The primary purpose of course reserves is to make limited supplies of course materials available to students in a timely and equitable manner. Course reserves are treated as an extension of classroom copying under Section 107 of the copyright code, and as such must conform to fair use principles.

Reserve material must be accompanied by the following:  a completed course submission form (one per course); a completed item list, including complete citations (whenever items are added).

To allow time for processing, please bring reserve materials to a staff member at the Information Services Desk at least one week before items are to be assigned.  We prefer that faculty (or their student assistants) retrieve library materials that are to be placed on reserve; if you prefer to have library staff retrieve library materials for your course reserves, please allow two weeks for processing.  Processing typically takes a couple of days (or less), but certain times of the semester are extremely busy, and we cannot always guarantee such a quick turnaround.  We will notify you by email when items are ready.

All items will be remain on reserve until you ask us to remove them. Library staff will notify you when items have been removed from reserve; please pick up personal copies promptly.

Library Collections

Physical books, videos, and music from the library’s collection may be placed on course reserve at the request of a faculty member.  Journals and reference materials are not accepted. Copied articles from library-owned journals may be placed on reserve, subject to fair use principles.

Other Materials

Faculty members’ personal copies of books and lawfully-acquired videos and music may be placed on course reserve.  Lawfully-acquired media materials are, in general, purchased originals; copies are not considered lawful for the purpose of the course reserve shelf.

Off-air copies (DVD, or digital) made by faculty members of broadcast programs (programs transmitted by television stations that are free to the public, i.e. the networks and public television, NOT cable or satellite programs) may be placed on reserve once, for no more than 45 days. Faculty-owned journals may be placed on the course reserve shelf in their entirety, as may copies of articles from faculty-owned journals and copies of chapters from faculty-owned books. Copied materials are subject to fair use principles.

Note: because the use of electronic reserves requires digitizing (making a digital copy of) materials, all electronic reserves must meet fair use standards, particularly the standard for brevity.  Unlike physical reserves, where an entire CD, DVD, or video may be placed on the reserve shelf, only brief excerpts of recorded media may be used for e-reserves.

Items that are not acceptable include (but are not limited to)

  • workbooks, worksheets, and other consumables
  • books, DVDs, CDs, or videos belonging to other libraries or video rental stores
  • videos, DVDs, or other copies made from cable and/or satellite broadcasts
  • unauthorized copies of videos, DVDs, CDs, software, or other electronic files

General Guidelines

At the discretion of the library, copies may be limited to one semester on reserve; subsequent uses by the same faculty member may require permission of the copyright holder.

The library reserves the right to limit the number of copies of an item that may be placed on reserve, as well as the amount of a work that may be copied and placed on reserve.

The library may refuse to place any item on reserve if, in the opinion of the librarian, accepting the item would constitute a copyright infringement.

Access to electronic reserves must be limited to currently-enrolled students.

Work by any identifiable student, past or present, must be accompanied by a signed and dated consent form, specifically granting permission for the material to be placed on course reserve.

For more information

Fair Use – definition, how to determine, checklist

Sample policies from other institutions