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Course Reserve Service: Information for Professors

The Course Reserve Service allows instructors to set aside course materials for the short-term use of students, including both physical items (books, article printouts, DVDs, kits, etc.) and digital materials (PDFs, e-books, streaming videos, etc.). Ares, the Library’s course reserve platform, provides a single point of access for all course materials; it can be accessed directly and, if the option is activated, through Virtual Campus as well.

What are the benefits of the course reserve service?

  • Less work for instructors:
    • Course Reserve staff will locate the materials listed in a syllabus and make them available via the reserve platform
    • Course Reserve staff will manage the delicate and time-consuming application of copyright and licensing agreements
  • Lower costs for students:
    • Reduces costs by maximizing the use of openly available materials and the Library’s own collections
  • Easy access:
    • 24/7 remote access – ideal for students working off-campus
    • Multiple concurrent users (with the exceptions of some e-books)
    • Accessible from Virtual Campus (once Ares has been activated)
  • Convenient tools
    • Cross-list your readings with another course you’re teaching
    • Create tags to organize your readings (ex. “week 1”, week 2”, etc.)
    • Review item usage to see how often students are accessing material

Contact Us

For assistance with course reserves, please contact

How to Place Materials on Reserve

  1. Before preparing your request, please verify the Submission Deadlines in the FAQ below.
  2. To request that course materials be placed on reserve, simply email your course syllabus or reading list to The reserve service staff will then process your request.
    • In your request, please specify the desired loan periods (4, 24, or 48 hours) for any physical items, as well as if you will be providing any personal copies of materials; personal copies of physical items should be delivered to the service desk at the appropriate library (Morisset Library, Brian Dickson Law Library, Health Sciences Library). Please note that if an item is placed on reserve for multiple courses, the shortest loan period requested will apply.
    • Note that providing a full bibliographic citation for each item in your syllabus or reading list will speed up the processing of course materials; please consult the FAQ below for the necessary information.
    • If you have materials to be scanned, please drop them off at the appropriate library's service desk. Materials must be clearly marked with the course code and your email address; please include a copy of your syllabus as well.
  3. Once your request has been processed, any materials placed on reserve will be available to your students via Ares (for digital reserves) or as a short-term loan in the library (for physical reserves). You may also integrate your list of readings in Ares into Virtual Campus.


What can be placed on reserve?

Any materials placed on reserve should be originals or legal copies. These may include:



  • Books (from the Library collection or your own copy)
  • Conference proceedings
  • Reports
  • Theses
  • Standards
  • Government documents


Digital (subject to copyright and license restrictions)



  • Audiovisual materials (DVDs, VHS tapes, CDs)
  • Board games
  • Video games
  • Kits e.g., anatomy models, test kits
What if I prefer the traditional (physical) course reserve?

As part of the course reserve service, the Library will continue to make available physical course reserve materials that cannot be digitized legally. Any physical reserve items included in the course materials can be made available at one of the three following locations:

What information do I need to provide?

You should provide full bibliographic citations for each resource as this will speed up the processing of course materials, including (as applicable):

  • Author name
  • Book or journal title
  • Article or chapter title
  • Name of journal or sourcebook
  • Date of publication and/or volume and issue
  • Page range
  • Total pages in the book
  • Publisher name (for books)
  • ISSN or ISBN


Questions? Contact for assistance.

When are the submission deadlines?

Requests are treated in the order they are received. We may need to order some of your items, so be sure to submit your requests early so they can be available on time.

Due to the volume of requests received at the start of each term, our policy is to process (as priority) the material required for the first 3-4 weeks of the course, and then add the remaining material required before the reading date for this material.

During non-peak times of the year: 1-2 days*

* The availability of the material may impact processing time.

How long does material stay on reserve?

Generally, materials will remain available until the end of the current academic semester, including the exam period; a new request must be submitted every semester even if the material remains the same.

Will a student with a deferred exam have access to the course materials after the semester has ended?

All readings are generally removed at the end of the semester to support copyright compliance; however, you may contact to request that the materials remain available for an extended time period.

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