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University of Minnesota

Kathryn A. Martin Library

Online Learning Resources for Faculty

Library Course Materials Pages in Canvas

Library Course Materials pages are the integration of two learning tools in Canvas. Students have quick access to research help, e-books, scholarly articles, databases, and faculty-curated electronic and physical reserves. Instructors have the convenience of library expertise, research guides, and reserves within Canvas.

  • UMD librarians use Research Guides to curate resources for disciplines, majors, and courses. There are over 100 guides available. Librarians can work with instructors to create content specific for a class, assignment, or discipline. 
  • Course Reserves provides access to course materials selected by the instructor. Physical books, media items, kits, PDFs, and library licensed electronic resources can all be placed on course reserves. This is an optional service. 

Library Course Materials pages appear in the left hand navigation of all Canvas course. Each course instance is linked to a general guide for the discipline, field, or major, and Research Guides are automatically loaded into all Canvas Courses. 

Instructors can inquire about a course-specific Research Guide by setting up a consultation with their subject librarian

Linking to Research Guides and Databases in Canvas

Some instructors may be interested in integrating additional library Research Guides and databases into their Canvas courses.  It is possible to import content pages, boxes, and widgets from library Research Guides into Canvas modules. This can make the transition between instructor-created content and library resources more seamless and better integrated.

Note: Some databases and Library Course Materials pages aren't compatible with all browsers. Common browsers like Chrome or Firefox generally shouldn't present issues, but others like Brave may not display materials accurately. 

Adding Library Research Guides and Databases

  • In Canvas Faculty View, open Modules.
  • Hit the "+" button (in line with the title of the module) to add a component.

Preview of the Spring 2024 Library Module 1: Getting Started in Canvas Faculty View. An orange arrow points at the plus sign button in the top right corner, which is highlighted by a yellow circle.

  • Select from the dropdown menu "Add External Tool."
  • Scroll and Select "Library Subject Guides and Resources."

Menu for adding content to an existing Canvas module. Add “External Tool” has been selected from the dropdown menu, and “Library Subject Guides and Resources” is left selected as the type of tool to be added.

  • Leave the LibGuides Site dropdown as "Research Guides ("
  • For the Content Type dropdown, select the type of content you'd like to embed.
    • Guides & Guide Content
      • Full LibGuide
      • Single Page
      • Content box
    • or A-Z Databases
      • All A-Z Databases
      • Databases for Specific Subject + Subject Specialists
      • Databases for Specific Subject (list only)
      • Specific A-Z Database
      • New/Trial Databases
  • Continue making selections from the drop-down menus until you've fully specified the content to embed.
  • Click on "Embed Content" and then "Add Item."

Interface for linking a resource from an external source, in this case specifically for linking a single page from a Research Guide. The drop-down menus have been selected as follows: for the LibGuides Site field, Research Guides (; for Content Type, Single Page; for Guide, Citation Styles and Managers; for Guide Page, Citation Managers. A yellow rectangle highlights the blue “Embed Content” button, which must be selected first and has an orange arrow pointing to a second blue “Add Item” button, which must be selected second in order to finish linking content.

Example Embedded Content

View how different types of library content appear when embedded in Canvas.

Embedded research guide

The Citation Styles and Managers research guide embedded in a Canvas course, with Citation Managers chosen as the landing page:

Decorative image explained above.


Single embedded box

The Selected Databases box from the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Research Guide embedded in a Canvas course:

Decorative image explained above.


Embedded databases for specific subject + subject specialists

Librarian-selected Database List: World Languages & Cultures from A-Z Databases with subject specialist information embedded in a Canvas course:

Decorative image explained above.