Course Reserves

Course reserves are materials chosen by the instructors to support class instruction.  They may be physical or electronic.  This guide deals with print or other tangible items chosen for reserves and located at the library.  These materials are maintained by request in a separate location within the library, and access to the material is more restricted than is the access to items in general circulation.

Placing Items on Reserve in Howard-Tilton (including Architecture)

With the closure of the Architecture Library at Richardson Memorial Hall, Architecture Reserves are now treated the same as Howard-Tilton Reserves. To place reserves at the Rudolph Matas Library for the Health Sciences, use this form.

Articles & Book Chapters

Instructors may request that the library scan designated pages of a book in accordance with United States Copyright Law using the library’s Scan & Deliver service, available through interlibrary loan (ILL). These requests are placed like regular ILL requests and delivered to the instructor as downloadable PDF files.  Once scanned, the instructor may place the PDF file on electronic reserve using the Canvas course management system. Canvas allows instructors to place scanned copies of articles and item chapters in PDF format on individual class web pages. Like physical course reserve items, scanned copies on electronic reserves must comply with United States Copyright Law. For more information about Canvas, contact the Innovative Learning Center at (504) 862-8594 or


If an entire work must be used for course reserve, instructors should fill out a Course Reserve form here. Contact Hayden Battle at (504) 865-5689 for more information.


The library will place instructor’s copies of textbooks on reserve. It does not purchase standard textbooks for this purpose, however. Commercial textbooks in print can be prohibitively expensive for libraries to maintain and do not come with accompanying online materials provided to students who purchase them. Also, most major textbook publishers (Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Cengage, etc.) will not sell their eBook versions to libraries fearing a loss in individual sales. For some instructors, Open Education Resources (OER) can be good alternatives to commercial textbooks. To place an instructor's copy of a textbook on reserve, please fill out the Course Reserve form here.

To ensure that instructor’s copies of textbooks are available for students on the first day of class, please submit the form (and materials) no less than seven (7) days before classes begin.  Note that items on reserve will have labels placed on the front and barcodes in the back.  These labels will remain on the items when they are returned to instructors.

Per United States Copyright Law, any item may be placed on course reserve for one semester. Items may not be placed on reserve for the same class taught by the same instructor for consecutive semesters.  Items may be placed back on reserve for the same class/same instructor after skipping a semester, or the same item can be on reserve for multiple semesters if another instructor is teaching the course.  At the end of each semester, the library will contact all instructors and ask them to pick up their materials. They will be given a specific time frame (usually 2 weeks) to retrieve their material or make other arrangements. Items not picked up by the deadline to pick up become property of the library and may be disposed of at its discretion.

If instructors wish to scan a single chapter of a textbook, see above (under Articles & Book Chapters).


To place video or sound recordings on physical reserve, please go to Digital Media Reserves. Items will be placed on reserve for courses in the order they are received. Please contact Media Services by phone (504) 865-5642 or email if you experience any problems or have questions with the form.

Reserves Policy

For Print Reserves

The list of items to be placed on course reserve must be submitted on the Reserve Request form. Material borrowed through Interlibrary Loan from another library may not be placed on Reserve. Materials may be kept on Reserve only for the duration of the specific course for which they are required, and they will not be allowed to remain semester after semester.  If a book requested is a general work that will be an assigned reading, instructors should consider contacting a liaison librarian to check whether an eBook version of the book could be acquired as an alternative to print course reserve. 

For Electronic Reserves

It is the responsibility of the faculty member to oversee the placement of electronic reserve items on the Canvas course management system. The staff of the Innovative Learning Center, located on the third floor of the library, can assist faculty in scanning and formatting documents to place on Canvas. They can be reached at (504) 862-8594 or

Reserve Processing Time Standards

Faculty members should scan their own materials for placement on the Canvas system, or request library scans through the Scan & Deliver Service. If any faculty members require assistance, please see the Innovative Learning Center on the third floor of the library. Please remember that the beginning of the semester is a busy time, so allow enough time to scan and post your articles.

Copyright Restrictions

Materials protected under federal copyright law may remain on the system for one semester. If materials are needed for more than one consecutive semester, copyright permission must be obtained from the publisher. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to obtain copyright permission. A copyright notice will be displayed on each course web page.

Please contact Hayden Battle, head of Access Services, for further information.

General Reserve Rules

Books can be placed on 3-day or strict reserve as determined by availability. All reserve books must be returned directly to the Check-Out Desk. If books are left on study tables or dropped in the outside or inside book bin, the student will be responsible for all fines incurred before the books are returned to the Check-Out Desk.

Instructors can specify the following circulation periods:

  • Building use only: loan periods anywhere from 2 to 5 hours (one-hour increments)
  • Unrestricted use: loan periods from 1 to 3 days

3 Day & 1 Day Media

Media materials may be taken out of the library for the number of days indicated and are due any time on the date due. Fines are $1.00 per day until the media is returned or until a maximum of $20.00 is reached.