How to Access the Course Zotero Library

Zotero is a free and popular tool developed by academics for academics for managing bibliographies to share resources like PDFs.

To access the course readings, you’ll need to join our group library for the course. These steps walk you through the process. I can’t just automatically add you to our Zotero group, so you need to request to join it.

If you already have a Zotero account, skip to Step 2. You won’t need to create another Zotero account, but you will need to request access to our group to access the library for this course.

Step 1: Create a Zotero account

If you don’t have one already, sign up for a free account at Creating a Zotero account requires only that you specify a username, password, and email address. You will not get any spam from Zotero or anyone else because of your Zotero account. Use your UNM email address!!!!!

Step 2: Make sure you are logged into

To verify you are logged in, look for a “Log Out” link in the upper right corner of the page.

Step 3: Go to our Zotero Group homepage

Step 4: Click the red “Join” button


I’m logged into, but I can’t find the group library for the course.

I can see the items on the group library page, but I can’t find/open any PDFs.

Using the Zotero website to access the readings will always work, but it’s seriously clunky. I HIGHLY recommend that you download and install Zotero on your computer, so you’ll have a much faster, convenient, and clearer interface to the readings. Use the “Standalone” version. It is a small app that is entirely safe to install.

While in the process of installing the Zotero app, you’ll have the option to link your installation of Zotero to your online account. Be sure to do this! If you complete the installation and have not told your Zotero app about your account, go into the Zotero preferences menu (however you get to application preferences menus on your platform), and select the “Sync” tab. You can enter your username and password there.

Once you have connected the Zotero app to your account, you will see on the leftmost column of your Zotero display, near the bottom, a “Group Libraries” header, and you’ll see a folder with the name of our group library for the course; click on that to see all the readings for the semester.

Double clicking an item opens a PDF, just like on

CAREFUL: If an item has multiple PDFs associated with it (like two book chapter scans), you’ll need to click on the arrow to the left of that item to see all the associated PDFs for that item. Then you can double click the one you want to open. Just double clicking the item opens whichever PDF comes first alphabetically (which normally works since there is normally just one PDF per item).

If you’ve only recently joined the group library, Zotero will take a few minutes to download all the PDFs, but eventually you’ll have all of them on your computer. If I update the Zotero library with a new reading (or a better scan or something like that), you’ll automatically get it.

Stay organized

Especially if you ever have bibliographic research to do, Zotero is incredibly helpful in keeping your sources organized and creating bibliographies for you. Learning how to stay organized in your work (whether school or other professional endeavor) is a crucial skill that you’ll want to develop sooner than later because it will save you tremendous amounts of time. You’ll make more money, be happier, etc. This course is a great excuse to start experimenting with finding a process that works best for you. Your future self will thank you!