Electronic and Physical Reserves

Policies and Submission Guidelines


The purpose of Binghamton University's Reserves Department is to create access to course materials. Current course materials are added to the Reserves Collection on a semester-to-semester basis. The Reserves Collection consists of both physical and electronic items: electronic reserves are uploaded to myCourses by Reserves staff, and physical reserves are circulated out of the Newcomb Reading Room and the University Downtown Center Library.

The following guidelines have been established to ensure the efficient processing of reserve requests and to assure conformity with the fair use provisions of copyright law.

What is fair use?

Materials are circulated in accordance with the fair use provisions of the United States Copyright Act of 1976. The principle of "fair use" is established in 17 USC Section 107. According to this principle, the reproduction of copyrighted works for certain limited, educational purposes does not constitute copyright infringement.

Copyright and Fair Use guidelines

  • Materials will be for non-commercial, educational use by students.

  • Copyrighted works will be lawfully acquired.

  • Copying will not be used to create, replace or substitute anthologies, compilations or collective works.

  • Author’s permission will be required for unpublished papers and projects.

COPYRIGHT permission

The Libraries will seek copyright permission when necessary and pay reasonable fees for such permission. The Libraries reserve the right to limit the placement of items into the Reserves Collection due to difficulties obtaining copyright permission and royalty costs. If it is necessary to seek copyright permission, materials will be placed on reserve for three weeks while awaiting this permission. If permission is denied, the instructor will be notified and material will be removed from the Reserves Collection immediately.

Reserves collection guidelines

Access to the Reserves Collection will be limited to Binghamton University students, faculty and staff.

Guidelines for content are as follows:

  • Books, audio files, video files and items that cannot be placed on electronic reserve will be maintained in the physical reserves collection.
  • Stable/proxied hyperlinks will be posted on myCourses for those electronic items owned by Binghamton University Libraries.

  • All materials will be removed from the Reserves Collection at the end of each semester, and materials belonging to the Libraries will be returned to their permanent collections.

  • Instructors must notify Reserves staff if they wish to keep materials on reserve for the following semester.

Putting Personal Materials on Reserve

Instructor’s personal materials may be submitted to the collection. In these cases, please also be aware of the following:

  • When personal materials are added to the Reserves Collection, they are subject to wear and tear; they may also be lost. The Libraries will assume no responsibility for the loss of or damage to these materials.

  • All materials will be removed from the Reserves Collection at the end of each semester.

  • Materials belonging to instructors should be retrieved by the instructors who submitted the materials.

Request Guidelines

Requests for items to be added to the Reserves Collection must be submitted by filling out a form available via the Library Course Reserves tool on myCourses.

  • Reserve requests may be submitted throughout the year.

  • For start of term availability, however, please submit requests by:

    • Fall: August 1st
    • Winter: December 1st
    • Spring: December 1st
    • Summer: May 1st
  • Requests submitted after the dates above will be processed, but cannot be guaranteed to be available for the start of the term.

  • Full citation information must accompany all requested items to ensure copyright compliance. Incomplete citations may result in delays in processing requests.

Processing Guidelines

  • All requests will be processed in the order in which they are received.

  • It takes a minimum of two weeks to recall materials that are checked out to borrowers.

Ordering Materials

The Libraries may purchase items for the Reserves Collection that are not owned by the Libraries or the instructor. However, it is not a guarantee that the Libraries will purchase all requested materials. When the Libraries purchase materials, it is with the understanding that multiple individuals will use them.

  • Ordering decisions will be made through collaboration of Reserves staff and a designated librarian.

  • Items requiring a subscription or a license often include a premium to support multiple users. This will be considered when evaluating requested materials.

  • Electronic books will be the preferred format when purchasing for the Reserves Collection.

  • It takes a minimum of six weeks for the Libraries to acquire new items.

Last Updated: 3/21/18