Instructor FAQ

Frequently asked questions about course reserves at Cornell University Library.

What is the deadline for placing items on reserve?

To ensure availability for the first day of classes, all reserves should be submitted by the following dates:

  • Fall semester: August 3
  • Winter sessions: December 1
  • Spring semester: December 15
  • Summer session: 4 weeks before the start of the session

Items submitted after these dates will be processed in order of receipt.

What can be placed on reserve?

You can place just about anything on course reserve!

  • Books and e-books
  • DVDs and streaming video
  • CDs and streaming audio
  • TakeNotes
  • Course Packets
  • Textbooks (supplied by the instructor or purchased by the library). Upon request, the library will generally purchase up to 2 copies, or one copy per 25 students, whichever is less.
  • Print journal articles can be scanned and placed on electronic reserve. In addition, online journal holdings can be made available through course reserves.
  • Personal copies of books and other materials supplied by the instructor.
    NOTE: Please do not put irreplaceable, fragile or very valuable personal materials on reserve. The library assumes no liability for loss or damage. The library places adhesive-backed barcodes and reserve stickers on all reserve items. If you do not want your personal items barcoded and stickered, please speak with reserves staff. The library will create a covering or case for the material, and place a barcode on the covering. Please allow extra time for processing. Personal copies will be returned to you at the end of the term.

If the library does not currently own an item that you would like placed on reserve, we will purchase the item. Please submit a request for this material just as you would an item that the library does own.

What are in-library reserves?

In-Library Reserves are materials that are held at a library's circulation desk or in a designated study room within the library.

  • Most libraries offer a choice of loan periods; 2-hour loan is standard, but the loan period can be adjusted to suit the needs of the class.
  • There is no limit on the number of separate items that may be placed on reserve.
  • For duplicate items, typically we will place one copy on reserve for every 20-25 students. For textbooks and other materials that the students are required to purchase, one copy per 50 students.
  • If the library does not currently own an item that you would like placed on reserve, we will purchase the item. Please submit a request for this material just as you would an item that the library does own.

What can be placed on electronic reserve?

E-books, streaming films, journal articles, book chapters, syllabi, practice exams, lecture notes and audio files. Print items may be scanned and uploaded as PDF files, or linked to if they are available through the Library's licensed databases, or if they are open-access resources.

  • Electronic items, including items found in course packets, must meet Copyright Fair Use Guidelines (PDF) or have the permission of the copyright holder for this type of use.
  • Readings and/or viewings must be restricted to members of the class, and access must be terminated at the end of final exams.
  • Reproduced (scanned or photocopied) materials should include proper attribution and include the original work's copyright statement. If no statement can be found, a standard statement of copyright protection may be used.
  • For questions specifically dealing with electronic reserves for audio, the Music Library endorses the Statement on the Digital Transmission of Audio Reserves issued by the Music Library Association.

How do my students access course reserves?

In-library Reserves: Students will need to locate the library that their course reserves are being held at. If their instructor has not provided this information, they can find it by searching for their course using the Course Reserves Search at Students can search using their course number, course name or instructor's name.

Electronic Reserves: Students can access electronic reserves under the "Course Reserves" menu link on their course's Canvas or Blackboard site.
NOTE: Only material that has been placed on reserve through the library can be accessed via the "Course Reserves" link. Articles or other readings that have been uploaded to Canvas or Blackboard by the instructor will be found in a different location as specified by the instructor.