Course Reserves


To facilitate the access by students to suggested or required course readings, faculty members may place materials on reserve at the Main Circulation Desk for a single term or for the entire academic year.  Reserve materials may be print materials such as library or faculty books, photocopies (hard or electronic copies) or, occasionally, bones! The Reserve collection is arranged by instructor, course and title. The loan term for each reserve item, including whether or not an item must be used in-library only or whether it may be removed from the library for a designated time, is specified by the individual instructor. Reserves, for the most part, are non-circulating. Films are put on reserve in the Moving Image Viewing Room to be checked out and viewed on-premises only. 

Print Reserves 

Print Reserves are available at the Main Circulation Desk in hard copy format.  Consult the Reserve binder at the desk; materials are listed alphabetically by instructor name.  If available, you can check out the item by presenting your university ID.

To find a list of these reserve materials, click the "Reserves" tab in the Library Catalog web page and choose to search either by course or instructor. Type in the course name or number or instructor name and submit. 

Loan Periods for Reserves

There are three different loan period choices an instructor may make on any given Reserve item. This is established by faculty when an item is put on reserve; you will be told at checkout when an item is due back to the library:

  • 4 hour, in-library use of an item
  • Overnight use of an item – check out an item within 2 hours of the library closing and you may keep it overnight. The item is due back within 1 hour of the library opening the next day. If you check out that same item earlier in the evening, the use period is 4 hours in-library.
  • One Day use of an item means that a patron may check out an item any time one day and bring it back by closing the next day.
  • A $10 processing charge will be added to the patron record after a Reserve item is overdue for 24 hrs

E-Reserves are delivered in the online catalog.  To log into the catalog and view them, click the Reserves link on the catalog and search for the course or instructor teaching the course.  If the item record shows a link with the words, “View or Print,” this item is available online and you can click the link to access it.  No print copies of E-Reserves are kept on reserve.

The Semans Library policy on E-Reserves is designed to maximize an instructor’s privilege under ‘fair use’ while respecting the rights of copyright holders. See: UNC Primer On Copyright Use (pdf)

Guidelines for Photocopies for Reserves

NOTE: Copyright guidelines based on Fair Use must be followed (call us at 770-3257 if you have questions about the amount, length, or scope of what is acceptable).

  • Complete references must appear on the first page of each photocopy. References can be photocopied as part of p.1 or handwritten. References can be in any style.
    Book references must include:
    • Author(s)/Editor(s)
    • Complete titles of sources from which the photocopies were made
    • Places of publication
    • Names of publishers
    • Dates of publicatio 
    Journal article references must include:
    • Article authors
    • Complete article titles
    • Full names or standard abbreviations of source journals
    • Volumes and numbers and/or issue dates of the source journals
    Online references must include:
    • The complete web address for the source
  • Be sure that all readings are titled the same on page one and your reserve list. You may title them anything you want, but we have to be able to identify them on the list.
  • To expedite the scanning process, copies must meet the following criteria (e-Reserves are scanned in bulk on high-speed scanners with document feeders:
    • Be on white, single-sided 8 ½ x 11 untrimmed paper
    • Be either portrait or landscape oriented; but not both in the same reading
    • Contain no cut off or blurred text
    • Have no tape or labels on them
    • Have no punched holes
    • Be paper clipped by title – no stapled or loose photocopies, please!
  • To ensure best file and print performance, copies must meet the following criteria:
    • Have a clean ½ inch margin on all four sides of each page
    • Have no black margins and the least possible spine shadow, and have no extraneous text
    • Be limited to 25 pages per document. We will divide longer photocopies not already divided upon submission.
    • Optional – remove unnecessary pictures and graphics. If you do so, recopy so that you have a full 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper.

Photocopying Hints

  • To save paper when printed, make landscaped copies with 2 pages of text per sheet when possible.
  • Save money, ink and paper by taking the time to write citations on p.1 of readings from books rather than photocopying the title page.
  • Use the enlarge and reduce functions to adjust the print to fit the page and eliminate black margins.
  • For odd size sources, consider making templates to cover parts of the copier screen that exceed the size of the materials being copied.
  • Inspect copies made by others before sending them to us. Copies that do not meet the criteria in the guidelines will not be placed on e-Reserve until compliant copies are provided.
How long may materials stay on Reserve?
  • Due to copyright guidelines, all reserve materials are removed from reserve at the end of the semester, after exams are completed for all courses.
  • The only exception to this rule is a course that is officially a two semester (“year long”) course -- items for such a course may stay on reserve for one academic year.
  • Faculty placing items on reserve are responsible for informing the Library whether a class is a one or two semester course.
  • No items will be kept on reserves beyond one academic year.  
  • Due to copyright guidelines, articles and chapters/excerpts from books can only be on reserve for one semester (with some exceptions for long-out-of-print material). If needed for more than one semester, faculty must arrange with the publisher for permission.
  • For more information on the Copyright Code of the U.S., please visit

After items are removed from reserve, personal copies will be returned to the faculty. Faculty are responsible for picking up personal copies when courses are over; personal copies left at the Library over 60 days will be donated to the library collections or, if not needed, discarded to surplus.