Services for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows

Welcome graduate students!  The SFU Library is here to support you at every stage in your education.

Your library card

SFU student card

Your student card is your library card.

If you're a new student, obtain your student ID card from Student Services.

Borrowing: Library books, equipment, and more

As graduate student at SFU you can borrow:

  • books, videos, and materials in other formats
  • equipment including laptops, audio recorders, headphones, and digital projectors
  • reserve materials.

You can request a book that is already checked out, at another SFU library, or in processing and it will be held for your pick up once it becomes available.

As a graduate student you are also entitled to:

  • Borrowing privileges for your spouse
  • Semester loans (subject to recall).

For much more information on borrowing privileges and fines, see Borrowing Library materials.

Borrowing materials from other libraries

Reciprocal borrowing

Graduates are eligible to borrow materials at other college and university libraries using a reciprocal borrowing (COPPUL) card. You must obtain your card at SFU library before you borrow materials from other libraries. This card is free. See Borrowing privileges at other universities: Borrowing Library Materials for further information.

Inter-library loan

If you want a book or article that SFU library doesn't have, you can request it through inter-library loan. This service is free and unlimited for graduates.

Access and services

Document creation: Typing, saving, and printing your assignments

The library has computers and software for word processing, spreadsheets, presentation slides, and other tasks. You can print, copy, and scan at all three libraries. You may be eligible for a departmental copy/print card.

Wireless access: Using a laptop or mobile device on the SFU network

You are able to log into SFU wireless internet networks with your SFU computing ID.

Referencing and citation management software

SFU provides support for reference management tools.

Graduates also have access to research data management software such as NVivo.

Tech help: Solving problems with computers

All three campuses have technical help desks.

Alerts: Staying up-to-date in your field

Current awareness

Save time and stay on top of your research with current awareness resources such as RSS feeds and table of contents emails from journals and journal article databases.

Use the LibKey Nomad browser extension for seamless access to article links in emails or on publisher websites.


Liaison Librarians are also good contacts to learn about key websites and other publication developments in your discipline.

Research support

Doing research

SFU Library has millions of print and online books, journals, and specialized databases, many of which are not available on the open web. Discover our collections via the Library's website.

Consult discipline-specific research guides to learn about the key resources and research methodologies in your field.

Your liaison librarian

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 their department
  • Is available by appointment for research consultations
  • Creates and maintains subject-specific Research Guides
  • Provides library instruction or research guides on request for courses offered by the department
  • Selects books for the department and investigates the availability of and access to journals and other web resources.

Teaching support

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.

If you think a library instruction class will benefit the students in your tutorial, discuss it with the course instructor to make arrangements with your liaison librarian.

You can direct students to:

  • Ask a Librarian for research assistance. Consider giving a copy of the assignment to your liaison librarian, which will allow them to share their plan for assisting students with colleagues.
  • Review the SFU Library plagiarism guide, as well as complete our interactive tutorial Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Investigate the Student Learning Commons, which provides students with friendly and knowledgeable assistance related to writing skills and learning strategies.

SFU Library's Research Commons

The Research Commons supports the research endeavours of the University community, with a particular focus on graduate students and postdocs.

The Research Commons offers many services and supports, including:

  • workshops
  • consultations
  • access to research software
  • research data assistance
  • help with writing and publishing, and thesis writing and formatting
  • inspiring, interdisciplinary spaces to work in

Guidelines for preparing and submitting your thesis

The Research Commons administers the thesis submission process. The Guidelines for preparing and submitting your thesis will help you with the formatting and submission of your thesis. Note: "Thesis" also includes projects and extended essays.