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601 West Lombard Street
Baltimore MD 21201-1512

Information Services: 410-706-7995

Course Reserve: Faculty FAQ

General Information

  • How do students access course reserve materials?
    Some materials can be accessed directly from the course reserve website, while others must be obtained at the Information Services Desk or through Library databases. For detailed instructions, please see "Getting Started with ERes." To access course reserves, students must obtain passwords from instructors.
  • Can course reserves be accessed off-campus?
    Yes, provided a student has a UMID and password. Additionally, students will need Adobe Reader installed on their computers to view and print scanned articles. Download Adobe Reader for free.
  • Can students print items found in the course reserve system?
    Yes. Scanned documents that have been posted to course reserves or documents from other web sites that are available via a link in course reserves, can be printed directly from the system. If the required reading is from a book, students must borrow the book from the Information Services Desk.
  • Whom do I contact if I have questions about course reserve?
    Please contact the HS/HSL Course Reserve Unit at 410-706-7995 or, email

Submitting Material

  • What may be placed on reserve?
    Reserve material may include books owned by the Library, instructor's personal copies of books, a single photocopy of an article or book chapter, old exams, lecture notes, study guides, and media. If the Library does not own a requested title, we will investigate acquiring a copy through our vendors. While we do our best to accommodate reserve requests, if the item is too expensive, reserve staff will notify the faculty member of the options available. The HS/HSL reserves the right to decline a request to purchase an item not already within its collection.
  • Textbook reserve policy
    HS/HSL's reserves service is designed to supplement, not replace, the purchase of textbooks by students. As space and available funds permit, the Library will either place single copies of textbooks provided by the professor on reserve, or evaluate the acquisition of a textbook (in either print or electronic format, depending on instructor preference). Textbooks which are desk copies or review copies must also include the written policy or permission of the publisher which would permit the textbooks to be placed on reserve in the Library.
  • Electronically-formatted Requests
    While HS/HSL strives to fulfill all requests in a timely fashion, the Library may not be able to accommodate all reserve requests for electronically-formatted items due to associated costs and/or technical limitations (such as features inherent to the vendor platform, unavailability through Library vendors, simultaneous user caps, etc.).
  • What may not be placed on reserve?
    The Library does not place reference books or Interlibrary loans exceeding 3 chapters or 10% (whichever is less) of a book on reserve.
  • How do I place material on course reserve?
    Faculty can submit requests through the online Course Reserve Submission Form. Each semester, faculty members simply fill in the required information, attach a reading list or syllabus, and click "submit".

    Alternatively, faculty may submit a syllabus/course reading list via email to In order to expedite processing, please include your name, phone number, class size (required to obtain copyright clearance), course number, section and title, and the date items should be put on and taken off reserve. Full citations are necessary in order to accurately process the items. Items without a citation will not be put on reserve.

    (Faculty Guidelines, Online Submission Form)

    Once a reading list is processed and if the requested items include .PDFs, the faculty member will receive a password for the course. NOTE: Faculty members are responsible for distributing the password to students.
  • When should I submit materials for course reserve?
    • Fall Semester Submission Due Date: July 3
    • Spring/Winter Semester Submission Due Date: November 23
    • Summer Semester Submission Due Date: May 1

    Syllabi/course reading lists received after these dates may not be processed in time to meet the needs of the students. (Current Faculty Letter)
  • How long will it take for my materials to be added to course reserve?
    All or most of the required readings on syllabi/course reading lists received by the submission deadlines will be ready and accessible through course reserve or at the Information Services Desk on the first day of classes. Lists received after the deadlines are processed in the order received with no exceptions. For students' information, faculty members' names, course numbers and the date the syllabus/course reading list was received by the Library for processing is posted at the Information Services Desk.
  • Is there a limit to the number of items I may place on course reserve?
    A limit of 50 required readings per course may be placed on reserve. Only one copy (photocopy or scanned) of a journal article is placed on reserve. One copy of a book per 40 students may be placed on reserve, to a maximum of two copies. Faculty members who feel they must exceed the limit of 50 items should contact the HS/HSL Course Reserve Unit no later than 10 weeks prior to the beginning of the semester and should have a required reading list to submit at that time. If a list exceeds 50 required readings, only the first 50 will be placed on reserve, unless the instructor indicates which 50 are required readings.
  • Are there any articles the HS/HSL will not place on reserve?
    If the license to access the article is too restrictive or expensive, reserve staff will notify the faculty member of the options available. The HS/HSL reserves the right to decline to post an article at the Library's expense.
  • What happens if the Library does not own the material I wish to place on course reserve?
    If the HS/HSL does not own the material you request, we will attempt to obtain it. It may take six to eight weeks for a book order, and up to three weeks for an Interlibrary Loan order to be filled. Please note that the Library will purchase a maximum of two copies of a book for reserve use.
  • What if the book I want to place on course reserve is checked out?
    HS/HSL Course Reserves staff will place a recall on the item. Patrons have 14 days from the day the recall is placed to return the item. If the item is not returned in a timely fashion, the patron is charged for replacement and a new copy is ordered for reserve.
  • May I place books from other libraries on course reserve?
    No. The HS/HSL will place only materials owned by the Library or the instructor on reserve.
  • Can I place personal material on course reserve?
    Yes. However, be aware that it is likely personal material will suffer wear and tear. Moreover, the Library must mark the item for reserve. It is unlikely that the material will be returned in the same condition as when it was given into the Library's care.
  • Can journals be placed on course reserve?
    Bound volumes and unbound journal issues may not be placed on reserve. Individual articles can be copied and, "fair use" or copyright clearances permitting, placed on electronic or paper reserve.
  • Can book chapters be placed on course reserve?
    Copying of books is limited to no more than 10% of a book if it has fewer than 10 chapters; if a book has 10 or more chapters only 1 chapter will be copied. If using pages from different chapters, we will average the number of pages per chapter and limit our excerpts to no more pages than that average.

End of Semester Issues

  • What happens to my course reserve material at the end of the semester?
    Scanned articles are archived at the end of each semester and books are returned to the stacks.
  • Will my course reserve list be saved for the next semester?
    HS/HSL Course Reserves does not automatically keep items on reserve for the following semester. Faculty must contact Course Reserves if they are teaching the same course and want the same readings (scanned articles, books, etc.) on reserve.
Last edited on: Monday, October 16, 2017