Western Libraries

Find Online Course Materials

This guide supports instructors in finding online course materials to support teaching and learning during the temporary suspension of in-person services due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Welcome to Western Libraries' guide to locating online course materials in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As instructors are working to move courses online for Intersession and summer 2020 courses, we have developed this guide to help you find the best online resources to use for your courses. You will find information on:

  • The best search strategies to use when looking for scholarly materials online, including journal articles and books. These strategies will also help your students as they are looking for materials for course assignments.
  • How to find open course materials - that is, materials that are freely available and can be re-used for your course
  • Alternative strategies for locating difficult-to-find print resources

Other helpful guides:

Affordable Course Readings and E-Reserves: Western Libraries course readings service primarily uses licenced library resources in the form of e-books, newspapers articles, case studies and journal articles, links to public-facing web resources like OERs and other resources, and copyright cleared materials, and fair dealing to organize an affordable reading list accessible in OWL.


This guide was created by Kristin Hoffmann and Courtney Waugh, Research and Scholarly Communication Librarians. It was developed from the Finding Scholarly Materials Online guide created by Lisa Sloniowski. It is available under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license