Library Support for Instruction Continuity

University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries support teaching at a distance and are prepared to support instructors with alternative modes of instruction during the 2020-2021 academic year. This page describes the course support and instructional services provided by the Libraries. 

For up to date information and hours, visit the COVID-19 library information website 

Library Services in 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.
  • UW-Libraries Research Guides: This Canvas tool allows you to add library course and subject guides customized with instructional modules and digital resources for the course topic and assignments. Request a Course Guide
  • Embedded Librarian: Want to have a librarian embedded in your Canvas course to assist with adding instructional materials, create course or research guides, interact with students, or provide virtual library instruction? An instructor can add a librarian in the “Librarian” role to their course from the people section of their Canvas course. For Directions visit the Library Services in Canvas KB page. Request a Librarian Role or contact the librarian you typically work with.
  • Sift & Winnow: Libraries@UW: This is an interactive tutorial that provides instruction on introductory research principles for college students. While developed for Communication-A courses, this module covering fundamental research principles is available to any course instructor on campus can add all or parts of Sift & Winnow to their Canvas course page.  Student completion will be automatically noted in the course grade book. Instructor Directions for adding Sift & Winnow: Instructor Directions PDF
  • UW-Madison Libraries 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

For more information about these services visit the Library Services in Canvas page.

Accessing Library Materials:

The Library website is the portal to all of our collections and materials, digital and physical. Below is a list of helpful places to start in your search for instructional content or to send your students for their assignment needs.

  • Library Catalog: Search for materials with online access including e-books, streaming audio or video, and other online resources.
  • Top 10 database list: Access to the top used databases on campus for accessing digital articles, videos, and more.
  • Research Guides: Explore resources related to a specific subject, topic, or type of source.
  • Special Access to Online Resources in Response to COVID-19: Many publishers and content providers have temporarily unlocked some of their resources to support remote research, teaching, and learning during this period of disruption.

Having trouble accessing library materials? Visit our information about off-campus access.

Help from the Library:

Our staff of experts are here to help you. The following services and resources are available to assist in your transition to alternative modes of instruction.

Ask a Librarian: Receive immediate help from a librarian through our chat reference service. You can also email, call / text, visit a reference desk, or schedule an appointment.

Library Research Tutorials: Text and video tutorials for help on conducting research, accessing library resources, and using library services. These tutorials can be used as course content to support all aspects of the research process. 

Navigating Copyright in Moving Courses Online: This resource has been created to help guide instructors through instructional content questions related to copyright and fair-use. If you are having trouble locating alternative course content, please use our Course Content Support form.

For up to date information and hours, visit the COVID-19 library information website

For additional information about instructional continuity, visit the Campus Instructional Continuity website