FAQs Browse

Can I return books from the public library here?We advise against it. The book will be returned to the public library, but it may take some time and you may be fined. Most of the surrounding area public libraries permit the return of material to other public libraries outside their own system. Click here to see which libraries are part of the Interlink agreement.
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 show a YouTube video in class?

If a video is freely available on the open Internet (e.g., on YouTube), then displaying such a video in an educational class or workshop is acceptable, provided that it is played live from the Internet rather than copied or downloaded. Similarly, displaying a live website (i.e., in the browser) 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. To determine that the material was posted legally, with the permission of the copyright owner, check on the creator's or owner's own website or channel, or check for ads before or during the video (ads often indicate that the copyright owner has given permission after the fact, even if the video was posted by someone else).

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 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)
Can SFU students borrow books from other BC colleges and universities?


There is a reciprocal borrowing agreement with BC colleges and universities (via the BC division of the Council of Post Secondary Library Directors (CPSLD), whereby SFU students, faculty and staff can borrow books from many non-SFU Library institutions.

Simon Fraser University students and faculty will need to show their SFU ID and verify themselves online at the checkout counter of the non-SFU Library by:

  1. Signing into the Library Catalogue and going to the "My Library account" section.
  2. Under Personal Details, viewing the account expiry date.  If the account is not expired, the student or faculty member is considered enrolled or employed at SFU.

Note: Local non-SFU Library borrowing restrictions will apply.