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E-Reserves Pilot Program

The Henry Madden Library supports campus faculty through its Reserves Services, including E-Reserves.

The purpose of the E-Reserves service is to provide students with electronic copies of course materials. While not every course material is within scope for E-Reserves, the service does allow faculty to share materials with students within the limits of copyright and fair use.

Scope of E-Reserves Materials

Eligible Items

Acceptable items posted on E-Reserves may include journal articles, newspaper articles, chapters from books, old sample exams, syllabi, and other materials which conform to the fair use provisions.

Where materials do not fall within fair use, they may still be placed on e-reserve provided permission is being sought from and is granted by the copyright holder. It is the responsibility of the instructor to obtain such permission. The library reserves the right not to accept items if it judges that the scope, nature or extent of the material is beyond the reasonable limits of fair use.

Ineligible Items

Items not acceptable for E-Reserves include complete or longer works, such as coursepacks, (reference) books or copyrighted monographs. Only a small portion from a book may be used.

Electronic articles are not eligible for uploading into E-Reserves, per terms of the licenses governing use of the databases. Articles from the internet are also not eligible for uploading into E-Reserves. For these materials, the library will place the relevant permalinks (URLs) of the articles on E-Reserves.

Important Program Details

E-Reserves Process

Material can be placed on E-Reserves by faculty by using the E-Reserves submission form. Faculty can submit individual references for items owned by the library or provide a copy of the course syllabus and library staff will search for available materials.

The library can only share material that has been lawfully obtained either through the faculty members individual license, or via the library collection. The library cannot currently support the purchase of materials exclusively for use on E-Reserves and our collection development policy prohibits the purchase of most textbooks. The library will also be unable to support copyright clearance fees at this time.

If you have questions about this policy please contact Most of the licensed material the library owns can be shared via E-Reserves.

Access to Materials

E-Reserves will be available directly to students through your Canvas shell. They will also be accessible from the library E-Reserves page. If you would like students to be able to access materials physically, items may be placed on physical reserve using our Reserves Services.

Limitations, Copyright & Fair Use

It is the responsibility of the faculty member using E-Reserves to determine fair use when requesting materials be placed on E-Reserves. For additional information on Fair Use, please visit the Copyright.Gov website.

In general, complete works, materials not owned by the faculty member or library, or materials on loan from other libraries are not able to be shared. Work with your library liaison, or Subject Librarian, if you need assistance making fair use determinations.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The library is unable to purchase course materials for placement on E-Reserves. If the instructor of the course has a copy of the material that can be used.

While this is a commonly used figure, copyright actually does not consider a specific number of chapters or percentage of a book in determining fair use. Instead, they use the four factors (insert link) to determine if a given use meets fair use. We suggest faculty make the decision based on the four factors and not rely on any specific guidelines like percentage or chapter.

Sharing the entire textbook for your course would not fall under fair use, so we cannot offer the entire book on E-Reserves if we do not have an unlimited-user license to that title. We do have Controlled Digital Lending (CDL) capabilities, which restrict individual uses of digitized materials through DRM. Please contact for more information if you think this may be a solution for your course.

While we hope E-Reserves is helpful for you and the students in your course, it is not always a fit. The service intends to provide students with quick and easy access to course materials, and save faculty time in embedding materials directly to the course shell. If your course relies heavily on IA or custom online textbook components, licensing restrictions prevent us from being able to facilitate access. Consider this limitation when making course text adoptions.

While this varies based on format and time of year, here are some general guidelines:

  • Electronically licensed materials: 24-48 business hours.
  • Physical materials that need to be digitized: 72-96 business hours.
  • Instructor copies: 72-96 business hours after the library receives a copy of the material.
  • Due to high volumes of requests at the beginning of the semester we suggest requests be placed 4 weeks in advance of the spring and fall semesters to facilitate all items being in place prior to classes resuming.

E-Reserves staff will remove items from E-Reserves at the end of the semester.  If faculty wish to reuse the course materials they should submit a new request.

Just submit this form and the library will get working on your request. Look out for an email from the library on the status of your request.  If anything cannot be made available, we will also let you know at this time.

More Questions?

Contact with any additional questions about E-Reserves. We can also troubleshoot, help you make decisions about materials not listed on this page, or materials that may fall outside the scope of this service.