Course Reserves Information For Instructors

Log in to Library Course Reserves

Why Use Course Reserves?  

Electronic Reserves 

  • Course Reserves staff can scan chapters for instructors. This ensures that all scanned course materials are OCR accessible, and copyright compliant.
  • Course Reserves staff can make sure that all links to online content are stable (permanent) and are accessible off campus (have the proper proxy string).
  • Course Reserves staff can help maintain course materials in one easy-to-navigate location. Instructors can supply reading tags for greater navigability. 

Why Use Physical Reserves?

  • Many textbooks are prohibitively expensive. Placing copies on reserve at the library can help students more easily afford the cost of attending university.
  • If students already own a textbook, they may find it more convenient to use the Libraries' copy when on campus. Placing library books on reserve allows all students in the course equal access to the material.

How Do I Submit a Course Reserves Request?

Submit course reserve requests via the Library Course Reserves tool at Sign in with your PODs login. You can also access this tool via myCourses.

Once you open the tool:

  1. Choose "Add Reserve Items" from the navigation menu on the left.
  2. Choose add a new item or reuse an item from a previous semester.
  3. For new items, choose the type of material. 
  4. Fill in the request form for selected material type, and click submit. Supply as much information as possible to speed along processing. If there is a specific edition, translation, etc. requested of a given work, please specify. 
  5. If you are providing the item, drop it off at the location where you would like it to be processed. For electronic items like Course Files, you can upload PDFs directly. 

How Do I Check the Processing Status of a Requested Item?

You can view an item’s status through the in the Library Course Reserves tool; click an item for details.

Items with a status of “Item Activation Pending” have been fully processed and will become available for students after the start of the semester as designated in MyCourses. If you would like your Reserves items available earlier, email

 Screenshot showing the status of a physical book being processed in the Libraries' Course Reserve tool.

When Should I Submit My Request?

To ensure that all of your materials are ready for the first day of the semester, submit requests by the following dates:

Fall: August 1st
Winter: December 1st
Spring: December 1st.  Because the break between Fall/Spring semesters is short, we ask instructors to submit their Spring requests earlier to allow as much time as possible for processing. 
Summer 1: May 1st
Summer 2: June 1st

It may take up to two weeks to process requests, with additional time for new purchases. Items submitted during the first week of the semester may be delayed due to increased demand and availability of materials. Items will be processed in the order they’re received. 

I Submitted My Request, But Now I Need to Make a Change. How Do I Do This?

Submit changes via the Library Course Reserves tool

How Long Will It Take for Items to Be Placed on Reserve?

We aspire to have all timely reserves requests available by the start of the appropriate semester. It may take up to two weeks to process requests. Length varies based on factors, such as:

  • Item availability, especially if items are checked out, damaged, etc. 
  • Purchasing consideration
  • Time of year

How Can I Speed Up Processing of My Reserves?

  • Supply us with current personal copies of textbooks and other course materials.
  • Use items from the Libraries’ collections and explore our electronic offerings.
  • Provide full bibliographic citations to ensure we get the exact item(s) you're looking for; call numbers or links are helpful.
  • Keep copyright guidelines in mind -selections greater than 10% of a book cannot be copied and posted electronically.
  • Return any requested items that are on loan to you.
  • Reserve requests do not "roll over" automatically from semester to semester. A new request must be submitted if materials will be used again. This can be done quickly and easily by choosing to "Reuse a past reserve item" via the Library Course Reserves tool.

What Can't I Put on Reserve?

Electronic Reserves

  • Due to copyright restrictions we can typically only scan and post 10% or one chapter of a book (depending on the work), or one article from a journal issue.
  • We cannot link to illegally uploaded material found online, such as PDFs or films. 

Physical Reserves

  • Workbooks and other consumables.
  • Items obtained via InterLibrary Loan.

General Guidelines for Electronic Reserves

Can I link to online databases or electronic journals owned by the Libraries?
Usually, the answer is "yes." Reserves Staff can create stable, proxied links to online content so that your students may access it off-campus.

Can I link to items that aren’t owned by the Libraries?
It depends. If the material is open-access, Reserves staff can link to the item through our Library Course Reserves tool. However, if the material featured on the website has been uploaded illegally, we cannot add the link.

Can I copy the links to readings in the Library Course Reserves tool and paste them into another content area on myCourses?
We highly discourage this; the copied links are not stable and will break shortly after they are created. Content within the Library Course Reserves tool is also more secure than content within myCourses, which allows us to post content according to fair use law.

Electronic Reserves: Scanning Requests

Can the library scan an entire book for e-reserves?
No. The Libraries will only scan and post a reading if it complies with the "fair use" provisions of the copyright law.

Can the library include the bibliography, end notes or other pages of a book in the scan?
All scans include the title page, copyright page, and end notes. If you would like us to scan a bibliography, indicate that in the note field of your reserve request.

What is the quality of the scans?
We scan all materials at 300dpi, and create a searchable PDF file. If the reading contains color or gray content, those pages will be scanned to capture the content in its original state; otherwise all pages are scanned as black & white.

Are reserve scans OCR compliant?
We use OCR technology to make PDFs searchable and OCR accessible. 

Because writing in books can throw off OCR readers, reserve staff members will replace non-OCR compliant scans with clean copies. Sometimes, replacements may take several days as we work with our ILL team to acquire clean, writing-free texts.

Can I provide one of my personal books to have a chapter scanned?
Yes. As long as the request follows fair use guidelines and there is no writing in the chapter, reserve staff will happily scan the request. 

Can the library scan photocopies?
If the Libraries own the material, we will scan it directly as scanning photo-copies can lower image quality significantly. However, we will scan photocopies that meet the following guidelines:

  • Readings must comply with the "Fair Use" provision Copyright Law
  • Text must be legible
  • Pages should have a margin of at least .25 inches on all sides
  • Pages should be free of dark shadows in the margin or the binding
  • All pages should be included

General Guidelines for Physical Reserves 

Which location handles reserves for my class?
For classes taught on the main campus, reserves are processed by staff at Bartle Library. For classes taught at the University Downtown Center, reserves are processed at the UDC Library.

Does the library have a record of the books placed on reserve during a previous semester?
The Library Course Reserves tool on myCourses has a record of the items used within the past few semesters. If you are looking for a record of a reserve request made longer ago, it may be possible for Reader Services staff to retrieve that information. Please contact the Libraries' Course Reserves staff for assistance.

Can I place my own copy of a book or DVD on reserve?
Yes.  Please bring your copy to a Reader Services desk. When you submit a reserve request, indicate that you'll be providing a personal copy. Be sure to write your name and Binghamton University email address in the book so that we know who it belongs to.

I want to place a book on reserve for my course, but the library doesn't own it. What can I do?
Lend the Libraries a personal copy, if you have one. If you don’t, you may submit a purchase request through the Library Course Reserves tool on myCourses. Purchases are reviewed on a case by case basis.  New books can take up to 6 weeks to arrive.

Are you able to purchase any book I need for my course?
While reserves staff will try to acquire as many course materials as possible, the answer is no. Several factors go into purchasing requests, as follows:

  • Cost. Because we must follow specific rules and order through set vendors, the cost of materials can run very high. Ebook licenses for institutions, for example, may cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. 
  • Availability. Some items are simply not available for purchase through our vendors, especially ebooks. While a title may be available on Amazon, it may not be available for a library. 
  • Enrollment. Due to budget limitations, courses with higher enrollments are prioritized. For courses with less than 25 students, materials may be purchased closer to the start of the semester depending on budget. 
  • Re-usability. If you plan to use the course material for more than one semester, please let Reserves staff know! 
  • Collection Development. If the item is an important work in your discipline, consider reaching out to your subject librarian or make a "Recommendation for Purchase." Community feedback is important to helping us identify new titles!

FindIt! says that some of the books I'll be using for my course are already on reserve. Do I need to submit a reserve request anyway?
Yes. The items you see may be linked to another course. Log in to the Library Course Reserves tool to see if you submitted a request for your course. 

Copyright Guidelines

All reserve materials are processed in compliance with the fair use and copyright laws.

How much of a book will the Reserves Department scan and post?
Reserves will scan and post:

  • Up to 10% of a book with less than ten chapters.
  • Up to 10% of a book that is not divided into chapters.
  • No more than one chapter (or its equivalent) in a book of more than ten chapters.