Answered By Library Staff
Last Updated: May 22, 2024     Views: 80

(!) Please note that most librarians do not have access to Blackboard in the same fashion that instructors do and do not automatically have access to your courses to help you troubleshoot. Online Learning staff are typically in a better position to help answer your Blackboard questions. (!)

As a workaround to the low score on a .pdf file, Blackboard Help recommends adding a "library reference." This requires a link to access options for the library version of the content, sometimes a physical printed copy for the student to use instead if they need to. To get a link for a "library reference," search our Discovery Catalog on the Library Homepage, find the material (even if we don't own it, it will provide a link to an item the student can use to interlibrary loan the material for free as an access option), and use the permalink to the material within the "library reference." If you have trouble finding a library access option link, please contact your liaison librarian and let them know what material you are trying to locate. They will be able to find a link you can use to improve your score. 

We recommend searching the catalog by ISBN to match the specific edition of your pdf from a book. 

Please note that if you are taking material off the web, such as a news article that is freely available, and turning it into a .pdf file for your students to access, this is unnecessary as you can just link to the content site within your Blackboard course. It might also be a violation of copyright to share the .pdf instead of linking. If you are worried about a paywall for a news article, you might try finding the library version of the article and use the database link instead. Please see this FAQ on why linking is the preferred method to share copyrighted content over making a copy of it. 

The Access Services Office also has access to Adobe software to run .pdf files through ocular character recognition (OCR), which can help make .pdfs more accessible. Please only reach out about OCR if you are not covered under the college's Adobe subscription. See Adobe's help on how to run a file through OCR.