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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 books from any SFU Library location

Placing requests (holds) for contactless pickup

SFU faculty, students, staff, alumni, and external borrowers can place requests for print books from the SFU Library.

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 library location that you have selected for contactless pickup.

Request and pick up books from all locations

As of October 23, you can request print books from any SFU Library location and pick up at any SFU Library location, with books ready for pick up starting the week of October 25. (See specific locations below for more details.)

Pick up times and other details

Pick-up times and other details are different for each location. All locations will follow approved safety and service plans, with physical distancing at pickup points.

Remembrance Day closure: Note that all Library locations will be closed Wednesday November 11 (Remembrance Day), and no pick-up service will be available. Check back for future dates and times.

Bennett Library pick-up times:

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

Belzberg Library pick-up times (SFU Vancouver):

  • Starting October 29: pickup is available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm.
  • Pickup will be at the front door of Harbour Centre.

Fraser Library pick-up times (SFU Surrey):

  • Starting October 28: pickup is available Mondays and Fridays from 10:00 am - 12:00 noon, and Wednesdays from 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm.
  • SFU staff, faculty, and students can pick up their books at the front door of the Fraser Library.
  • Alumni and external borrowers can pick up their items at the entrance to SFU Surrey (main campus), as arranged. Check your email notification for details.

Due dates

Check your Library account to see when your materials are due.

Who is eligible 

SFU faculty, staff, students, alumni, and external borrowers may use this service.

What you can borrow

You can borrow print books from the Bennett Library collection, and, starting October 23 from the Belzberg and Fraser Libraries' collections.

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

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 and journal articles

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.

Requesting scanned journal articles (from print journals) -- COMING SOON

We are working on offering scans of articles from print journals, and plan to start this service in the Fall 2020 semester.

Please check back for details and updates. 

Recalls and holds

SFU Library items: We are continuing to suspend recalls for SFU Library material that is already checked out.

ILL items: Material borrowed from another library through interlibrary loan may be recalled by the lending library. Recalled materials can be returned to any SFU Library location.

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

You can return items to any of our SFU Library locations:

  • For Bennett (SFU Burnaby) you can use the book return machine by the front entrance
  • For Belzberg (SFU Vancouver) and Fraser (SFU Surrey) you can use the drop chutes. 

Please check building access during the pandemic to see specific details for each campus.

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 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: Physical materials -- COMING SOON

We are working on restoring ILL lending and borrowing of physical items, and plan to start this service in the Fall 2020 semester.

Please check back for details and updates.

Request Interlibrary Loans: Digital items

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

Material borrowed from another library through interlibrary loan can be recalled by the lending library and will then have to be returned to the SFU Library.

If you receive a request to return ILL materials, you may return them to any SFU Library.

More Library help / Contact us

Questions? Ask a Librarian by chat or email.

University information

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