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Course Reserves

Course Reserves Guidelines for Instructors

Course reserves are an important cost-saving measure for students, and are provided in partnership with the university, library, and instructors.

The Library offers two methods to share course reserves with your students: 

  • Digital materials include library-owned or faculty-provided items such as PDFs, e-book chapters, e-journal articles, etc., and can be requested/uploaded to be discoverable for students on the E-Reserves page (and optionally available on your Brightspace course page).
  • Print and Physical materials are made available at the Library's Circulation Desk on the first floor (see Request Physical Course Reserves for more details).

Please indicate to your students whether you have used e-reserves or physical course reserves for your course materials. We recommend including a link to the Course Reserves for Students guide in your syllabus.


Copyright Notice

The Milne Library policy for reserve collections adheres to fair use guidelines of the United States Copyright Act of 1976. See copyright guidelines specific to Course Reserves

Request E-Reserves

Electronic Course Reserves, or E-Reserves, provide access to digital course readings and other electronic materials on the E-Reserves page.

Faculty can request or upload e-reserves items using the E-Reserves Request Form

Note: Please allow up to 10 business days for your e-reserves request to be processed and your materials to be made available online. If you have an urgent need, please submit the request form and then follow up with an email to

Request Physical Reserves

Instructors must fill out a Physical Course Reserve Request form for each item to place it on course reserve. Faculty may also visit the library to fill out the physical reserves form rather than use the electronic form.

Printed request forms are available at the Circulation/Reserve Desk. All forms should be completed as fully and accurately as possible to ensure that course reserve materials will be easily accessible to your students.

Course Reserve materials are listed in the Course Reserve Catalog where they are searchable by Title, Instructor's Last Name and Course Number.

Note: All reserve materials will be entered into the online catalog by TITLE. Therefore, it is essential for course reserve materials to be listed by title in your syllabus. It is important that both the Instructor's Last Name and the full Course Number (e.g., PSYC100, BIOL228) be listed on the request form because they each provide a point of access to course reserve materials in the online catalog. Course Reserve materials are not always accessible by author. Reserve materials may be listed under more than one instructor and/or under more than one course number. All pertinent information should be indicated on the Course Reserve Request Form.

Return of Physical Course Reserves

At any time, instructors can retrieve personal copies of course reserves directly from the Library Circulation Desk or request their items be mailed through campus mail (items cannot be mailed outside of campus) to their department address by sending an email to

For semester-only reserves: At the end of the semester, if instructors have not picked up their items, the library will mail the items back to the instructor's department address.

Digitization of Print Materials 

The Library offers digitization of existing print reserve items to assist faculty. This limited service depends on available staffing. Digital scans (PDFs) can be added to an e-reserve for your course or in Brightspace for students to access online.

For Requests: Use the Digitization Request form 

  • Please note the specific course reserve item to be digitized, and what specifically should be digitized from that item.
  • The requests will be screened for copyright compliance prior to being accepted for digitization. Once accepted, you will receive an email with instructions to deliver the item, if it is your personal copy, or confirmation that it was retrieved from the stacks if library-owned. You will also receive an estimated time to completion.
  • Library staff will digitize the item and send you instructions for retrieving it, along with instructions for picking up items that are personal copies.

Course Reserve Material Types 

The material types listed here can be applied in both the E-Reserves and the Physical Course Reserves systems. 

  • Library Materials: All library-owned materials may be placed on reserve EXCEPT materials from the Reference, Periodicals (photocopies of articles may be placed on reserve) or Special Collections. Materials owned by other libraries cannot be placed on course reserve. You should locate and bring the library materials to the Circulation Desk to expedite processing. If an item is not on the shelf, we will either recall it or initiate a search for it. The item will be processed as soon as it is located. Library materials will be returned to the stacks at the end of each semester unless an instructor requests that the item be placed on long-term reserve.

  • Personal Copies of Books or Journals: Faculty may place a personal copy of a book, textbook, or periodical on reserve. However, the library cannot guarantee the safety of these items (either by loss or damage). We recommend that personal copy materials be placed in the "restricted" category which allows only a 4-hour use within the library.

  • Course Syllabus, Lecture Notes, Exams: Faculty may place a copy of their course syllabus, lecture notes or exams on reserve.

Copyright Guidelines for Course Reserves

Copyright Guidelines for Course Reserves are considered in compliance with U.S. Code: Title 17, Section 107 governing Fair Use (see Sec. 107 - Limitations on Exclusive Rights: Fair Use below).

Photocopied or scanned course readings are limited to one chapter from a book (not to exceed 10% of the text); one article from any one issue of a journal; one short story, short essay, short poem, or case study from an anthology; one chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, journal or newspaper. Items must fall within the scope of the “fair use” copyright guidelines or be accompanied by appropriate copyright permission forms. 

Specifically, any reproduction — either photocopied or electronic — of copyrighted material that is placed on reserve will conform to the following:

  • Materials placed on reserve will be made available for students and faculty only while the requesting instructor is actually teaching the course, and will be removed after the course is no longer in session.

  • Book selections placed on electronic reserve from works under copyright will not exceed 10% of the total pages in the source.

  • Journal articles placed on electronic reserve from works under copyright will not exceed one article from any issue of the publication.

  • The above limitations are cumulative over the course of the semester.

  • E-Reserves that are reactivated in subsequent semesters for the same course/instructor may require copyright permission. Copyright permission will be sought by the library's Course Reserves staff though the Copyright Clearance Center. Materials for which copyright permission is unavailable may be removed from reserve.

Questions about fair use and copyright can be addressed to

Sec. 107 - Limitations on Exclusive Rights: Fair Use

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include -

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;

  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Note: The electronic provision of copyright-protected works for library reserve service and distance learning are unsettled areas of the law which may be addressed by judicial decisions and/or legislation. The Milne Library will continually monitor legal developments that may affect the Fair Use analysis of e-reserves to ensure that library services are in compliance with the letter and spirit of the U.S. copyright law.