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Inquiry Toolkit: A Guide for Faculty in Course Development

Discipline-Specific Resources

Librarians can offer suggestions for relevant literature:

  • scholarly and popular articles, e-books, online academic encyclopedias, dictionaries, and handbooks
  • multimedia (images, photographs, art, theatre performances, music scores and audiofiles, and video-streaming)
  • government documents, data sets including geospatial data, and maps
  • primary sources (e.g. digitized Early English books 1450-1700, Canadiana, photographs, images, pamphlets, and newspapers)
  • newspapers (current and historic from around the world)
  • open educational resources and open access materials

Librarians routinely compile selections of these tools to support specific courses.  A selection may be compiled for an online course pack or a virtual textbook.

Check our page on Open Educational Resources (OERs) which includes examples of OER repositories around the world and  the many learning objects made by Queen's Library and Queen's Learning Commons.

The library has a world-class collection including learning materials in many formats that would not be included in standard textbooks. To enrich a course with local community, provincial, or national resources, consider the Canadian content in documentaries, data, photographs, maps, or explore the possibilities for primary sources from these collections: CBC’s online collection of documentaries, news reports, and archival material.

odesi: The Ontario Data Documentation, Extraction Service and Infrastructure is a digital repository for social science data, including polling data.

Queen's Library Special Collections: items can be digitized for online use. See A Pocket Cathedral onine exhibit as an example.

Scholar's GeoPortal: A tool to access geospatial datasets licensed by your university library. The GeoPortal includes land-based vector data (water, cultural features, etc.), census geography, orthophotography, and more!

Ares e-Reserve Service

Queen’s Library has a rich electronic collection strengthened by Automated Reserves (Ares). Ares ensures student access to electronic and physical course materials in compliance with copyright and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. 

Through ARES e-reserve, the library will: 

  • Scan print books and journal articles that meet the requirements listed in Queen's Fair Dealing Policy
  • Acquire and process copyright permissions as needed
  • Create and provide links to electronic library resources
  • Adapt materials to meet accessibility standards
  • Make the readings available to students through Moodle

To use ARES e-reserves in your course, you will need to do the following:

1. Create a Moodle course shell and add the connection to Ares.  You can also add Ares to any existing courses that have been migrated to the new version of Moodle. 

2. Submit Ares requests using one of the following two methods:

Option 1: Add course materials yourself. Library staff will check requests to ensure that links are durable and that there are no copyright issues.

Option 2: Submit a reading list through email ( with course details (course name, class size) and complete citations in a WORD attachment.

Copyright Clearance

Course materials must meet the requirements of Queen's Fair Dealing Policy. The Library Copyright Office checks that materials conform to these requirements and will also purchase copyright as necessary to make resources available for the duration of the course. Examples include book chapters that constitute more than 10% of a work or two chapters within the same book.

Course materials, including those requiring the purchase of copyright, are tracked in the ARES database. This ensures that when our copyright to limited-term materials expires, Queen's Library can regulate access. 

Accessible Resources

Queen’s University Library is committed to providing equal access to services and collections. The Library offers a number of services to assist students with disabilities. Please make yourself and your needs known to Michele Chittenden, Coordinator of Library Services for Students with Disabilities.

Requests for textbooks or course materials in alternate formats (such as e-text, digital audio, Braille) can be made through the Library by emailing Carol Tennant at or visiting Carol in her office, Room 120c, the Adaptive Technology Centre.