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Browse and search FAQs

  • Copyright owners and creators of works have the right to charge a fee for the use of their materials unless fair dealing, another Copyright Act exception or a Library license otherwise covers the use. The cost of course packs varies depending on the copyright fees charged by the copyright owner, the number of pages and documents, and the volume of course packs being produced. Those costs are generally reflected in the selling price of the course pack, over which SFU has no control. Copyright fees are collected on behalf of the copyright owners and remitted to them.

  • Use of copyrighted materials is protected under the law in Canada and we are subject to the Canadian Copyright Act. Additionally, the University has implemented policies, standards and guidelines that, as members of the university community, we are required to follow.

    Simon Fraser University respects intellectual property and intellectual property laws, and will take appropriate steps to ensure consistent application of legal requirements throughout the University. It is the responsibility of each member of the university community to comply with copyright law and respect copyright ownership and licensing.  

    Please note that staff at the University Library, Archives, Bookstore, Centre for Online and Distance Education, Teaching and Learning Centre, Creative Services and Document Solutions have a professional responsibility to respect copyright law and may refuse to copy or print something if it is thought to be an infringement of copyright law.


    You do not need to sign into the SFU Library Catalogue to see the books, journals, and other items held by the SFU Library.  Anyone can search the Catalogue and see items owned by the Library without signing in.


    Why should I sign into the Catalogue?

    Signing in or logging in allows you to do the following.

    Request items

    • Request or place holds on books and other items if the item is checked out by someone else or to have the item delivered between SFU Library branches.
    • Place an interlibrary loan (ILL) request for an item not held in SFU Library’s collection.  ILL requests may be placed by SFU students, faculty, and staff.

    You will not see an option to request an item until you sign in.

    See your library record and renew books

    Once signed or logged in to the Catalogue, you can:

    • View the books and other items you have checked out
    • Renew the resources, such as books, that you have checked out
    • View your fines, if you have any
    • See requests or holds for books that you are waiting for.

    Save items or searches to your Favourites

    Once signed in, you can pin to your My Favourites list:

    • Records for books and other items
    • Saved searches to reuse later
    • Searches performed during a Catalogue search session.

    View citations or references to items from a few publishers who limit access to their content

    Almost all content providers allow citations for such items as journal articles to be viewed by anyone, anywhere who searches the SFU Library Catalogue.  There are a few resources, however, such as citations contained within the Web of Science database and the MLA International Bibliography, that can be viewed only if you are:

    • On campus, or
    • Off campus and signed into the Catalogue, or
    • Using the SFU wireless network and logged into the Catalogue.
    Viewing full-text
    You do not need to sign in to the Catalogue in order to view online or web-based resources such as journal articles or ebooks. Within the "View it" area of an item's Catalogue record, click on the publisher or content provider's link (e.g. JSTOR or PubMed).  You will be prompted to log in if off campus or on wireless.


    How do I sign into the Catalogue?

    Once you are in the Library Catalogue:

    • If you haven't started searching yet, click on "Guest" to sign in or log in.
    • If your search is already underway, look for the highlighted prompt, "Sign in to request items and for more results," then log in.

    Use your SFU computing ID to sign in

    If you have a SFU computing ID, use it to sign or log in to the Catalogue.

    How do I sign in if I don't have a SFU computing ID?  

    Sign in using your Library barcode and password.

    Some borrowers, including non-credit students and external borrowers, are not issued SFU computing IDs.  If you don't have an SFU ID but do have a library barcode, you can use your barcode and accompanying password to sign in.

    I'm an alumna/alumnus -- how do I sign in?

    Use your SFU computing ID to sign into the Catalogue.

    Alumni can visit About Alumni Email Forwarding to (re)activate their SFU Computing ID.

    I’m having trouble signing in -- what do I do?

    Getting an error message? Not able to sign in?

    Contact staff in Access Services (Loans) for help with your account:

    • 778.782.4345 - W.A.C. Bennett Library, SFU Burnaby
    • 778.782.5050 - Belzberg Library, SFU Vancouver
    • 778.782.7411 - Fraser Library, SFU Surrey.
  • The Library is not authorized to stamp, initial or otherwise acknowledge or receive assignments on behalf of any SFU instructor, Department or Faculty. To ensure academic integrity, assignments must be submitted as directed by your course instructor.

    If you have any questions about the Library's role regarding assignments, please contact Elaine Fairey, Associate University Librarian, Bennett Public Services, at or 778.782.3252.

  • The Student Learning Commons (SLC) provides assistance for most writing with an academic purpose, including papers, theses, applications for graduate programs, and cover letters and resumes for positions related to your academic program, such as Co-op. 

    For assistance with job-related cover letters and résumés, consult SFU Career Services or the Career Management Centre.

    SLC staff and peer educators do not proofread or edit your work but do help you develop your own effective proofreading and editing strategies.


  • The Student Learning Commons (SLC) consultants will review portions of your work with you and help you develop your own effective proofreading or editing strategies. 

    If you have approval from your course instructor or thesis supervisor to work with a professional editor, see the recommendations set out by the Dean of Graduate Studies, and the guidelines from the Editors' Association of Canada (EAC).  The EAC also provides suggestions for working with an editor and a directory of editors for hire.