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Library service updates during COVID-19

Library service updates: We are open for research, open for learning, open for collaboration.

SFU Library continues to deliver a wide range of remote services, including extensive online collections, digital course reserves, remote instruction, and consultations with experts.

In addition, following guidance from provincial health authorities and SFU, the Library is gradually restoring some in-person services. 

We will add the latest updates here as details become available. If you have questions about Library services that are not answered here, please contact us at

Borrowing and digital delivery 

Contactless pickup: Requesting print items from the W.A.C. Bennett Library

Placing requests (holds) for contactless pickup

SFU faculty, students, staff, alumni, and external borrowers can place requests for print books from the Bennett Library,  for later pick-up at the Bennett Library (SFU Burnaby).

To request a book:

  1. Place a request in the Library Catalogue
  2. Wait for an email notification telling you your request (hold) is ready
  3. Come to the Bennett Library on the Burnaby campus for contactless pickup.

Pick up times

Pick-up times are changing

  • September 14-18, 2020, pickup is available Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:30am - 12:00pm.
  • Starting September 21, 2020, pickup is available Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10:00am - 12:00pm.

Check back for future dates and times.

Due dates

All items checked out during this period will have a due date of January 8th 2021.

This due date may be extended if necessary.

Who is eligible for this service

SFU faculty, staff, students, alumni, and external borrowers may place holds for contactless pickup.

What you can borrow

You can borrow print books in the Bennett Library collection. 

Not available: Equipment, media (DVDs, CDs, etc.), course reserve readings.

We are not yet able to offer items from the Fraser Library (SFU Surrey) or Belzberg Library (SFU Vancouver).

Questions and help

If you need help placing a hold or have questions about our contactless hold service, please contact:

Digital delivery: Requesting scanned book chapters

SFU faculty, students, and staff can request chapters from print books at all Library locations to be scanned for digital delivery. Articles from print journals are not currently available for this service.

  1. From the Library Catalogue use the scan pages option to request your chapter or section.
  2. We will email your book chapter to you within 7 days.

Requests must abide by the limitations on copying set out under SFU's Fair Dealing guidelines.

Recalls and holds

All recalls are temporarily suspended. 

If you have an existing hold, we will:

  • process it for contactless hold pick-up service 
  • send you a notification when it is ready to pick up. 

If you no longer need a hold, you can cancel it through your My Library account.

Returning materials and late fees

If you have Library materials, including equipment or ILL items, please continue to keep them until we reopen. If you need to return something sooner, please contact us at to make arrangements.

The library will continue to waive late fees from March 13 until the situation changes. 

Equipment loans 

Laptop loans for Fall 2020 term -- all currently booked

For Fall 2020, SFU Library has a limited number of laptops available for semester loan to current SFU students.

Update September 18 2020: All laptops for the Fall 2020 semester have already been reserved.

We will update this space when laptops are available for the Spring 2021 semester. 

(In the meantime, a laptop may occasionally become available because of a cancellation or an early return. If this happens, you will be able to book it through Laptop loans during COVID-19: Booking a laptop (as below).)

Reserve a laptop

You must reserve your laptop in advance.

To reserve a laptop and book your appointment to pick it up, go to Laptop loans during COVID-19: Booking a laptop.

Borrowing and returning a laptop

You may borrow the laptop for the full Fall semester (until December 21, 2020). Note that:

  • You must return the laptop by December 21, 2020.
  • You must return the laptop to staff at the same library where you borrowed it, in good condition and on time.

*You will be responsible for all borrowed equipment, including paying replacement fees or late fines if equipment is not returned in good condition or on time.

Hardware and software details

Laptops are PCs, and:

Other equipment loans (not currently available)

All other equipment lending at all SFU Library locations is suspended until the Library re-opens.

Library collections and resources

Online access for SFU Faculty, staff, and students

You can access thousands of online journals, ebooks and databases via the SFU Library Catalogue. To find them, filter your search results to "Full text online," or use the online resources only option.

Or, if you find your articles using websites like Google Scholar, PubMed, or directly through publishers' sites, see Accessing online resources from off campus. This will help you set up tools like the Library's Off Campus Bookmarklet and browser extensions to make it easier and faster to view licensed resources from most web browsers -- and without coming in through the Library's website.

Appointments for researchers in Special Collections and Rare Books

Individual researchers may book two-hour appointments in the SCRB reading room, W.A.C. Bennett Library (SFU Burnaby).

Appointments are available at set times Tuesdays and Thursdays, and must be requested at least one week in advance. Priority will be given to SFU students, faculty, and staff. 

For more details, including safety requirements and how to request an appointment, see Booking appointments during COVID in Special Collections and Rare Books.

Library facilities, spaces, and labs

Study space at Bennett Library

From September 14, 2020 until the end of exams, we are opening the main (3rd) floor of the W.A.C. Bennett Library (SFU Burnaby) as weekday afternoon study space (Monday-Friday, 1pm-5pm). 

Review the safety requirements and check out the available space and equipment.

Media and Maker Commons appointments for instructors

SFU instructors working on audio and video materials may book two-hour appointments for solo visits to the Media and Maker Commons AV studios and workstations in the Media and Maker Commons, W.A.C. Bennett Library (Burnaby).

Bookings must be made at least 24 hours in advance.

See Booking appointments during COVID in the Media and Maker Commons for instructions.

Access Library lab computers and software from off campus

While Library buildings are closed, SFU students, faculty, and staff can now virtually access W.A.C. Bennett Library lab computers and their software through Remote Desktop software.

For step-by-step instructions, see Access Library lab computers and software from off campus

 Research help

Ask a Librarian

For help from one of our research experts, start with our Ask a Librarian services, including email, chat, and contact info for our subject specialist liaison librarians. 

Request a consultation or start with a research guide

You can also request an in-depth consultation with a subject area librarian, or get started on your own by browsing the Library's research guides

 Workshops, instruction, consultations

Library workshops and consultations

See our current Library instruction, workshop, and consultation listings for remote and online offerings:

And check pages for specific Library services (such as the Copyright Office and Digital Humanities Innovation Lab) for their instruction, consultation, and contact options.

Information for instructors

Instructors can request library research instruction for classes by contacting their liaison librarian or emailing

The Student Learning Commons also offers many resources for instructors to use in classes and tutorials.

Course Reserves

Information and support for instructors

We will continue to provide e-Reserves for Summer and Fall 2020 courses. To submit Reserve requests, please see the instructions at Course Reserves.

Where possible, staff will fulfill Reserve requests through the Library's digital collections or through scanning from the Library's physical collection.

For more information and support for instructors, see Reserves information for instructors during COVID-19.

Reserves help

Questions? Library staff are available to help, including with finding alternatives to print Reserve materials: email

Interlibrary Loans

Request Interlibrary Loans

Where possible, we will find digital versions of the items you are looking for.

While the SFU Library and most other libraries remain closed, we cannot accept new requests for ILL of physical items from other libraries.

Please check back for updates.

Return Interlibrary Loans

If you currently have physical ILL materials, please keep them until full Library service resumes.

More Library help / Contact us

Questions? Ask a Librarian by chat or email.

University information

See SFU's Frequently asked questions about COVID-19.