Reserve Services: A Guide for Faculty

The Rutgers University Libraries maintain reserve collections and electronic access to class-related materials to support the university's academic programs. Books and media are placed in reserve collections at campus libraries and circulate for shortened loan periods. Articles and documents such as sample exams, syllabi, problem sets, readings, and lecture notes are scanned and delivered electronically as Adobe PDF. Records for materials on Reserve and access to electronic and digitized files are provided under Course Reserves on the Libraries website and in QuickSearch.

The Libraries' policy for reserve services is derived from the fair use guidelines of the United States Copyright Act of 1976 (17 U.S.C. Section 107).

When to Submit Reserve Requests

To assure availability of material prior to the start of classes, submit requests for the fall semester by August 1, spring semester by December 1, and summer sessions by May 1. Please indicate on the Reserve Request Form the week or date an item is needed.

When Materials Will Be Available on Reserve

Lists are processed in the order received. Requests submitted during the first weeks of classes may be delayed due to the large volume of reserve processing at the beginning of each semester. At the end of the term, materials are taken off reserve and permanently deleted from University web servers.

Please make sure your materials are on reserve before making assignments. Search by your name (instructor's name), course name, or course number under "Course Reserves" in QuickSearch to confirm reserve materials are ready for students to check out or view online.

Electronic reserve documents can be viewed on campus at public access workstations in the libraries, in campus computer labs, and PCs connected to the campus network. Rutgers users who connect from off-campus to the Libraries' website need to log-in with their NetID before using electronic reserves.

Please remind your students they will need to register their barcode, the 14-digit number beginning '29030' on the reverse of their RUconnection card, at a circulation desk before they can check out reserve books in a library.

What To Place On Reserve

The standard loan period for reserve materials checked out in a library is two hours. Contact local library reserve staff to inquire about the availability of extended or overnight loan periods.

Include Rutgers University call numbers on the "Reserve Request" form. If a book is not available in the Rutgers collections, we will attempt to purchase it in a timely manner. To expedite ordering books, include publisher and date of publication, ISBN, and edition. It may take from two to six weeks or longer to order, receive, and process new books for reserve.

Electronic Books (e-books)
Instructors now have an option to request electronic books (e-books) for course reserves. Be sure to select the "e-book acceptable if available" option when filling out a "Reserve Request" Form. To qualify for course reserves, e-books must be available with unlimited simultaneous users from a vendor with whom the Libraries currently do business. If the Libraries have a copy of the title in print, an e-book will not be ordered. E-Books will be processed for reserve following the "Items Available Online in QuickSearch" guidelines below. Please note the Libraries do not support Kindles or other e-book readers/devices at this time.

Personal Copies
We will place personal copies on reserve but cannot be responsible for loss or damage.

Course Packets
We will place course packets on reserve, provided permissions to reproduce copyrighted articles have been obtained for the current semester and are bound in the course packet.

Journal Articles, Chapters in Books
Make photocopies of journal articles and chapters in books for reserve and bring copies directly to the library. Copying should not exceed the limits of fair use (see "Copyright Guidelines"). Photocopied materials will be scanned and made available electronically as PDF documents.

In order to reproduce your articles in the best possible manner, please submit clear copies with as few marks on them as possible. This includes copies without highlighting, underlining, black lines in the center, and writing in the margins. The better the quality of the articles you submit, the better your students will be served with clear and legible electronic reserves. Poor quality photocopies will not be scanned.

Electronic Files
Please supply documents that you have prepared as electronic files in electronic form. Electronic files are the preferred format because they can be processed faster and give a better result for students. Electronic files result in smaller file sizes that transmit and load faster, the quality is much better, and color images can be supplied.

Send copies of your electronic files as email attachments (one attachment per email message) to the library reserve email account provided on your local library's online reserve request form, or drop off a disk copy at your local reserve desk. We will not return disks after processing unless you ask to have them returned. Include the following information: (1) your local reserve desk library, (2) course name and number, (3) the semester your course will be taught, and (4) the title of the file and its software application. Electronic files will only be available online.

We use Adobe Acrobat Exchange to convert file formats to Portable Document Format (PDF). We accept the most popular word processing, spreadsheet, and image formats. We have had successful experience converting WordPerfect, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Lotus. Other file formats may require trial and error, but we are willing to work with you.

