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  • Integrating Library Resources in Canvas

    Your best bet for integrating library resources into your course is to use persistent links.

    For many databases, you can simply copy and paste the persistent link to provide access.

    Databases may use different terminology for their persistent links. You may see the following:

    • Permalink
    • Bookmark
    • Direct Link
    • Share
    • URL
    • Stable URL
    • Permanent URL

    If you're unable to find a way to link to a resource, please ask!

    In all EBSCOhost databases you can create persistent links to:

    • Articles within journals, newspapers, or magazines.
    • The “landing page” for a specific journal, newspaper, or magazine.
    • Scholarly books.

      In EBSCOhost databases—a persistent link is called a permalink.

    In all Gale Databases, you can create persistent links to:

    • Encyclopedia entries or articles or other content.
    • The "landing page" for a specific encyclopedia or ebook. 
    • Subject collections. (i.e. a listing of encyclopedias in a specific subject area, such as Medicine)

      In Gale databases—a persistent link is called a bookmark.

    Proxy URL

    In some cases, a persistent link won't have all the information needed in order to make it functional both on and off campus. In this case, you'll need to do it manually by pasting the proxy URL in front of the persistent link.

    The proxy URL is:

    Example (Before)

    A direct link to an article in Project Muse before the proxy URL has been added:

    Example (After)

    A direct link to an article in Project Muse after the proxy URL has been added: 

    External Tools in Canvas

    Instructors can take advantage of the Library's Films on Demand and AVON/Alexander Street Video subscriptions to add streaming videos directly to your page through a tool integrated in Canvas. Because the tool connects Films on Demand and Canvas there is no need to worry about ezproxy strings and authentication.

    Insert the Video Link in Canvas

    • Add an item, typically in a module
    • Select "External Tool" as the item type
    • Find the tool you're looking for.
    • Search in the window for the title of your video.
    • Select the correct item  

    The video will play on and off campus and on mobile devices. Again, there is no need to fuss with the ezproxy prefix. The usual video options in the controller bar apply (e.g. view full screen, display closed captioning if available, and playback speed.)

    Why Persistent Links?

    Persistent links in library databases permit you to connect students directly to specific articles, books, and streaming videos without worrying about copyright restrictions.  (The vendors who produce the library databases are responsible for maintaining agreements with publishers regarding copyrighted information.)

    Persistent Links and Copyright

    What are my options for providing reading material to my students?

    When you find a worthwhile reading in a research database, you have several options as to how to make this work available to your students. Among these are making photocopies, putting a copy on reserve in the library, downloading a copy and posting in your course, or linking to the article in the database through Canvas. Issues to consider when deciding on how to make reading material available to students include not only which option would be more convenient for you and your students but also which option falls within Fair Use copyright guidelines.  Providing persistent links to articles or books is a one-stop shopping option that allows the database vendor to handle the copyright issues.

    What are persistent links?

    Persistent links, also called PURLS (Persistent Uniform Resource Locators), stable links, or durable links, are web addresses that remain consistent and seldom change over time.  For example, the VPCC library home page can always be reliably reached at However, a link to an article in one of the library’s databases could change each time you try to access it, because databases often create temporary session links at the moment you access them.

    What are the advantages to providing persistent links?

    • Responsibility falls on the database vendor to handle the copyright issues (e.g., to pay the copyright holder when there is a requirement for that to be done).You don't have to go through the hassle of getting the necessary permissions to: place copyrighted materials in the library's reserves, photocopy the material, or download the full article on your Bb course site.
    • Familiarizes students with research databases.Linking provides students the opportunity to see and use the database without having the added responsibility of evaluating and choosing the information from the database.
    • Students do not have to come to the library.They can access articles anytime and anywhere.

    Why should I use persistent links when I can simply upload an article into my course?

    You can link to an article in a database or e-journal and remain copyright compliant, but you cannot always copy an article and upload it without permission. Failure to follow copyright law can result in fines for VPCC.

    Another good reason is that if you link to an article, the database keeps track of how often it is being used.The librarians use this information when making decisions about journal or database cuts.Let us know the journal is important to you!

    How long will a persistent link stay active?

    A persistent link will remain active as long as the VPCC library or our consortiums continue to subscribe to the given database. In other cases, a database vendor may reorganize its database collections, change their domain name or lose licensing rights to certain periodicals. It is advisable to check links occasionally to make sure they are still active.

    Adapted from Persistent Links & Copyright, Samford University Library and Persistant Links, Oregon State University Libraries

    Embedding Boxes from the Library Website

    You can embed any box from any page on the library website in your course shell.  Send us a link to the library web page containing the box you want to embed, as well as the box’s title/heading, and we'll send you the embed code for the box, as well as instructions for how to do it.