SFU VitalSource Pilot

As a response to the COVID-19 situation, the SFU community has united to support an increased online presence for our university community across all three campuses.

With classes moving to online instruction, we have worked together to provide a solution for course materials delivery in lieu of physical textbooks. Since the Summer 2020 semester, we launched a pilot program using the VitalSource web portal for easy access to digital course materials.

By using course materials supplied through VitalSource, students can save a significant amount on physical textbook prices and obtain instant access wherever they are.  

VitalSource includes study tools to support a more efficient reading and review process for all students. Furthermore, digital course materials from VitalSource provide enhanced accessibility options such as text to speech, zooming and font-size adjustment capabilities. 

In line with SFU's core principle of sustainability, this pilot program helps us to curtail our carbon footprint through reduced manufacturing and shipping demands while mitigating waste for a greener future.

You can redeem your VitalSource access code by creating a Bookshelf account at https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/ Click on "Create a VitalSource account" 

We appreciate your patience and understanding in bringing this new pilot to SFU and hope you have a successful, virtual, and safe semester!



  • By buying from SFU Bookstore, you get the correctly assigned book for your class and instant access to the materials.
  • The SFU Bookstore makes VitalSource available to you for your convenience. Your use of SFU VitalSource is voluntary.
  • Please be advised that the personal information you disclose to VitalSource is stored remotely in GCP (Google Cloud Platform) data centers located in the United States. When you use this service, no personal information about you is collected by or for the University. Canadian privacy laws do not apply to personal information you provide directly to VitalSource. You may wish to review the VitalSource privacy policy at https://get.vitalsource.com/privacy-overview before using the service.
  • We advise caution when purchasing textbooks directly from external sources online (not through VitalSource). International and instructor editions from external suppliers such as Amazon might be different than what your instructor has chosen.


Campus eBookstore

SFU Bookstore also uses Campus eBookstore (CEI) to provide eBooks and Access Codes.  You can redeem your CEI code here, at shop.sfu.ca/redeem

Better Grades

Digital course materials are proven to help you achieve better grades. While you still have all the perks of a regular textbook, you can simply do more with digital. Looking for a specific passage? Search the digital course material in seconds.

More Savings

School can be expensive. Thankfully most digital products are the affordable option. Don’t carry around an expensive and heavy textbook; carry your more affordable digital products on your iPad. Save money (and your back).

Total Support

Let’s be honest, we’re all a bit intimidated by new technology. That’s why our support team is here to guide you (and your bookstore) through any technical issues you may have when trying to access your digital products.

BibliU eReader

Campus eBookstore uses BibliU as your eReader. BibliU is a learning enablement platform that leverages digital content management, automation, and analytics to enable more efficient and effective learning. With BibliU, you can provide students with access to 2 million+ learning assets from thousands of publishers, including OER sources. BibliU provides a seamless content access experience for students through SAML integration. An account is automatically created for each student upon book purchase - no need for a code. Accessibility
features such as text-to-speech, speed reader options, screen colour adjustments, and zoom capabilities allow students to study in a way that best suits their individual learning needs. Our accessibility standards meet and exceed EU standards. Students and academics benefit from features such as deep-linking, note synchronisation across all devices, annotation, highlighting, referencing, sophisticated search functionality, offline downloads, and the ability to search notes.

...more about BibliU eReader
Encoding of text
All books are stored on AWS S3 in an encoded format where text is scrambled and unreadable due to the random insertion of additional words and characters. This additional injected
content is indistinguishable from the real content, and requires a unique key as well as our decryption logic to hide it correctly.
Secure storage of offline titles
Titles downloaded for offline use can only be read from within the app. All files stored on the user's device are encoded with our DRM protection as explained above and are additionally
encrypted with AES-256.
Copy/paste limits
Students are allowed to copy/paste text out of a book up to a publisher-set allowance.
Print limits
Students are allowed to print pages out of a book up to a publisher-set allowance.
Concurrent device limits
Students can read from a single internet-connected device at a time.
Limit on offline devices
Students can download titles for reading through the app while offline on up to 2 individual devices.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is VitalSource?

VitalSource is a course materials platform that lets students purchase and access their assigned course materials whenever and wherever they need to.

Why are we adopting this pilot at SFU?

Due to publisher supply chain limitations and the ongoing pandemic, we had to start a pilot program to help students get their course materials as safely, quickly, and efficiently as possible.

Where do I purchase my digital course materials?

Whenever you are ready to purchase, please go to https://shop.sfu.ca/Course/campus

What are the benefits for students?

VitalSource allows you to purchase the ebook duration that fits your studying habits and budget all within one page.  Not only does this contribute to student affordability, it provides instantaneous access for your first day of classes, no delivery wait times, and it's never out of stock!

We strongly suggest you purchase a digital version when possible as you can obtain instant access from wherever you are - letting you learn from home while reducing your carbon footprint!

What email address do I use for VitalSource?

Make sure to use your SFU email account when creating a VitalSource account.

How do I access my VitalSource books I purchased and what are the benefits of using Bookshelf?

Watch this quick video:

Where can I redeem my VitalSource access code?

You can redeem your VitalSource access code by creating a Bookshelf account at https://bookshelf.vitalsource.com/ Click on "Create a VitalSource account"

What should I do if I'm having issues accessing my account or materials?

Please contact VitalSource technical support 24/7 at https://get.vitalsource.com/contact-us.
Or you can use LiveChat to get assistance!
You can also check VitalSource's frequently asked questions first - https://www.vitalsource.com/en-ca/faqs.

What should I do to create an instructor account ?

Please follow the link here


What is Campus eBookstore?

Campus eBookstore (CEI) is a provider for eBooks and Access Codes.

Where do I shop for Campus eBookstore digital course materials?

Shop Online at your Bookstore.  Don’t feel like leaving the couch? No big deal. Go online to your campus bookstore’s website and order the digital course materials you need. They’ve got it all organised for you. Instant fulfillment, instant gratification. Whenever you are ready to purchase, please go to http://www.sfu.ca/bookstore/coursematerials

Where can I redeem my Campus eBookstore access code?

You can redeem your CEI access code here at shop.sfu.ca/redeem

I don't see any books listed for my class, what does this mean?

As Faculty and Departments submit their course materials requirements to the Bookstore, we are continually in the process of obtaining course materials. Please check back closer to the start of the semester. Alternatively, if nothing is listed, this might mean that there are no required or recommended textbooks for the class through the SFU Bookstore, or everything is on Canvas. Please check your course outline and/or contact your instructor for further details. Or ask us on LiveChat.

What should I do if I have questions that aren't answered here?

Please contact the Simon Fraser University Bookstore at textbook@sfu.ca for assistance. Or, click on the live chat icon on the lower right hand corner during store hours, where our live chat agents will be happy to help you!