Canvas Sidebar

Library Resources in Canvas

Canvas is CSN’s newest Learning Management System for online courses. Replacing ANGEL in the Fall of 2013, Canvas provides the same kind of online campus in a much more collaborative environment. Now students and faculty can communicate and learn from each other more easily than ever before.

Adding Library Resources

Adding a variety of Library content such as journal articles, online videos and eBooks directly into your new Canvas course page can greatly enhance the educational experience for your students as you place research resources right at their fingertips. The following directions will show you how to get started.

URLs: a Website’s Address

There are two distinct concepts that allow Library content to be added to Canvas courses:

Persistent Link URLs: persistent links are unique URLs, or web addresses, that identify some type of content (such as a specific journal article).

Proxy Server URLs: Virtually all of the Library’s databases are routed through a “proxy server.” The proxy server allows the Library to provide 24/7 access to our subscription databases regardless of location. The Proxy Server address/URL for the CSN Library is:

Simply placing the Proxy Server URL in front of the Persistent Link URL of an item will allow you to directly link to a journal article (or other content) in your Canvas course.

For some databases, the task of combining the proxy server URL with the persistent link URL has been done for you. This applies to all EBSCO (e.g. Academic Search Premier, CINAHL, etc.) and ProQuest databases, as well as Credo Reference and Films on Demand.

For Example: EBSCO databases will generate a persistent link with the CSN proxy server URL automatically added. Just look for the Permalink icon on the right hand column when viewing an article record:


Copy the Permalink URL and get ready to paste it into Canvas wherever you need it.

You can add an article to an existing assignment by clicking “Assignments” on the left sidebar of Canvas. Then select your assignment and click the “Edit Assignment” button that appears on the right. If you are creating a new assignment, first click “Add Assignment” on the right to give it a name, click “Update” and then “Edit Assignment.” From here you’ll see a blank page where you can add Library content.

If you’re simply adding a link to an article or journal title, first type a name or description for what you’d like students to click on, then highlight the text and select the “Link to URL” button at the top of the screen (the icon with the chain link image). Paste the EBSCO Permalink URL straight into Canvas and students can now access the document. Don’t forget to click the “Update Assignment” button at the bottom of the screen to save it.

Canvas Assignment

Remember: You can add these links to any Canvas page (not just Assignments!). Clicking “Pages” on the left sidebar in Canvas will allow you to edit existing pages (such as your Front Page), or “Create a New Page” using the button on the right if you’d like to make your own new resource page.

Canvas Page

Repeat the same process for linking articles from databases like ProQuest and Credo Reference, (only you'll find the persistent link URL in another location, usually the bottom of the document):


For other databases that do not automatically attach the CSN proxy server URL, such as the eBook collection Gale Virtual Reference Library or JSTOR, you must create the complete persistent link by adding the CSN proxy server URL to the article persistent link URL (again, usually found at the bottom of the document).

Example from Gale Virtual Reference Library:


To create a persistent link from the “Document URL” above, simply attach the CSN proxy server URL. The final persistent link URL will look like this:

If you have a difficult time locating the persistent link for any article or document from any database, or if you need assistance in creating a persistent link for any library resource, please contact the Library at:

Adding Videos

Adding videos from CSN Library databases into Canvas is very similar to the above directions no matter which video collection you use. For Films on Demand you can copy the “Title URL” or “Segment URL” to create a link in Canvas.
For VAST Academic Videos, click the “Embed/Link” icon to copy a link to the video, but make sure to add in the proxy server URL. VAST does NOT add the proxy server in automatically, as Films on Demand does.

Adding Subject Guides

CSN Library Services has developed Subject Guides for academic disciplines, professional and technical programs, and courses and assignments. Link one to your Canvas page and use it as a resource for your course by copying and pasting the url as is.

The URL for the Subject Guide can be found on the left side, near the top:

Subject Guide

Research 101

You can also link to our Library’s research tutorial Research 101 using the URL:

Information Literacy Quiz

The Information Literacy Quiz has been designed to help you assess your students’ level of information literacy.

The Quiz reflects the skills taught in the Research 101 tutorial, where you can access an interactive electronic version and a PDF version through the Test Yourself tab. Email the library for a copy of the answer key.

You can also embed an interactive copy on your course’s Canvas page (directions below). The quiz will be scored automatically with results accessible through Canvas.

  1. Right click on this link and save (using “save target as” or “save file as”) to your computer.
  2. In your Canvas course, select “Settings” in the left sidebar and then the “Import Content into this Course” button on the right.
  3. Select Content Type “QTI .zip file.” Find where you saved the file in step #1 (usually the Desktop or Downloads folder), select the file (, and click “Import.”
  4. Canvas will begin to import the data and send you an email when done (it shouldn’t take more than a minute or two).
  5. The Information Literacy Quiz will now appear as an Unpublished Quiz when you select your “Quizzes” on the left sidebar of Canvas. You can view the questions, answers, and settings with the “Edit Quiz” pencil button.
  6. Be sure to PUBLISH the quiz before having students take it.


Incorporating electronic Library resources into Canvas inevitably brings up questions regarding copyright law. Copyright issues related to the digital classroom are largely governed by the Technology Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act, passed in 2002. The links below offer information and guidance regarding copyright issues as they relate to the TEACH Act and Course Management Systems, such as Canvas:
Guide to the TEACH Act (from the University System of Georgia)
Posting Copyrighted Materials Online (from Indiana University)
Stanford Copyright & Fair Use Center (from Stanford University)