George Mason University

Library Resources for Faculty Using Blackboard

We suggest that you first determine what library links you want in your course, make a note of the URLs (with copy/paste), and then add them to your course all at once. If you are adding several library links, you might want to organize them into a folder (see Organize! page).

Several general library links are listed below, but to maximize usefulness, we suggest that you add links that are as specific as possible to the needs of your course. For example, you might provide links to specific research guides in your discipline, or to specific databases or journals, rather than just linking to the Libraries' website.

Librarians are happy to work with you to help determine appropriate library links for your course or to help you build a course-specific research guide that can be embedded into Blackboard. Contact your department's Liaison Librarian or Educational Services for more information.

 

Linking to e-reserves
  1. First, set up your e-reserves list with the Libraries. You'll need to provide information about yourself, your class, and the items you want on reserve for your class. Libraries staff will locate and scan the items, and will secure all necessary copyrights (if applicable).
  2. Once your e-reserves have been set up, use this link generator to get a URL that links directly to your course e-reserves. You will need to provide the course password.
  3. Copy the URL that is generated and paste it when you create the link as described in the "Creating a Web Link" section below.

 

Linking to Databases, Articles, and Other Items

How to link to a specific library database

  1. Navigate to the database in your browser. You can find the database either by subject category or from an alphabetical list.
  2. To make a database accessible from off-campus, your browser request must pass through the proxy server. Add the following code to the beginning of the URL that you wish to proxy:
  3. http://mutex.gmu.edu/login?url=

    For example, if the database you wished to link to were located at http://bestdatabase.com, then the URL you would build would look like this:

    http://mutex.gmu.edu/login?url=http://bestdatabase.com

  4. Paste this revised URL when you create the link as described in the "Creating a Web Link" section below. By going through the proxy server, you will be prompted for your login information. Access is restricted to holders of Mason IDs. Databases can be used without a login from computers located on campus, such as in libraries and computer labs.

How to link to a specific article

You can create links to some articles available through Mason Libraries' databases. In order to link to a specific article, you need to use a persistent link, also known as a persistent URL or stable URL.

  1. Locate the article in the database. Make sure that the full-text of the article is available through the database or through the Mason Libraries' article linker, as you do not want to link your students to an article we don't have access to.
  2. Some databases have persistent links at the article level. Copy and paste the persistent link into Blackboard as described in the "Creating a Web Link" section below.

    Example from ProQuest Research Library:
    persistent link, ProQuest
  3. To make a database accessible from off-campus, your browser request must pass through the proxy server. However, some databases do not include our proxy server in the persistent link.

    Example from Academic Search Complete:
    persistent link, EBSCHO Copy the persistent URL from the database, and add the following code to the beginning of the URL that you wish to proxy:
  4. http://mutex.gmu.edu/login?url=

    For example, if the article you wished to link to were located in an EBSCOHost database like Acacdemic Search Complete, then the URL you would build would look like this:

    http://mutex.gmu.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=48924218&site=ehost-live

  5. Not all databases contain persistent URLs at the article level. If you are having trouble linking to an article, contact Educational Services.

How to link to a specific item in the library catalog

  1. Navigate to the item of interest in the catalog (typically by searching for it).
  2. Scroll down in the item record to locate the URL marked "Persistent Link to this Record."
  3. Copy the Persistent Link URL and paste it when you create the link as described in the "Creating a Web Link" section below.
General Library Links

Listed below are several general library links that you might also link to, but we suggest that whenever possible, you link to those resources that are most directly relevant to your students' needs, as described above.

Mason LIbraries' Website library.gmu.edu
E-Reserves search http://furbo.gmu.edu/cgi-bin/ers/OSCRgen.cgi
Course Reserves (print) http://magik.gmu.edu/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&PAGE=rbSearch
InfoGuides (Subject-Based Research Guides & Course Pages) http://infoguides.gmu.edu/
Research Portals http://library.gmu.edu/portals.html
Ask A Librarian http://library.gmu.edu/mudge/IM/IMRef.html
Tutorials http://library.gmu.edu/education/students/tutorials.html

 

Creating a Web Link in Blackboard
  1. To create a link to any Web page from within your course, first copy the URL of the page to your computer's clipboard.
  2. In Blackboard, make sure you're on the Build tab. Navigate to the page in your course in which you want the link to appear, such as your course's Home Page or a Library Resources folder that you have already set up.
  3. Click "Add Content Link," choose "Web Link," and then "Create Web Link."
  4. Blackboard screen shot, Add Content Link menu

  5. Give your link a title (this is the text that students will see) and in the Web Address field, paste the URL that you copied in Step 1. Do not select "Open in a new browser window" unless you want users to be directed outside of the Blackboard site. Click Save.

Blackboard screen shot, title and save weblink

For more assistance, contact the Libraries' Educational Services department at edserv@gmu.edu.