University Library Support for Remote Teaching During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Over the last few weeks, the University Library has received several inquiries from instructors regarding the breadth of resources available to support remote teaching in spring and summer 2020.  I am pleased to note that, while our physical facilities remain closed, instructors continue to have access to the Library’s rich course content, robust technological tools and expert assistance – albeit delivered in sometimes new ways.  We encourage you to reach out to us with any specific questions or needs you may have – we are here to help in any way we can and will work with you to find an appropriate solution.

Additional information about the separately-administered Health Sciences Library’s response during the crisis can be found at

Remote Learning with Echo360

Are you interested in recording and uploading your lecture material right into Avenue – all with a few clicks?  The Campus Classroom Technologies team supports Echo360 for both in-class and remote use.   The platform, which supports online discussions, note taking and automatic captioning, can be set up in three simple steps (you’ll be up and running in less than a few minutes!).  Visit the Echo360 website or send us an email and we’ll arrange a Zoom or MS Teams one-on-one consultation at your convenience.

Finding Rich Course Content

We know that many of you are looking for content to use in your courses.  Please know that, if it’s specific books, films, or articles you need, our collections librarians can often purchase online versions.  Please contact us or request via our “Recommend a book, film, or journal” form.

As well, many publishers are temporarily providing expanded access in response to COVID-19.  We can help determine if resources you need are available through these sources.  And of course, our vast collection of online resources, some 1.4 million titles including more than 600,000 e-books, remains available to support your students.

We are very excited to announce a new electronic reserves service that will provide your students with seamless access to course readings. Library staff will scan your course readings and upload them to our new e-reserves product. eReservesis set to launch in the next few weeks.

Are you looking for free, openly available digital textbooks for your courses?  Check out the OER by Discipline Guide, which links high quality open educational resources with McMaster’s academic faculties. More information about open educational resources is available in our Open Educational Resources research guide.  We also encourage you to explore the Campus Store’s digital textbook service as a source of both free and purchased textbook content.

Supporting Your Students’ Learning

Do you need help encouraging your students to access, evaluate and cite information accurately and ethically?  Our Library Learning Support team can provide synchronous or asynchronous information literacy instruction sessions for your courses. They can provide guidance on integrating information literacy and active learning into online learning environments and create customized course research guides, and learning objects that can be integrated into your Learning Management System.

The Learning Support team also offers research consultations and virtual drop-in office hours for both undergraduate and graduate students via phone, email, Teams, Zoom or Skype. The team will be creating a series of research centered modules and leading a series of online workshops on library and research skills to assist students in the Spring and Summer terms. Stay tuned for an updated Event schedule.

For instruction related to primary source literacy, archival literacy, and book history, our Distinctive Collections team are available to provide remote classroom sessions, including experiential learning activities where feasible and appropriate. Contact Archives and Research Collections to discuss possibilities for your course.

The Maps, Data, GIS team collaborates with instructors to integrate a wide variety of digitized materials, datasets, and software into instructional activities. These include numeric and geospatial datasets, statistical resources, GIS software, and digitized maps and aerial photographs. Support can be obtained by contacting (maps and aerial photographs), (numeric datasets and statistical resources), or (GIS and geospatial data).

McMaster Library’s DASH service supports students using data and analysis software applications (such as Excel, SPSS, R, and Python) in their coursework and research.

The Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship continues to support digital scholarship instruction through virtual consultations and collaborations with faculty, instructors, and students. Inquiries can be emailed to

Creating New Media

If you are considering alternate ways of designing assignments that might include podcasts, videos, posters or other types of media, the Lyons New Media Centre offers a variety of services to assist you and your students.

Our Lyons staff can create tutorials on various media subjects that can be added to your course and point you to various software that is free/open source or temporary access during the pandemic (including Adobe Creative CloudAudacityGimpiMovie and Windows Movie Maker).

Our Digital Media Specialist also offers online office hours along with specific sessions for students in a particular class. Lyons staff are available to answer any media related questions. Go to the ‘Get Help’ tab on the Library website and click ‘Media help’.

Leveraging LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning is available for all McMaster students, faculty, and staff as part of a collaboration between LinkedIn, eCampusOntario, and Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. LinkedIn Learning is an industry leader in online training, with a digital library of over 13,000 courses and videos covering a wide range of technical, business, software and creative topics.

You can create learning paths and customized video collections for use in your classes from thousands of courses and videos on LinkedIn Learning. For help getting started, see this LinkedIn Learning library guide, or email with any questions you may have.  We would be glad to help you embed this content in your courses.

Still Need Help?

The staff of Mills, Innis and Thode libraries are always available to answer any questions you may have. Please go to the “Get Help” tab on the Library website for further assistance.

For Health-related inquiries, please contact the staff in the Health Sciences Library or consult their Service Changes in Response to COVID-19.