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Copyright law permits some inclusion of articles, ebooks, and other sources in a Scholar-hosted course (see our copyright pages for details), the library prefers you link to these sources for more accurate usage statistics, which are important when subscriptions are reviewed. We offer detailed instructions for creating persistent links to these sources.

When you are using the campus network to access these sources (wired or wireless), the provider recognizes you are part of the Virginia Tech community and allows access. When outside the campus network (using cellular networks, home or corporate ISPs), you'll need to take the extra step of using Off Campus Sign In to gain access. By first signing in and then copying the resulting proxied URLs, you'll ensure off campus users can access these links.

Faculty and GTAs can link to library resources for their course sites in Scholar, the university's Course Management System. Typical places to add these links include the Forums, Resources, and Syllabus tools. The procedure for adding links to each of the tools is detailed below. Scholar users should use persistent links whenever possible to ensure ongoing access. We have a list of suggested pages you can link to.

Forums

Forums is a communication tool that instructors or site leaders can use to create an unlimited number of discussion forums for their course or project sites. The Forums tool is designed to be an effective tool for both academic and collaborative work, and is integrated closely with other tools such as Resources and Gradebook.

To compose and post a message about a forum topic:

  1. From the Forums tool, click the title of the topic for which you'd like to post a message.
  2. Click Post New Thread. The Compose Forum Message screen will open.
  3. Next to "Title", type the subject (i.e., title) of your message.
  4. Under "Message", use the WYSIWYG editor to compose your message.
  5. Under "Attachments", you can attach a file from your local computer or from Resources, or specify the URL for a file on the web.

    When creating a new item, some tools give you the option to add attachments. You can add any number of attachments, and they can be any combination of local files, web sites, and items stored in Resources. To add an attachment, follow the appropriate instructions below:

    • To attach a local file from your computer, under "Upload local file", click Browse to find and select the file on your computer.
    • To attach a URL, under "URL (link to website)", type (or paste) the URL in the box provided, and then click Add.

      Note: You do not need to include the http:// when you type the URL.

    • To attach an item from Resources, under "Select a resource", click Attach a copy next to the file you want to add.

      Note: You can attach a file from one of your other sites (including your My Workspace area), provided the file's Access properties are set Display to non-members (publicly viewable). To browse for files in other sites, click Show other sites.

    As you add attachments, they appear in a list under "Items to attach". When you've selected all the files, web sites, and Resource items you wish to attach, review this list, and then click Remove if there are any errors.

    When you're finished, at the bottom of the screen, click Continue. You should see all your items listed under "Attachments".

  6. When you're finished:
    • To post your message, click Post Message.
    • To cancel your message without saving it, click Cancel.

Note: If the forum or topic is moderated, your message will appear as "PENDING" until approved by a moderator.

Resources

Using the Resources tool, you can share many kinds of material (including files, links to other websites, and simple text documents that display within the page) securely with members of your site, or make them available to the public.

To add a Resources item that is a URL to a web site:

  1. In your site's menubar, click Resources
  2. Next to the folder to which you want to add the URL, from the Add menu, click Add Web Links (URLs)
  3. For each resource, type (or paste) the URL in the box. (You may omit the http:// prefix.)
  4. Add a title for your URL link resource. If you don't add a title, the URL will be used as the title of the resource
  5. To add a description, and control access and visibility, click Add details for this item:
    • Next to "Description", enter text to describe the site to which you're linking
    • Under "Availability and Access", control who can access the URL and when it's available, as follows:
      • To display the resource to site members only, select Only members of this site can see this file. (This option is not available if the folder to which you're adding the resource is publicly viewable.)
      • To share the resource with another site to which you belong (e.g., as an attachment to a syllabus item for another course or project you're leading), select This file is publicly viewable. (This option is not available if the folder to which you're adding the resource is publicly viewable.)
      • To display the resource only to selected groups, select Display this file to selected groups only., and then select the group(s) that should have access. (This option does not appear if you don't have any groups in your site; for more, see Managing groups.)
      • To show or hide your resource, or set a beginning and/or ending date for its visibility, click the appropriate selections. (This option does not appear when you're adding an item to Resources in My Workspace.) Site administrators will always be able to see hidden items, even when they are hidden from other users.
    • To add detailed descriptors, click Optional properties. You can then add information to the following fields:
      • Alternate Title
      • Creator
      • Publisher
      • Subject and Keywords
      • Date Created
      • Date Issued
      • Abstract
      • Contributor
      • Audience
      • Audience Education Level
  6. To add another URL, click Add Another Web Link.

    Note: To remove a URL from the list of URLs to add, click the red X next to it.

  7. Next to "Email Notification", specify whether or not you want to have members of the site notified automatically via email when the resource is posted. (This option does not appear when you're adding an item to Resources in My Workspace.)

    Note: The notification email message will include the web site title and description (if you entered one), and the URL.

  8. Click Add Web Links Now to finish.
Syllabus

As an instructor, if you or your department has prepared an online syllabus already, you can direct the Syllabus tool to link to it. Otherwise, you can enter material to post directly to your Syllabus tool. You can make your syllabus visible to the general public or just to members of your site.

To display an external URL, such as a library web page or an online article reading assignment:

  1. From the menubar, click Syllabus.
  2. Click Create/Edit, and then Redirect.
  3. In the "URL" field, type (or paste) the URL for the page you wish to display as your syllabus.
  4. Click Save


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