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Planning and Preparing Your Library Materials
December 12, 2012 (published) | June 20, 2016 (revised)
Peggy Hall; Charlotte Waack; Debbie Friedler

Submitted library materials can have many different formats including simple word processing documents, word processing documents with graphics, slide shows, movies, or links to useful websites. However, due to the variety of browsers and versions that the our membership uses, our pages are presented in a style that is most compatible to all versions of internet browser. To streamline the process of setting up a course library, we request you follow the submission guidelines listed in the sections below. This will help expedite the creation of your course library content.


If there is an item that you would like added to the course library that is not covered here, please contact your course facilitator for assistance.

Library Organization

The course area provides access to the course main page, library, classroom, and message board. These become available to the course participants when the course opens (usually 7 days in advance of the first Real Time Session). Library materials are to be turned in to the course facilitator no later than 2 weeks before the course opens. This allows your course facilitator enough time to process your library materials, place them in the course library, and check that everything is properly permissioned before the course participants see them. Your course facilitator will give you a checklist that includes when your materials are due. Your course facilitator is available to assist your preparations for the course so please don't hesitate to ask him/her for assistance.

The course library should contain any items relating to the course topic that you feel will be useful to the course participants. These can be hand outs, suggested reading, web links, videos, images, documents, crossword puzzles, etc.

The library items you provide are placed in either the Library > Class Resources category of the course library or in one of the Weekly categories.

Class Resources Category
This is where the general background materials for the entire course are placed. A list of references, glossary of terms (especially if many acronyms are used), links to the VIN Specialty Centers, Plumb's, or the online Merck Veterinary Manual are typical items for this section of the library.

Weekly Category
Any additional items you have for the Real Time Session lecture topic can be placed in the course library category for that particular week.  So, for example, if you were presenting a lecture on Guinea Pigs for Week 3 and you had a handout listing dietary food sources for Vitamin C, that handout would be placed in the course library under Library > Week 3.

If you are repeating a course, your course facilitator will send you a link to the library of the archived course. Please review the library and create a list of items that you would like copied to the library of the new course. You can request changes to those items after they have been added to the new course library.

New library materials should be submitted to your course facilitator. Please indicate for each item where you want it placed - whether in the Class Resources or one of the Week categories. Please provide written permission (see Copyright) to use any items that you do not personally own.

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Please remember anytime you incorporate content into your Rounds, CE sessions, or course library, VIN/VSPN must be assured that the copyright is either yours or is appropriately recorded to be used in VIN or any of its associated partners. It is recommended that you confirm in writing that you have 'exclusive right' to use the item and to give copyright approval to VIN to upload the item and use it in your course or rounds.

Please email your course facilitator the written approval for copyright use. For an example of what a request to a colleague for copyright permission might look, see Requesting Copyright.

For more information regarding copyright, please see: Copyright and Use of Items

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Journal Articles, Proceedings, Technical Papers

Purchasing a copy of a journal article does not equate to permission by the publisher to include it in the course library. If you would like to include copyrighted material in your course library, such as full-text copies of a journal article, it may be possible to do so. We can ask for an electronic license to do this provided it is not too costly. Most publishers are VERY SLOW to process these sorts of requests so please let your course facilitator know a minimum of 3 months ahead if you want to include these types of materials.  

If you can find an internet site that provides the document to the public without charging a fee, then you can treat it like any other internet item.

Another possibility is to check the VIN Library for technical papers.  See VIN Content for more information.

Alternatively, instead of providing the actual document, you can create a list of article references (see Text Document Guidelines) and leave it up to the participant to decide if they want to acquire the document for further reading.

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General Documents

These are documents that you create.  Things like hand outs, a glossary of terms, references from the lecture, recommended reading, course syllabus, etc.

For repeat courses, you should copy and paste the page from the archived course library to a Word (*.docx or *.doc) document. On the Word document, please use red font to indicate new text, use red strikethrough to indicate any information that needs to be deleted and use red font to indicate any graphics changes.

Participants appreciate a list of references or resources for each Real Time Session or one document that covers the entire course that we can place in the course area library. When creating the reference list, please use APA reference style for your references. Examples of acceptable reference formats for veterinary topics are provided in the Reference Style Guide.

