SFU Library Services for Graduate Students
Mission: At the heart of the University, the SFU Library is dedicated to providing access to collections, services and facilities of the highest possible quality in support of the teaching, learning and research goals of the Simon Fraser University community .
This page is intended to give SFU graduate students an overview of library services that support their learning, research and teaching endeavours. If you are new to the SFU Library, you can find an introduction to library operations in our Services for Undergraduate Students guide.
PDF version of this guide is available: Services for Graduate Students guide (4 page PDF)
- You can access library resources from home or your office via the SFU Library Web site at <http://www.lib.sfu.ca/>
- There's a Liaison Librarian assigned to each department at SFU who can address your research questions by phone, email, or face-to-face
- You can set up current awareness profiles to get the table of contents for selected journals or citations for articles on specific topics emailed to you
- We provide free access to the bibliographic management utility, RefWorks
- If we don't own what you need, we can usually get it for you through our Interlibrary Loan services, at no cost to you
- Graduate students automatically get term-long loans on most items (subject to recalls).
- Spouses of Graduate students are eligible for a non-paying external borrower card
- You will automatically get all library notices (overdues, holds filled, etc.) to your SFU e-mail address
- As a graduate student, you can get a free library card for UBC and other university libraries across Canada. For details, see the page about COPPUL Reciprocal Borrowing Privileges
- You can request transfers of books and photocopies of journal articles from the Bennett Library to the Belzberg or SFU Surrey Library and vice versa. So, if you live closer to the SFU Vancouver campus or in Surrey, you can still access resources held at the Bennett Library within a day or two, without making the trip up the mountain
- If you want a book with an "In Process" status, you can request it, and it will be catalogued for you right away
- You can find out about new services and disruptions to old ones by checking the What's New page
- Frequently Asked Questions about the SFU Library are answered in our FAQ database linked from the top bar on each page of our website
Whether you're here for two years or ten, get to know your Liaison Librarian. Liaison Librarians serve as information specialists for each academic department at SFU.
Your liaison librarian:
- Knows the information sources relevant to the subjects taught in the department
- Is available by appointment for research consultations
- Provides library instruction or web-based research guides on request for courses offered by the department (see Tips for Teaching Assistants)
- Assists instructors with the design of student assignments
- Selects books for the department and investigates availability of and access to e-journals and other web resources
Each department appoints a faculty library representative to keep the liaison librarian informed of departmental issues, developments and concerns related to the library. You can contact either your liaison librarian or departmental rep with your questions or concerns about how the library is serving you.
Students at SFU have access to over 2.5 million books and and 2.9 million online items, including:
- 1,350,000 books and 170,000 ebooks
- 6,000 print and 61,000 ejournal subscriptions
- 500 databases (new databases)
- plus maps, data sets, slides, online images, films, DVDs and sound recordings.
Use this search tool to locate library resources useful for in-depth searching. Find articles, books, DVDs, course reserves, ejournals by title, databases by title, library information & guides, and more.
If we don't own it, we'll get it for you via our Interlibrary Loan services. Books, journal articles, conference proceedings and more can be borrowed from other libraries and delivered to you free of charge.
If you have questions about library policies, procedures, or services, drop by the Ask Us Desk at the SFU Library. Reference services are provided at the Desk on the 3rd floor of the Bennett Library (phone 778.782.5735), in the Belzberg Library at SFU Vancouver (phone 778.782.5051) and at the SFU Surrey Library (phone 778.782.7414).
Your Liaison Librarian is also available to help by email, phone, or in-person consultation.
Assistance can also be accessed via the web or email; see Ask Us! for details.
- New books reports: weekly and monthly listings by subject and format.
- Save time, minimize emails and stay on top of your research with RSS feeds.
Table of Contents Services
- EBSCO: Includes Academic Search Premier , ERIC and PsycINFO databases, among others. See the EBSCOhost User Guide to set up Search Alerts and Journal Alerts
- Web of Science
- Many electronic journals also provide an email current awareness service. Search the SFU Library catalogue or our Electronic Journals Database to find e-journals or ask your Liaison Librarian for assistance.
Liaison Librarians are also good contacts to learn about useful Web sites and other publication developments in your discipline. And, you can also check out the Library's Current Awareness Services and Tools page for more information.
SFU Library's Guidelines for preparing and submitting your thesis will help you find library and campus resources for the writing and submission of your thesis. Note: "Thesis" also includes projects and extended essays. Take a look at the helpsheets: Scholarly Publishing, Top Ten Things Grad Students Need to Know Early and Thesis Template. When registering to submit your thesis, you will be offered the choice of making your thesis, project or essay immediately available to the public. Your thesis can go online the minute you submit it.
For assistance on thesis formatting, and for submission questions, contact Joanie Wolfe, the Assistant for Theses (firstname.lastname@example.org / 778.782.4747).
Thesis Defence RoomTo book the Thesis Defence Room in the Bennett Library, contact the graduate assistant in your home department/school/faculty/program. They are responsible for bookings with the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies.
The Thesis Defence Room is located on the 2nd floor of the Bennett Library. If you are booked for a thesis defence or a defence rehearsal, you may borrow a key to the Thesis Defence Room from the Bennett Loans/Checkout counter.
The SFU Library provides access and support for RefWorks. Store your references online and instantly format bibliographies, access your account from anywhere in the world via the web, and easily export citations from a variety of article indexes and database service providers into your account.
For information about setting up an account, see RefWorks at SFU Library.
Contacts: Liaison Librarians.
Your experience of using the library will have a major impact on your students. Due to your proximity to students and your example as a successful scholar who has completed an undergraduate degree, students in your tutorials will be influenced by the behaviour and attitudes you model.
When students do their first library research assignment, you can help them succeed. Remember that undergraduate students and graduate students differ in their awareness of sources and knowledge of research skills. For example, you may know which journals provide coverage of a topic but undergraduates usually need assistance finding the right articles for their assignments.
If you think a class in how to use the library effectively will benefit the students in your tutorial, discuss it with the course instructor. If they agree, contact your liaison librarian to discuss the format, content, and timing of the class.
If library instruction doesn't fit in the syllabus, you can still direct students to attend a Discover Your Library workshop, or to come to the Ask Us (Reference) Desk for research assistance. Giving a copy of the assignment to your liaison librarian will allow them to share their plan for assisting students with colleagues so everyone at the reference desk can provide assistance.
Refer your students to the Student Learning Commons, which provides students with friendly and knowledgeable assistance related to writing skills and learning strategies.
Resources to enhance your teaching - Links to general and discipline-specific journals and books available through the Library.
There are a limited number of offices on the 5th floor of the Bennett Library that are available to graduate students on a semesterly basis. Offices are awarded to applicants through the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies (Maggie Benston Student Services Centre, Room 1100 / 778.782.3042).
Specific library carrels throughout the Bennett Library are designated quiet study space. There is a silent study room on the 5th floor and all of Floor 6 is designated as a silent study area.. Group study rooms on the 2nd floor can be booked in advance.
The Bennett Library offers computers with MS Office, statistical programs and other applications in our Information Commons facility on the 3rd floor. You need to sign on with your Academic Computing account identification. Other computers through the building offer access to the library catalogue, databases, e-journals and the Internet.
In addition, carrels on the 2nd and 6th floor offer laptop users plug-in access to the campus network. Laptop users with wireless network cards can access the campus wireless network within the Bennett library.
Important: Every member of the SFU community with a valid SFU computing account has what is called "personal file space". You can use your personal file space to save your documents at home and then open them again on campus. Here are the instructions on how to access your file space on campus or off-campus.