Policy UL-AD18 Course Reserves

Main Policy Content


  • Purpose
  • Background Information
    • Definition
    • Purpose
    • Types
  • Guidelines for Implementation
    • Copyright and Electronic Reserves
    • Copyright and Streaming Audio
    • Streaming Video
    • Licensed Content
    • Copyright
  • Cross References
  • Additional References


To state the University Libraries' position on course reserves.



Library course reserves are materials selected by instructors and course designers to support their class assignments.  Library materials are usually moved from the general collection to the course reserve location and available for restricted loan while specific courses are in session.   Instructor-owned materials no longer needed for course reserve are returned to the instructor.  Library-owned materials are returned to the original collection. 


The purpose of library course reserves is to make a limited number of copies of high-demand materials available to multiple users within a narrowly defined group of users, typically students.  Materials may be placed on course reserve for University courses, seminars, and other instructional groups, but always at the request of instructors or course designers. 


Library course reserves typically fall within two broad categories:

  • Traditional reserves – may include physical books, journals, photocopies of exams or course syllabi, video and audio media. Physical materials not owned by the Libraries may be placed on physical reserve with their owner’s permission. The Libraries are not responsible for damage to or loss of physical materials provided for course reserves. 
  • Electronic/digital reserves – may include electronic formats such as scanned .pdf, .html, .doc, .ppt and streaming audio and video files.


Copyright and Electronic (Text-based) Reserves:

  • Electronic reserves is an extension of traditional print-based library services and will be provided in a manner that respects fair use rights, the rights of copyright holders, and current copyright law. 
  • Only limited amounts of copyrighted material may be reproduced for reserve.  In general, limits are determined based upon copyright status, fair use determination and pedagogical need.   
  • Students will not be charged by the library for access to reserve materials.  
  • Authentication via IP address and University ID and password will be required for access to reserve files.  Readings will be accessible only by course number, course name or instructor name. 

The University Libraries will seek permission to use materials when necessary. 

Copyright and Streaming Audio:

In addition to a variety of licensed digital audio content, the Music and Media Center offers a service to reproduce audio recordings in digital streaming format for course reserve. Authentication via IP address and University ID and password is required for access to audio reserve files. 

Licensed Content:

The Libraries licenses a wide variety of electronic resources that can be linked to in the course reserves system. Some Libraries-licensed electronic resources may have limitations on the number of simultaneous users, on the ability to print and/or download, or other restrictions.  

Upon request, the Libraries will explore the purchase of additional electronic materials to support a course. Some items are only available for individual, non-institutional license; these items cannot be licensed by the Libraries.   


The University Libraries complies with United States copyright law. It operates Course Reserves services to assist University personnel by preparing materials for online course reserves and, where necessary, paying fees associated with copyright permissions. According to IP05, when University personnel utilize the Course Reserves service to obtain permission, the University will accept any financial liability arising from use of copyrighted materials. 


Other Policies in this manual should also be referenced especially the following: 

UL-ADG11 -- Copyright Guidelines for Electronic Reserves (staff only)


Course Reserves Services

Effective Date: December 11, 2006
Date Approved: June 17, 2013 (Dean's Library Council)

Revision History (and effective dates):

  • February 2022 - Revised
  • June 17, 2013 -- Revised to include Photocopy Reserves, Streaming Audio, Streaming, Video and E-Books.
  • December 11, 2006 – New policy

Last Review Date:  February 2022