Using the Library in Online Learning

As an online instructor, you can bring the library to your students by embedding our online resources and services into your courses.

Library Resources in Canvas

There are two ways to add the library's subscription content to your Canvas course: creation of a reading list though the Library Resources module and embedding content. The Library Resources modules allows for creating a reading list that draws on content from the library catalog and databases. Please do not download PDFs from our databases and upload them to Canvas, as this may violate our license agreements.

Linking to Articles/Creating a reading list

The best way to include one of the library's articles in Canvas is to add the Library Resources module to create and publish a course reading list. However, this works slightly differently for our subscription resources than it does for free websites. Follow these steps:

1.Create a module.

Creating a parent module for Library Resources is needed. Click the "+ Module" button on the modules page for your Canvas course. This will open a box for creating and naming the module. Name it. For the purposes of this tutorial, it is titled "Sample Reading List." Click on "Add module." The image below illustrates the result.

2. Add Library Resources tool.

Once you have the parent module created, you need to add the tool itself. Across from the module title, there are three clickable buttons: a grey cloud with a check mark in it, a "+" box, and a gearbox for the module settings. Click on the "+." This will open a box with a drop menu and text box on it.

Click the drop menu and select "External Tools." This opens a list of tools that can be added under the module. Find "Library Resources" and select it to add it. The result of this is pictured below.

3. Click on the Library Resources tool and start searching.

Once the Library Resources tool is included and you enter it, there will be an option to search the Brandel Library resources (see below). Search for the topic(s) related to your class. For articles, refine the search parameters. A general search includes physical, e-resources, and video results.

4. Click "Add to Reading List"

Clicking on “Add to Reading List” for any materials you want to add puts the reading/viewing options into the reading list class for the class.

5. Check the current reading list after populating it.

It's important to check the reading list after you've added to it. This can be done by clicking on the "See Current Reading List" link below the in-module branding banner.

6. Publish the module and Library Resources tool.

Once you’ve created your Reading List, return to the modules of your class. Click on the icon of a cloud with a check mark in it for both your reading list module and the Library Resources tool. This will make the tool and the list available to those enrolled in your course.

Embedding Multimedia

While you can add audio and video to your Reading List, you can also embed video clips, audio, and other subscription multimedia content from the library directly into your Canvas course in numerous ways. To do so, go to the item you'd like to embed. Then locate and copy the embed code. This can be done through the Library Resources tool you’ve added. In Canvas, three of the most common ways to embed a video or audio content would be to either create an announcement, assignment or a discussion post, select the HTML editor, and paste the content into the content box.

Technical Support

Jonathan Gronli is Brandel Library's Digital Services Coordinator and troubleshooter. If you have any questions or need help adding library resources to your Canvas course, contact him at

photo of Andy MeyerAndy Meyer manages the library's online collections. If you have any questions or need help adding library resources to your Moodle course, contact him at