Understanding the Canvas Library Resources link and your course

Apr 20, 2017 | Faculty, Staff, and Student Stories

headshot of amanda clossen

By Amanda Clossen

You may have noticed a link in your navigation menu called “Library Resources.” You may have also wondered to yourself, “What on earth is this link?”

Well, I’m here to explain!

The Library Resources link is a tool that makes an easy connection between the University Libraries’ online resources and courses in Canvas. When you click on the Library Resources link, it will look something like this, showing our e-reserves, library guides, and ask-a-librarian chat service.

image showing resource guide and a link to Ask a PSU Librarian E-Reserves

To associate reserves with a course, all that is necessary is to fill out the e-reserve request form, located on the e-reserve page. The reserves you request will be automatically associated with your course and will populate the Library Resources link as seen above.

Clicking on a specific reserve item will bring up a description of the reserve, as well as a link to the item itself. If there are no reserves for a course, this entire section will be absent.

image showing details about a reading that appears when the reader clicks on a particular reserve item


Library subject guides are most often curated lists of library databases links and other resources relevant for doing research in any given subject. Guides are automatically associated with courses by course abbreviation. For instance, all IST courses are automatically assigned the IST guide. This guide will then be listed in the Library Resources link. Students who click on the guide will stay within Canvas, viewing the guide there.

image showing list of Core Databases for IST research in an Information Sciences and Technology course

If you would like a guide other than the one that is automatically assigned to your course, changes can be made easily by consulting the Guide Integration Overview page.


Ask-a-Librarian provides students with the opportunity to immediately chat with a librarian for research assistance or any other library-related issues. The chat is staffed during regular business hours, but email requests can be sent during off-hours for a quick response.

Manual Integration

E-reserves, as well as guides, can be manually included in your course as well. This can be done on any page that contains a text element. This option allows you to put guides and reserves in modules and assignments. This allows these materials to come up at the exact point of need. This process is demonstrated in this Manual Libraries’ Resource Canvas Integration video.

If you need further assistance, there are more in-depth instructions for manual integration in the IT Knowledge Base.

And lastly, if your class doesn’t have any need for library resources (some don’t!), the link can be easily hidden under the Navigation section of the Settings page.

This tool, like so many of our new adaptations in Canvas, is a work in progress, so if you have needs that you feel aren’t being addressed, please send me an email at asc17@psu.edu. I’d be happy to hear what you have to say and our team will address any concerns as best as we are able.