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COVID-19: Library services move online, and other updates and information

Library response 

The SFU Library recognizes that this is a challenging time for SFU students, faculty members, and researchers as we rapidly shift to online modes of teaching and learning in the face of COVID-19. The Library is committed to supporting online research and education throughout this disruption.

Check below for details on specific services, and check this page often for the latest information. 

Library service updates

Library collections and resources

Online access for SFU Faculty, staff, and students

Via the SFU Library Catalogue: SFU Faculty, staff, and students have access to thousands of online journals, eBooks and databases via the Catalogue. To find online resources, filter search results by "Full text online".

Visit the Library Catalogue search guide for additional tips.

Via Google Scholar, PubMed, journal websites, etc.: If you find your articles/other resources using websites other than the Library website or Catalogue, see Accessing online resources from off campus. This includes options like the Library's Off Campus Bookmarklet and browser extensions which allow you to view SFU licensed online resources from most web browsers -- without coming in through the Library's website.

Online access for SFU Alumni

Alumni have access to some licensed resources, and a growing number of open access resources

Complimentary expanded access to some resources

Some publishers are providing free access to resources during COVID-19.

For more information, see the ICOLC (International Coalition of Library Consortia) list of resources. This list is updated frequently, and includes journals, books, newspaper articles, distance learning materials, and more.

Research help

The Library has a number of research guides available to point you to appropriate sources and strategies.

Use the AskAway virtual reference service to chat online with a research expert.

Virtual research help and writing consultations will be conducted by email, chat, videoconference, and phone.

Library workshops, instruction, and consultations

Spring semester library instruction, workshops, and consultations have been suspended, or are being offered remotely. 

We are updating our Summer semester library instruction, workshop, and consultation calendars to reflect remote and online offerings. For details, see Workshops and classes: Library, Student Learning Commons, Research Commons, and pages for specific Library services.   

Borrowing materials, recalls, holds, and late fees

Recalls and holds on materials have been temporarily suspended.  If you have an existing hold, it will be extended until the library reopens.  You can cancel holds through your My Library account if you no longer need an item.

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

Equipment lending at all SFU Library locations is suspended until the Library re-opens.

If you have Library materials, including equipment or ILL items, please keep them in your possession until we reopen.  If you’re unable to keep items (eg due to imminent travel), please contact us at to discuss.

Course Reserves

For Spring term courses:

  • Digital Reserves are available.
  • Access to print Reserves is no longer available, as all SFU Library buildings are closed.

For Summer term courses:

  • All Reserves must be digital. Staff has no access to printed materials while the Library is closed.
  • To submit Reserve requests, see Course Reserves.

Note: While the Library is closed, staff have no access to print Reserves, books, or other physical items in the Library. 

More information and help: 

Interlibrary Loans

Requesting Interlibrary loans:

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

  • SFU can no longer obtain physical items (e.g. books, CDs, DVDs) from other libraries, so we are no longer able to accept new requests for physical items. Canadian and international InterLibrary Loan systems have reduced, or ceased, their services which severely limits what we can obtain for SFU borrowers.
  • While the Library is closed, staff have no access to print Reserves, books, or other physical items in the SFU Library. 

Returning Interlibrary Loans: 

Please keep in your possession any physical ILL items you have and return them when full 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.