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

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About Course Reserves

Service Update Spring 2024

  • Course Reserves services are fully restored. Request physical and electronic reserves materials, or both!
  • Please be advised that Course Reserves requests generally take a minimum of 7 Business Days to process. Requests with incomplete citations will require additional processing time.
  • All Course Reserves requests should be submitted via our online form in order to provide access to students as soon as possible.
  • We will strive to ensure all spring semester requests submitted before December 15th 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.
  • Items that are not yet in the RCL collection and need to be purchased may require additional processing time. We will communicate any significant delays.

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
  • Purchase obtainable materials to add to the library collections and place on reserve at one of the River Campus Libraries’ Service desks

Reserves last one semester, and then are returned to regular circulation. Instructors must request materials be placed on reserve each semester they are needed. 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 store or archive 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 do not have access to Blackboard and will refer instructors to the University IT Blackboard Support team to provide additional support for those who require assistance with adding links and course readings to their Blackboard courses.


Films for Courses

We recommend that you construct your syllabus with the aim of using films to which the library has streaming access.  For the most part, these are discoverable via the library's online catalog.  Many films are not available in streaming format.  Please remember that:

  • Many films are not available in streaming format
  • Many streaming films are not available from the library's streaming video databases
  • Most commercial streaming platforms, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime do NOT offer institutional licenses

We will place DVDs on reserve if they are in our collection or available for purchase.  Media needed for Course Reserve can be requested via our online form. If you need assistance determining a film's availability, please contact Tom Clifford.  


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 scanned by digitization services for electronic access 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.
  • Any copyright notice on the original material must be included in the material 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, or otherwise outside the course reserve system should follow the above rules.

Full Course Reserves Policy