Skip to main content

MyCanvas: Linking & Embedding Library Resources

Did You Know?

Equally authoritative, potentially more current, and most importantly 'free' Library resources can replace expensive resources from publishers. These resources are not technically 'free', but have been purchased to support academic research and learning. More rightly called, affordable course content (ACC), they can remove the added stress on students of earning or owing the average $1000 a year required to purchase course material.

Resources are not limited to readings, but include videos and other media. Between Library resources and exploring OER (open educational resources), you can curate and create current, engaging course resources that showcase your subject matter expertise without adding economic burden to students.

Connect with your Faculty Liaison Librarian to collaborate on saving your students' money and stress levels or to access the research on ACC | OER on student success and retention.

Learn more about Affordable Course Content and | or peruse the Library Guide on OER (updating for Fall 2020).


The Library provides access to many course-related Journal, eBook and Video Databases. Most of the resources contained in these databases are not freely available on the Internet. This guide provides instructions on how to add these resources to MyCanvas.

Things to note:

  • The Library has subscriptions to many types of databases and the steps for adding links may differ.
  • No login is required for on-campus access, but if you are off-campus, you will need to sign in with your 9-digit Staff ID and password.
  • Database content is copyright-cleared. You do not need to contact the publisher to use it. 
  • Many of the databases offer resources in alternate formats (e.g., students can listen to articles) and help students with different learning preferences.
  • Provide a full citation whenever you are linking to online material that takes a student outside of MvCanvas. Beyond modeling good practice, links can break. The citation provides the necessary information for students to find the resource (potentially saving you countless emails!) It is also a recommendation in the Copyright Policy.

Add a Standalone Link to a Module

You can add a resource link in the content area of your course or within a page in the content area of your course.

  1. Obtain a link from the library's databases (e.g., EBSCOhost, Films on Demand, etc.).
  2. Go to the linking information for the resource within this guide and format the link as instructed. 
  3. Access the "Module" where you wish to add the link.
  4. Using the module's + icon, access the drop down menu next to "Add" and choose "External URL" .
  5. Paste the link into the URL field.
  6. Add a "Page Name"; this is student facing.
  7. Click the "Add Item" button to save your work.

If you prefer a visual walk through:

Embed a Link in Pages

Rather than adding a standalone link to a resource, you may choose to insert a link at the students' point of need. This allows you create a comprehensive page, with prompts for the student on what to focus on during their interaction with the resource. It also allows you to model proper citation more easily (e.g., APA), providing how to access the resource in case there are issues with link and to follow Copyright Policy recommendations. Students receive a fuller picture of why the resource is included and important.

  1. Copy the resource's appropriate link from the library's databases (e.g. EBSCOhost, Films on Demand, etc.)..
  2. Enter the appropriate "Modules" in your course.
  3. Access the "Pages" where you wish to insert your link and go to edit mode.
  4. Place your cursor where you wish to insert or highlight the text that will link to the resource..
  5. Click on the link | chain icon on the toolbar and choose "External Links".
  6. Paste the link to the resource in the "Link" field. The "Text" field will already display your chosen, highlighted text or you can add your own title here.
  7. Click "Done".
  8. You will also need to "Save" your work on the "Pages" screen.

If you prefer a visual walk through: