraries Search results to copy the URL of an item you'd like to use in your course.

Last Updated: Jun 8, 2022 2:47 PM