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Library Resources as Course Materials

Information about how to link library resources to course materials such as syllabi or class session documents in Canvas


Howard-Tilton Memorial Library has very large book collections of broad scope and several million titles, including many unique or rare books dating from an original leaf of the Gutenberg Bible (ca. 1456) to recent first editions.  The collections also include more than a million eBooks. 

EBook advantages and limitations as course materials.  Many individual eBooks titles are licensed for single users only, i.e., for one user at a time.  Single-use eBooks can be thought of as roughly similar in terms of access to single copies of physical books that instructors might include on a list of suggested readings for a course and unavailable while another user is reading them.  Listing eBooks as required reading for a course may necessitate a multi-use license for the title, especially if there will be a significant number of students enrolled in the course.  Multi-user upgrades for individual titles are available, but not from all publishers or for all titles.  Some eBook publisher platforms (ScienceDirect or SpringerLink for examples) or large historical eBook databases have licenses that provide multi-user availability for all content; so restrictions vary.

Faculty are advised to contact the librarian liaison for their department to inquire about multi-user availability for eBooks before listing them.

Locating Ebooks:  You can locate eBooks with licensed access via the Tulane campus network using the Books+ feature of the Library Search box or the Classic Catalog on the library home page, and both have options allowing you to limit searches to eBooks as a format.  Also, many of the hundreds of databases available from the library Databases list serve as platforms for new or recent eBooks in the sciences and engineering (from publishers such as Elsevier, Springer, or Wiley) or historical eBooks in large rare facsimile collections sold online such as Early English Books Online, the English Short Title Catalogue represented in The 18th Century Collection, and the comprehensive Sabin, Evans, and Shaw-Shoemaker Collections represented in the massive Early American Imprint Series.

Links to eBooks from the Books+ feature of the Library Search box may be especially useful for course readings lists since they do not require a proxy server prefix to be added to the EBook's Permalink URL.  For basic directions in how to find eBooks using this search feature see this Finding eBooks in Library Search guide.  Persistent links found directly on the publisher's platform or within a database would need the proxy prefix (see below) inserted into the link provided to students.

Directions for Linking

Linking from the Books+ feature of the Library Search box on the library home page.  Books+ has records with links to eBooks among other resources in various formats.  You can link to the record which in turn will link students to an eBook. You can also provide a link to a print-format book or document so your students can find the call number or bibliographic information easily.

  • Locate an item using Books+ feature of the Library Search box on the library home page
  • Click on the Item Details tab
  • Click on Save & Cite
  • Click on Permalink to display the article's persistent URL link

Copy and paste the resulting Permalink that is displayed (see below) into the course document you intend to provide through Canvas. You do not need to add any proxy information if you use the Permalink from the Articles+ feature of the Library Search box on the library home page.

Now you can create an external link in Canvas. 

The library's new OpenAthens authentication system offers a tool to generate a proxied link for off-campus access from permalinks or stable URLs:


Open Athens link generator interface

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