To learn about the APA Reference Style, see: The Purdue OWL: APA Style.

Please follow the Text Document Guidelines when creating and submitting your documents. Remember to designate where the document should be placed in the course library.

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Internet Content

Pulling materials off the internet is a bit tricky with regards to copyright infringement. You can provide a link to anything posted on the internet; online articles, web sites, images, videos, etc.; all of these can make good content for your course library.  But you cannot download the actual item and have it added to the course area library without the written permission of the owner.

For instance, if you found a really interesting video on demonstrating how to trim a cow's hoof, you could use that video link in the course library - sharing the link with others is acceptable. You cannot, however, download the video and put the actual video in the course library without permission of the owner. Since many items available on the internet are put there by people other than the original owner/creator of the item, it just isn't safe to assume the person posting the item is the owner. If you are unsure about the provenance of an item, then don't use it.   

When submitting an internet item for the course library, send your facilitator the entire URL for the item and designate the location in the course library where you would like the link added.

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VIN Content

VIN has many resources available that can be included in the course library.  These include (to name a few):

  • Plumb's Veterinary Drug Handbook
  • Associate Papers
  • VIN Specialty Centers (Resources categorized by specialty disciplines)
  • Journal Articles - Abstracts and many times full articles available without cost
  • Conference Proceedings from many different veterinary conferences
  • Transcripts from VIN Rounds
  • Calculators (Body Surface Area, Transfusion Volume, etc.)

These can be added to the library of any VIN CE course as a link with the following caveats:

  • Participants who are not VIN members will only have access to these documents while the course is open. Once the course closes, non-members will lose access to these materials.
  • VSPN participants cannot access documents from the VIN library, even while the course is open. So VIN content is generally not provided for courses that include VSPN participants.

Send the URL for the journal article, proceeding, or technical paper to your course facilitator and indicate where in the course library you want the link added.

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Acceptable video file formats include: *.wmv, *.mp3, *.mp4, *.mov, and *.swf.

Videos smaller than 200 Mb can probably be sent as an email attachment to your course facilitator; it will depend upon your email server. If the video is too large for an email attachment, talk with your facilitator about using file sharing software such as Dropbox.  

Send your course facilitator an email and indicate:

  • The name of the video file.
  • Audio -  Unless otherwise indicated, the audio track will be stripped from the video during processing.
  • Copyright - If you do not own the video, you will need to acquire written permission from the owner (see Requesting Copyright) for VIN/VSPN CE to use the video.  Please specify the copyright text for the video, e.g. (c) Peggy Hall 2015.
  • Location - Please indicate where in the library you want the video placed.

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Images, Slideshows

Acceptable image formats include: *.png, *.jpg, *.jpeg, *.bmp, *.gif

For a group of images that you would like displayed as a slideshow, please create a PowerPoint presentation to hold the images.  For more information on creating and submitting a PowerPoint presentation, see Slideshows.

For a single image, please email the image at it's highest resolution to your course facilitator.

  • Copyright -  If the image does not have a copyright text, please include it in the body of your email. Your course facilitator will add the copyright text to the image before placing it in the course library.
  • Location - Please indicate where in the library you want the image placed.

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Quizzes and the End of Course Test

Weekly online quizzes and the end of course test are presented completely online using our quizzing system. The quizzes will be placed in the course area library the day after the Real Time Session to which each quiz corresponds. The end of course test will be added to the course library the day after the last real time session.

The questions are multiple choice and are graded automatically upon submission of the completed quiz or test.

If you plan to offer weekly quizzes, it is a good practice to formulate quiz questions pertaining to each week's topic as the course is being developed.

Please see the Quiz and Test Guidelines for information on creating a course quiz or end of course test.

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Multimedia - Educational Games and Learning Interactives

In addition to the typical library materials, the VIN Multimedia department can provide you with educational games (e.g. flash cards, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, concentration, or sliding tiles game) and learning interactives (e.g. interactive case studies). These items take 2 or 3 months to develop, so you must get started on them early.  Speak with your course facilitator if you are interested in adding one or more of these items to your course library.

Examples are provided in the Instructor Resource Center.  Look under Course Library and Message Board in the Browse by Category menu for Learning Exercises and Educational Games.

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