Course Reserves for Faculty


The River Campus Libraries Course Reserves Service allows course instructors to identify physical materials for which the Library should provide controlled access during the semester.

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Information about this Service

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About Course Reserves

Service Updates for Fall 2020 through Spring 2021

  • Course Reserves services for fall 2020 through spring 2021 are available for electronic materials only.

  • We are happy to provide access to library-owned electronic resources. If a specifically requested resource is unavailable, we will refer you to a librarian who will assist you in identifying alternative e-resources for your course.

  • Please be advised that Course Reserves requests generally take a minimum of 7 Business Days to process but may take significantly longer at this time. Requests with incomplete citations will require additional processing time.

  • All Course Reserves requests should be submitted as soon as possible via our online form in order to avoid additional delays.

  • We will strive to ensure all spring semester requests submitted before December 21st are completed and ready for student access by the first day of classes. Requests submitted after this date will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis and completed as quickly as possible.

Placing items on reserve removes them from the general circulating collections and assigns shortened loan periods to ensure availability of high-demand items to the maximum number of borrowers possible. Items are placed on reserve at the request of course instructors and are limited to print and multimedia materials (DVDs, CDs, etc.) used in a course that are in the collection or eligible for addition to the collection. Items are removed from Course Reserves and returned to the regular library collection at the end of the semester during which the course is offered.

In order to facilitate access to materials on reserve, course instructors may request that library staff:

  • Place the following item types on reserve at one of the River Campus Libraries’ Service Desks:
    • items held in the library’s circulating collection
    • high demand non-circulating items in the library collections
    • an instructor’s personal item
    • a physical document, provided by the faculty member
  • Purchase obtainable materials to add to the library collections and place on reserve at one of the River Campus Libraries’ Service desks
  • Reactivate past course reading lists (created Fall 2019 and afterwards) and place items on these lists back on course reserve

Instructors are asked to review the Course Reserves Submissions Guidelines to ensure that their requests are processed as efficiently as possible.


Electronic Course Resource Support

The River Campus Libraries can assist instructors with identifying electronic resources used in courses and will ensure, whenever possible, that the library’s licenses for the selected online resources adequately provide access for the number of students enrolled in the course and are being used in compliance with any use limitations associated with the resource licensing.

Library staff will assist instructors in creating stable links to give students access to electronic resources owned or licensed by the library. Additionally, library staff can provide instructors with guidance in storing and providing access to electronic resources not owned by the library. The library cannot commit to storing or archiving materials that are not owned or currently licensed by the library.

Instructors may add electronic readings to Blackboard courses as links or PDFs. The River Campus Libraries strongly encourage faculty to link to resources rather than uploading a PDF in order to ensure copyright compliance. Linking to electronic readings also allows the library to collect accurate usage statistics for our electronic resources, which inform our decision-making processes for the purchase and renewal of subscriptions. Library staff will coordinate with the University IT Blackboard Support team to provide additional support for instructors who require assistance with adding links and course readings to their Blackboard courses.


Copyright Compliance

Materials may be placed on reserve through the University libraries only in accordance with the University of Rochester Copyright Policy.  Faculty members, instructors or other authorized personnel should carefully review any copyrighted material to be used and determine whether they need to seek permission from the copyright owner. Materials will not be put on course reserves without the copyright owner’s permission unless the fair use factors are met, or unless some other legal exception to the permission requirement applies.

The following rules also apply:

  • All use of materials placed on electronic reserves will be at the initiative of faculty solely for the non-commercial, educational use of students.
  • Materials to be copied or scanned for electronic reserves will be in legal possession by the library or the faculty member (by purchase, license, fair use, etc.) or some other unit of the University.
  • There will be no charge for access. The charge for copies made by students will be limited to the nominal cost of photocopies or laser prints.
  • Any copyright notice on the original material must be included in the material copied or scanned. Appropriate citations and attributions to source must also be included.
  • When possible links to sites where material already is legally available (e.g., article databases) will be used instead of scanning or making a digital copy.
  • To the extent applicable and feasible, use of copyrighted materials on class web pages, in coursepacks, or otherwise outside the course reserve system should follow the above rules.

Full Course Reserves Policy