Library Services in Canvas

Canvas is the single, centrally supported learning management system on campus.  UW-Madison Libraries have integrated many of their services into the Canvas learning management system. The resources on this page describe the course support and instructional services provided by the Libraries into Canvas.

Online Instruction

For the Spring 2021 semester the libraries will be delivering library instruction online. To request an online library session customized for your course, complete the instruction request form.

Research Guides

At UW-Madison, the UW Libraries Research Guides tool can be integrated within Canvas.

Research Guides include resources related to a specific course and assignment, or on a subject, topic, or type of resource such as:

  • Specialized lists of online databases, books from the Library Catalog, and websites
  • Research strategies for finding, evaluating and using information sources
  • Embedded tutorials and resources related to the research process

There are two types of Research Guides: Course Guides and Subject Guides.

  • Course Guides are guides created for a specific course and customized for the course topic and assignments. Course guides are created upon request and can be used as supplementary material to a library instruction session or as a standalone resource.
  • Subject Guides are ready-made guides on a subject, topic, or type of resource.

Embedding Library Research Guides in Canvas

There are two ways to add UW Libraries Research Guides content to a Canvas course.

  • Instructor adds a librarian to a course, and librarian embeds guide content
    1. Instructor requests a guide (and/or library instruction session) 
    2. Librarian creates guide
    3. Instructor adds librarian in “Librarian” role to course
    4. Librarian embeds guide in course site
  • Instructor embeds guide content 
    1. Instructor requests a guide (and/or library instruction session) 
    2. Librarian creates guide and provides instructor with guide title
    3. Instructor embeds guide content  in course site

For more details and instructions view the Library Services in Canvas KB page.

Librarian Role

At UW-Madison, an owner or instructor of a course site can add a librarian within the Canvas learning management system.

Adding a librarian in the “Librarian” role in Canvas can help the course instructor and the librarian collaborate more efficiently. In the “Librarian” role a librarian can:

  • Access course materials
  • Add research guides content
  • Post to the announcements and discussion areas
  • Add to course content

A librarian in the “Librarian” role cannot see the list of enrolled students or other protected information such as grades.

An instructor can add a librarian to a course site the same way that they would add another individual not on the official roster. 

For more details and instructions view the Library Services in Canvas KB page.

Course Reading Lists – Reserves

At UW-Madison instructors may request physical items be placed on reserve for their courses. Instructors may choose where they would like their reserves located.

More information on how to place reserves requests can be found on the Course Reserves page.

Instructors can place a stable link to their course’s reserves and reading list in Canvas. The link can be found by logging into the MyUW portal and accessing the Library/Reserves link found in the Teaching Resources module.

Library Modules in Canvas Commons

Quickly and easily import tutorials, videos, and interactive activities made by UW-Madison Libraries from Canvas Commons into your course. Modules cover the research process, finding sources and search strategies, evaluating sources, research & data management, citing sources & plagiarism, research support for graduate students, and copyright & intellectual property. To find the modules, in Canvas, click the Commons button in the main red menu on the left side of the screen, click Search in the top blue banner, and search for “UW-Madison Libraries”.

For assistance, contact