FAQs Browse

Can I search the catalogue for books located at a specific SFU library?


From the library's catalogue, refine your search results by Library.

Can I sell my course packs through a commercial copy shop?

No. University policy only allows for incurred costs to be recouped on course pack sales to students. Commercial copy shops, in order to maintain a profitable business, charge fees beyond simple cost recovery. The generation of profit from the sale of reproductions of copyright protected works made under fair dealing is not permitted.

SFU Policy Appendix R30.04A - Application of Fair Dealing under Policy R30.04, in section 4.6, states: "Any fee charged by the University for copying or communicating a short excerpt from a copyright protected work must be intended to cover only the costs to the University, including overhead costs."

Please contact the Custom Course Materials Coordinator for more information on how to create a course pack as well as important deadlines.

Can I show a YouTube video in class?

If a video presentation is freely available on the open Internet (e.g., YouTube), then displaying such a video in an educational workshop or presentation is acceptable, provided that it is played live from the Internet rather than copied or downloaded. Similarly, displaying a live website from the open World Wide Web is permissible. Distributing links (even deep links) or URLs to online resources is appropriate, as long as security is not being circumvented and the material has been posted legally.

Can I still borrow books during the holidays?

Materials may be borrowed any time the library is open. For holiday operating hours, see  Hours: Opening & Closing Times.

Can I use food to pay for overdue fines?

Yes, during Food for Fines campaigns. The campaigns usually occur at the end of the semester and last for 3 weeks. You may pay fines with food items - $2 of fines per food item to a maximum of $30 each campaign. Only non perishable food items are accepted although other non perishable household items such as toothpaste will also be accepted.

Can I use my own material from my previous thesis or article(s) in a current thesis?

Yes. Cite yourself as you would any other publication.  The same rules for in-text citations and reference list citations apply.

If there are co-authors involved, you need written permission (email or letter) from your co-authors to include the article in your thesis. 

If you wish to use articles you have already published in a journal, you may need to check your copyright permissions.  Copyright information can be found in your agreement with the journal, on the journal's website, or by phoning the journal directly.


Can I use SLC services if I'm not an SFU student?

The Student Learning Commons (SLC) is mandated to serve currently enrolled SFU students.  We have many online writing and learning resources on our web site which may be of interest and use to other students.

Can I write my assignments on the Library computers? What software is included?

Yes, you can use the computers at any of the three SFU libraries. See our related FAQs on Library computer locations and Library computer logins for information on getting access to Library computers.


SFU Information Technology keeps an up-to-date list of software specifications on assignment computers. 

You can borrow Dell Notebook Laptops from the circulation desks at all three SFU Libraries. These are equipped with assignment software.

For assistance with any technical problem with your assignment workstation, contact the appropriate IT Services division for your campus.

At W.A.C Bennett Library at SFU Burnaby, visit the IT Tech Help Desk on the third floor for help.

Internet access

All workstations and laptops come equipped with a variety of web browsers. You may access your SFU Connect email client or external email providers though the browser.

See the Public Computer Policy for restricted and prohibited activities.

Research support

See the Research Commons' page on Research Support Software for more information.

See also:


Can Library Reserves link to full-text resources that the Library has already paid for, such as e-journals and e-books?

Generally yes, though there are a few exceptions. Contact Library Reserves for more information.

Can my company buy a card for any employee to use?

Yes, an authorized company representative may purchase External Organization Borrower cards by submitting an Application form to Management, Loans Division. All borrowing is subject to the Loans Policy and fines.

Fees/Cards: $200.00 flat rate for the purchase of 3 individual cards ($5.00 replacement fee per card). Term: for a period of one year from date of purchase.

External Organization borrowers may:

  • Use research assistance and materials at all three libraries;
  • Borrow general circulating material at all libraries, under the same loan periods as undergraduates;
  • Request books that are out on loan to other users;
  • Request items, with the exception of specialized collections such as audio and video material, to be transferred from one campus to another;
  • Access selected licensed electronic resources (databases, electronic journals, etc.) from within the Library buildings.

External Organization borrowers may not:

  • Use multimedia equipment and games held by the SFU Surrey Library, which are only accessible to SFU Surrey students;
  • Borrow 16 mm films, videos or DVD's from the SFU Library;
  • Use Interlibrary Loan or Document Delivery services;
  • Access Reserve materials;
  • Access licensed electronic resources from outside the Library;
  • Request journal article photocopies;
  • Access SFU's wireless network (a valid SFU computing account is required)