Western Libraries

Find Online Course Materials


When your course is online and library locations are closed, you will need to direct your students to online materials. The search tips on this page will help you find specific items for your course, and can be helpful for students who need to find additional resources for particular assignments.

Find materials on a topic

  • Limit your search in OMNI to materials Available Online using the menu on the left hand side of the page, under "Availability" (here's a guide to searching OMNI.)

  • Limit your search in discipline-specific periodical indexes to full-text only (caveat: this may miss some available online materials indexed in other databases)
    • To identify discipline-specific databases, go to a relevant Research Guide and select the Articles tab
  • Check out the Audio and Video Resources guides for non-textual materials

  • Search Google Scholar for scholarly materials that may be findable online

  • Look through the resources in the Expanded and Freely Available Resources guide. Many publishers are providing temporary expanded access to their resources to support online teaching and learning.

  • Ask a Librarian for help

Find a specific item

  • Double-check the entry in OMNI to see if Western Libraries has a version available online (here’s a guide to searching OMNI)
  • Check the library's E-book Directory for information on how to find and download e-books.
  • Check other local libraries’ e-collections - e.g. the London Public Library's Free Digital Library (note: you will need a up-to-date library account with your local public library; you can get a temporary account with LPL)
  • Branch out and look beyond the library (please remember to use information ethically and observe Canadian copyright rules.)
    • Google the citation - maybe someone has put the item online.
    • Look for the author online (social media or institutional email) and ask if they are willing to share the item or the relevant part of the item with you.
    • Ask your research networks … maybe someone has a copy to share?
  • Ask a Librarian for help
  • Buy it: 
    • Identify the publisher and check their website. Some publishers are offering free or discounted e-books or journals during the pandemic.
    • Check the Book Store at Western or your local bookstore and order a book online.
    • Check for new or used books at any of the big vendors (Amazon, Chapters, etc). Sometimes e-books for individual use are available for purchase, although those e-books may only be configured for certain devices.