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Browse and search FAQs

  • The Library welcomes inquiries from prospective donors wishing to donate materials to our Special Collections and Rare Books division. For further information please see the Library's Gift Policy and Guidelines.


  • To find books, videos, and other Library materials in languages other than English, search the Library catalogue for the item(s) you want (by keyword, author, title, etc.), and limit your search by language.

    The SFU Library also has some specific collections of materials in languages other than English. For example, you can find a collection of materials donated by the State Education Commission of the People's Republic of China by searching by keyword or title (in Browse search) for "Chinese collection."

    For more help finding materials in a specific language Ask a Librarian.

  • The Library Catalogue is the tool you use to find books, journals, newspapers, government documents, videos, slides and sheet maps in the Library's collection.

    For tips and tricks on how to use the Catalogue, see the SFU Library Catalogue Search Guide.

  • See the guide Finding and Using Online Images for instructions on how to find images.
  • To find journals about specific topics, you can search the Library Catalogue for your keywords or subject, then limit to Journals under the heading Resource Type. 

    For example:  teaching business, special needs education, Canadian literature


    Looking for articles? See How to find journal articles.


  • The Library hires library assistants (including student assistants), librarians, and other professional staff.

    For further information see Librarian and other library position openings.

  • Current SFU students, faculty, and staff

    SFU student card

    FIC student card

    See Getting your Card for how and where to get your SFU ID.

    Where do I pick up my SFU ID?

    Visit the Registrar and Information Services office on any SFU campus to have your photo taken and your card printed, 24 hours after you have enrolled in your classes.

    Distance education students: Follow the instructions for getting a library barcode or contact Telebook services to get a barcode number so that you can use the library's direct request services.

    Alumni, external borrowers, and some research assistants

    Alumni: You do not need to get a different library/university card when you graduate, so hold onto your present card. Your library privileges will expire two weeks into the next semester. Your alumni library privileges will come into effect when Senate awards your degree/diploma. If you need library privileges before you are awarded your alumnus status, come to the Circulation/Loans desk at the Library for interim privileges.Alumni who no longer have their card can go to the Registrar's Office at any campus and purchase a new University/Library card.

    External Borrower Cards can be purchased at the Circulation/Loans desk at Bennett, Belzberg or Surrey Libraries. For rates and other useful information, please see Services for External Borrowers.

    Research assistants who are paid directly by the professor (and not on the university payroll) may apply for a free External Borrower Card at any campus. An application form can be obtained from the Circulation/Loans desk. This form must be countersigned by the Professor, and should then be presented to the Circulation/Loans desk. Cards will be issued in the name of the assistant c/o the Professor and will carry the same borrowing privileges as the Professor.

    New faculty not yet on payroll

    New faculty are eligible for a library card up to 3 months in advance of their appointment. If you cannot yet get a regular card, please visit the loans counter at any SFU Library branch. Library staff will issue you a temporary card upon written proof confirming your status (e.g. letter of appointment from Faculty/Dept., Departmental memo).

    Your temporary library card will provide you with the full range of faculty borrowing privileges,

  • Closed Storage is an area of the W.A.C. Bennett Library (SFU Burnaby) that is only accessible by library staff.

    To request that a specific item located in closed storage be retrieved for you, look up the item in the Library catalogue, and use the Request function as you would for a book on loan or at another campus (see Request instructions). Items requested online, Monday to Thursday, will be available from the Circulation/Loans desk on the next day, after 4 pm. Items requested Friday, Saturday or Sunday will be available on Monday of the following week after 4 pm.

    Requests can also be made in person at the Circulation/Loans desk and are usually available the same day. Closed storage runs for in-person requests are made at the following times:

    • Monday - Thursday 9am, 1pm, 4pm, 8pm
    • Friday - 9am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm (the library closes at 10pm)
    • Saturday - Sunday 11am, 3pm, 7pm

    You can also Request these items for delivery to our other campus libraries. Allow two working days after your request for the item to arrive at Belzberg Library (SFU Vancouver) or Fraser Library (SFU Surrey). 

    For further assistance, contact Bennett Loans staff at 778.782.4345, by email, or in person.

  • Articles in journals not at SFU Library may be directly requested through many of our databases by clicking on "Get@SFU" or you may fill in an Interlibrary Loan request.

    • If you are a a credit student, faculty or staff member and want a book or journal article which isn't at SFU, all will be answered in the Inter-Library Loans guide.
    • If you are not a member of the SFU community and want to borrow an item from SFU:
      * If you live in the Lower Mainland you can purchase an External Borrower Card for $100.00 per year, which would enable you to borrow items from the SFU libraries.
      * You can ask your Public Library or the library at the college or university that you are affiliated with to obtain the item on interlibrary loan for you.
    • If you are from another library, please see our ILL Guide for Other Libraries.

    For more information, please contact the Inter-Library Loans librarian at: