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Course Reserves

All about Course Reserves

Guidelines for Faculty

Course Reserve Information for Faculty

The purpose of Course Reserves is to assist the teaching faculty by providing a facility in which there is
controlled circulation of class material needed by their students. Traditional and digital course lists are
accessible through CENTRAL SEARCH by Instructor or Course Name.  Signing into CENTRAL SEARCH first is essential for locating the material.


Traditional Reserves

The materials for reserve may consist of:

  • Library books, videos, DVDs and CD-ROMs.
  • 1 copy of a photocopied article, chapter etc., as allowed by the "Fair Use" guidelines of the Federal Copyright Law.
  • Class notes, personal books, personal copies of journals, videos, DVDs, CDs, CD-ROMs, audiocassettes etc.

These materials may be placed on reserve by bringing them to the Reserves office, located on the first floor in Access Services, and filling out a course list form or sending an email to for library materials. They will be processed in order of receipt. Please allow at least 2 weeks during the first few weeks of the semester. There is no deadline for submitting materials for reserve.

Please include a copy of the course syllabus.

Important! All photocopies must include a credit line with the author, book or journal title, publisher and copyright date or volume & number from the work copied. No items will be processed without this information.

Personal copies placed on reserve will be security stripped, labeled, barcoded and cataloged, unless requested otherwise.


Items Ineligible for Course Reserve

  • Items from other libraries may not be placed on reserve.
  • Custom anthologies or course packs without copyright permission cannot be placed on reserve
  • Burritt library periodicals, reference books, government documents and rare books may not be placed on reserve.


Digital Reserves

Digital Reserves allow the library to make digital copies of book chapters, journal articles, class notes, images and sound files available to students 24 hours, 7 days a week from any computer with an internet connection. Digital reserves are available through CENTRAL SEARCH (select Course Reserves) searchable by Instructor or Course Name as traditional reserves by clicking on the titles that indicate “online access” and then by clicking on “files/(pdf)” to download a full text of the reading. Access to digital course reserves is limited to faculty, staff and students BlueNet ID and password.  It is strongly recommended to sign into CENTRAL SEARCH first, prior to searching for Course Reserve materials.


Please see the guide How To Submit Digital Course Materials for more information. For questions about the Reserve Room, please email or phone (860) 832-3406.

Submitting Digital Reserve Material

The Following Materials May Be Placed On Digital Course Reserves:

  • Book chapters - no more than 10% of book
  • Journal articles
  • Class syllabi
  • Lecture notes and presentations
  • Practice exams and exercises
  • Student papers for peer review
  • Links to full text databases
  • Links to websites
  • Audio files (files will be converted to Windows Media format and placed on the campus streaming server)


Guidelines for Submitting Digital Reserves:

The library will scan print materials submitted by faculty. In most cases Adobe Acrobat (PDF) documents will be created. Please observe the following guidelines when submitting materials to be scanned:

  • Photocopies should be unbound, clean and sharp (ideally, first generation) on single-sided, 8 1/2 x 11 paper.
  • When photocopying book chapters and journal articles, press the item flat to avoid a gutter shadow in the inner margins of the 2 facing pages.
  • Portrait orientation should not be mixed with Landscape orientation in the same document - doing so makes files very difficult to print.
  • For handwritten pages to scan well, the writing must be dark (black ink is best) with good paper contrast.
  • Articles from journals and book chapters must contain complete source information: title, author, publisher, date or volume number.
  • Please include a copy of each course syllabus. This helps us to better organize your course reserves.
  • Student papers must include written permission by the student to have their papers made available either in the Reserve Room or online.


If you are submitting a document that is available in word processing format, please submit the computer file rather than the print copy. It is much easier to convert, and file sizes are smaller. You may send files as email attachments to


Fair Use items submitted for traditional reserves will also be made available electronically unless faculty tell us otherwise.

Copyright and Fair Use

Copyright and Fair Use

The Federal Copyright Law of 1976, Title 17 of the United States Code which granted exclusive rights to copyright holders was later modified by The Fair Use Statute, Section 107. This Fair Use doctrine balances the copyright holders rights with society's need for copying for news reporting, criticism, teaching, research, scholarship and parody. While the Fair Use doctrine allows limited copying of copyrighted work without obtaining permission from the copyright holder, Fair Use is not clear-cut. Congress deliberately avoided exact parameters for claiming Fair Use to allow for flexibility and instead suggested these four Fair Use guidelines to consider in determining whether a particular use of copyrighted materials is fair use and therefore not an infringement:

1. What is the purpose and character of the use?

2. What is the nature of the work to be used?

3. What is the amount, substantiality or portion used in relation to the copyrighted
work as a whole.

4. What effect would this use have on the potential market for the value of the
copyrighted work.

Purpose: While nonprofit educational purposes are favored over commercial uses, this factor alone doesn't constitute a fair use exemption. Generally the courts favor transformative use (excerpts incorporated into a new paper or pieces of a work mixed into a multimedia presentation) over reproduction of a work but the courts have allowed multiple copies of some works even if not transformative.

Nature: This factor examines the characteristics of the work considered for copying. Generally a published work is favored over an unpublished work. Nonfiction is generally favored over fiction and print over media. The courts are split on whether a published but currently out-of-print work should receive fair use exemption. Photocopying a consumable workbook is never allowed.

Amount: is measured both quantitatively and qualitatively. The courts have not recommended specific amounts. "Quantity must be evaluated relative to the length of the entire original and in light of the amount needed to serve a proper objective". While the copying of entire works is never considered fair use, the courts have also ruled that copying even a small amount, if it is "the heart of the work may weigh against fair use."

Effect: Some courts have called this the most important factor in fair use analysis. No copying, whether of an educational or commercial nature should replace the sale of the copyrighted work. Having purchased a copy of the original work weighs in favor of fair use while the availability of a license would weigh against fair use.

These four factors must be balanced in considering fair use. Satisfying one factor is not enough to claim fair use.

Sources: The Federal Copyright Law of 1975, Title 17 of the United States Code
Section 107 of The Copyright Act of 1976
Fair Use Overview and Meaning for Higher Education by Kenneth D. Crews, Associate Professor of Law and of Library and Information Science; Director, Copyright Management Center, Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis

Guidelines for Classroom Copying

The following guidelines for photocopies are based on The Federal Copyright Law of 1976; The Fair Use Doctrine, Title 17; H.R. 2223, The Copyright Revision Bill; and the Model Policy Concerning College and University Photocopying for Classroom, Research and Library Reserve Use developed by The American Library Association (ALA) Legislation Committee, Copyright Subcommittee and legal counsel, The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Copyright Committee and The Association of Research Libraries (ARL).

The following items are considered fair use for one semester only. Repetitive copying (for materials in multiple courses or successive years) will require permission from the copyright owner.

1.      Brevity:

  • A single chapter of a book
  • A newspaper or periodical article
  • A short story, essay, or short poem

 In prose this is considered one complete article, story or essay of less than 2500 words; or an excerpt of no more than 10% of a work. In poetry, brevity is considered a complete poem of 250 words or less, or an excerpt of less than 250 words.

 2.      Spontaneity:

  • The copying is at the instance and inspiration of the individual instructor.
  • This inspiration and decision to use the work and the moment of its use for maximum teaching effectiveness are so close in time that it would be unreasonable to expect a timely reply to a request for permission.

 3.      Cumulative Effect:

The copying of the material is for only one course. In addition, no more than one short poem, article, story, essay, or two excerpts may be copied from the same author, nor more than three from the same collective work or periodical volume during one academic term. Moreover the guideline specifies that there shall be no more than nine instances of multiple copying for one course during an academic year.



  • Materials more than 75 years old.
  • Most U.S. Government documents
  • Works without copyright notice that were first published before January 1, 1978

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