How to Integrate Library Resources into Your Blackboard Course Pages

This page will help you integrate library resources into your Blackboard course pages.  If you have any questions about any of this functionality, email You can find instructions and how-to guides for configuring and using Blackboard in the Drake ITS Knowledge Base.

Using Library Pages in Your Classes | Adding a Link to a Library Web Page  |  Adding a Link to the Library Catalog   |  Adding a Link to an Online Journal  |   Adding a Link to an Article in a Database or Online Journal Adding a Link to Drake’s Digital Collections  |  Adding a Link to E-Reserves  |  Adding a Librarian as a Co-Instructor  |  Blackboard Scholar | Academic Writer

Using Library Pages in Your Classes

Adding a Link to a Library Web Page in Your Course Menu in Blackboard

  • Log into Blackboard and select your course.
  • In the Course Menu toolbar choose Add Menu Item that appears as a plus sign.  Show me.
  • Select “Web Link” to add a single link or select “Blank Page” if you’d like to add several links from the Library.  Show me.
  • Name the link and enter the web address for a Web Link, or name the Page and add links if you’ve chosen Blank Page.
  • Click Submit. Your web link or blank page will appear at the bottom of your course menu.

Library pages that may be useful to your students:

Cowles Library home page (
Law Library home page (

Links to Research Guides (subject or course specific), the Library’s database lists, links to specific databases, electronic journals, electronic reserves and more are available.  Librarians are always available to assist you in assembling links.  Please contact your subject specialist or use our Ask a Librarian service to obtain assistance.

Adding a Link to the Library Catalog (Primary tool for finding Books)

Links to search screens:

Links to search results in the Catalog

Linking to individual records or searches in the Library catalog is not as seamless as one would like, but it is possible!  If you have questions or need help, contact

How to create URLs to link to the Library catalog:

Copy and paste one of the following links, replacing the red text with the appropriate information. Use the characters “%20” (without the quotes) instead of a space, as spaces are not allowed in URLs.

If you have an ISBN:,contains,ISBN
If you have an ISSN:,contains,ISSN
If you want to link to a TITLE SEARCH:,contains,eminent%20chinese
If you want to link to an AUTHOR SEARCH:,contains,munro,%20alice
If you want to link to a SUBJECT SEARCH:,contains,african%20americans

Adding a Link to an Online Journal

Link to the Cowles Library Find Journals page for your preferred journal. Here are a few reasons why we recommend this option:

  • Publishers frequently change their URLs without advanced notice. By linking to the Find Journals page, your students will always be able to find the journal you are assigning regardless of publisher URL changes.
  • The date range for full text availability changes and it also varies from database to database. Using the Find Journals search box, students will be able to select the database that has full text for the desired date.
  • A database server may be down or the quality of full text may be inadequate. Students may be able to go to another database for full text.

Here is how to find a specific journal

  1. Go to the the Cowles Library Find Journals page
  2. Perform a search for your preferred journal.
  3. Depending on the library’s holdings and the scholarly level of the journal, you may be directed to results in BrowZine or in SuperSearch.
    1. If you are directed to BrowZine, copy the URL and add the proxy prefix.
    2. If you are directed to SuperSearch, locate the desired result and click View Online. Choose a database with your desired date range and right click on the link to copy the URL.
  4. Paste the resulting URL into your course page.

Adding a Link to an Article in a Database or Online Journal

You can create links to any of the articles available through Library databases and online journals.   Unfortunately, however, the process of creating a link varies from database to database.

In order to create a link to an article, you need to use a persistent link. These are sometimes called “persistent URLs” or “stable URLs.”  Note that, in most cases, the URL provided when you do a search in a database will not work as a “persistent URL”!  Please refer to the “list of instructions” below.

CAUTION: In order for your students to be able to access the articles from off campus, the persistent link needs to include the prefix for the Libraries’ proxy server. If the persistent URL does not have this prefix, you can add it to the front of the link. The proxy server prefix is:

Cowles Library provides a list of instructions for how to create persistent links to articles in many databases we offer:

Example of creating a “persistent link” and a “persistent link with proxy attached”:

Persistent URL for an article:

Link for off-campus access with the proxy server prefix:

Adding a Link to Drake’s Digital Collections

EscholarShare, Drake Digital Collections, and Drake University Political Papers are potentially valuable resources for use in your classroom.

  • EscholarShare, Drake’s institutional repository, contains links to dissertations, theses, articles, books, and other content by Drake authors.
  • Drake Digital Collections contain historic documents, photographs, and other artifacts that have been digitally scanned to make them available online.
  • The Drake University Political Papers Collection consists of the congressional papers of senators and members of the House of Representatives from Iowa, as well as records related to the Iowa Caucus and Iowa politics in general.

All URLs in these two resources do not need a proxy prefix added to them; simply locate the desired resource or collection, and copy/paste the URL into your course page.

Adding a Link to E-Reserves

You can create links to E-Reserves at the Course Page level, at the Documents Page level or to an individual document. For each of these links, your students will be prompted for the course password (established when you created your E-Reserves course page), so you should provide the password in Blackboard along with the link. Get more information about setting up E-Reserves.

Go to the Drake E-Reserves page and find your course page.

The Course Info tab of your course page contains a Persistent URL (web address) you can use to link directly to your course page. (see screenshot below).  The course iD is assigned internally by the E-Reserve system and is not to be confused with the Course Number in MyDUSIS.  Copy the URL from your browser after you open your course page.  The format of this link is:{E-Reserve course id}

The URL (web address) for linking to your course reserves page. click for larger image


To link directly to a single document, click on the document from the Documents tab, and copy the URL from your browser. Again, E-Reserves creates a persistent URL (web address) for each document and associates its own id. The format of this URL is:

Linking to an individual reserve document. click for larger image

Adding a Librarian as a Co-Instructor

Librarians can serve as co-instructors within Blackboard courses, and can provide valuable virtual help.

Adding a librarian as a co-instructor requires setting up the librarian as a course user.  Please submit a request for Blackboard User Addition or Removal and select “Request Service” to provide the course information and Librarian’s name or User ID that you would like to have added to your course.  You will want to use the “User Addition” option and the BB Course Role called “Librarian”.  Contact if you would like a recommendation of a specific Librarian appropriate for your course.

NBC Learn

Blackboard provides a video resource named “NBC Learn.” These videos consist of short news stories from NBC News related to a variety of current interest topics.

Cowles Library offers a wide range of video, audio and image resources that may be of considerable value in instruction. In many cases these videos and other resources can be directly incorporated into your course pages. Librarians will work with you to select and link the best media resources for your class, whether from the open web or from our licensed resources. You can find more information on our Find Videos, Images and Sounds page.

In addition to database media resources, Cowles librarians are creating an ever-growing body of original, Drake-specific videos concerning information literacy, the use of specific resources, and other guides and instructional tutorials. You can view our instructional and reference videos on YouTube. If you don’t see the particular topic or resource you’d like, please contact us — we’ll be happy to prepare a guide that meets your needs.

Academic Writer (formerly APA Style CENTRAL)

Academic Writer assist students, instructors and researchers in the education and proper application of APA Style formatting rules and offers expert tools and guidance on the scholarly writing and research processes. Because Cowles Library subscribes to Academic Writer, you can add links in Blackboard to these tools, which include self-paced tutorials, videos, and quizzes. Use the links below for instructions:

Link to Academic Writer from within a Course

Import APA test sets into Blackboard

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