Items Available Online in QuickSearch
If your reserve course list includes items which are available online through QuickSearch, we will provide the same link that is provided in QuickSearch. We will not accept photocopies of electronic materials available through QuickSearch, or convert them to PDF for electronic reserves.

Personal Web pages
We will link to your personal Web page from your course reserve listing in QuickSearch. Web pages will not reside on the Libraries' server. They will be accessible in QuickSearch only under "Course Reserves" by searching under instructor's name, course name, or course number. Any passwords you may have instituted will be in effect once students reach your Web page. Email the title of your page and its URL as an item entry on the "Reserve Request Form" you submit to your local library. Links to personal Web pages are deleted at the end of the semester in which the course is taught.

Contact the circulation desk at your local library to make arrangements to put media materials on reserve.

Special Collections
Special Collections & University Archives are not covered by this policy or the procedures it governs. Instructors are encouraged to consult SC&UA librarians or archivists if they would like to have SC&UA materials made available for their courses

Who May Use / View Materials on Reserve

Physical materials placed on Reserve (books and media titles) will be available for any library user to checkout for the standard loan period for use within the library, with the users primarily being students in the course.

Access to electronic reserve documents is restricted to users with a valid Rutgers NetID.

Electronic books (E-books) will require authentication by Rutgers NETID and password only if being accessed from an off-campus location. Any user with a valid RU NET ID will be able to view the e-book content. The number of simultaneous users for any e-book on Reserve is unlimited.

How to Submit Reserve Requests

Materials can be placed on reserve at any of the following Libraries.

For an undergraduate course, please place reserve materials in the library on the campus where the course is taught.

Click on the appropriate Library for a Reserve Request form. Please fill out the form completely and use one form for each course. Include course name and number, enrollment, your phone and your email address.


Library Phone
Robeson Library 856-225-6033

New Brunswick/Piscataway

Library Phone
Alexander Library Graduate Reserve848-932-7851
Alexander Library Undergraduate Reserve848-932-7851
Art Library848-932-6030
Carr Library848-445-3613
Chang Science Library848-932-5085
Douglass Library848-932-5016
Library of Science and Medicine848-445-3502
Mathematical Sciences and Physics Library848-445-3735
Performing Arts Library848-932-5038
School of Management & Labor Relations848-932-9513


Library Phone
Dana Library973-353-5161
Dana Media Center973-353-5917

How to Link Your Library Reserves to Sakai

Your library course reserves can now be linked directly to your Sakai course management page.

  1. The first step is to set up your course reserves with the library.
  1. Add the "web content" tool to the menu bar of your Sakai page.
  1. Under "customize web content" select the "link to library eReserves" button.

    An automatic script will run and link to the list of course reserves provided for your students in QuickSearch. The web content tab will automatically be renamed "Library eReserves" for this web link.
  1. When your students click on "Library eReserves," QuickSearch reserve listings will display in a window within your Sakai page. Students using library resources will still be working within the Sakai course page environment.

    This feature will only work if your course reserves have been processed and made available by library staff. Due to the nature of the interaction between Sakai and the library server, you must wait overnight after the establishment of your course reserves in QuickSearch before linking to them in Sakai. Students accessing electronic reserves through the Sakai page from a computer off campus will be prompted to enter their Net ID when they click on article links.

    Please keep in mind that reserves are removed at the end of each academic semester, so you should plan on disabling/removing this feature from your Sakai course page to prevent dead links. You can reestablish it when course reserves are made available the next time the course is taught. You can direct any questions on this feature to Access Services Reserve staff in the libraries or email for further help.

Copyright Guidelines

The Rutgers University Libraries' policy for reserve collections is derived from the fair use guidelines of the United States Copyright Act of 1976. The law states:

Section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976. Limitations on Exclusive Rights: Fair Use
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified in that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

Materials will be placed on reserve at the request of faculty for the noncommercial, educational use of students.

Photocopied or scanned copies of complete books and entire issues of journals will not be placed on reserve.

Students and library users will not be charged for access to reserve materials. The charge for copies made by students will be limited to the cost of reproduction.

Electronic copies of reserve readings will include a notice of copyright on the first screen indicating materials may be covered by copyright.

Electronic reserve materials will be accessible only by instructor's name, course name, and course number. Users connecting from off-campus to the Libraries website using a commercial internet provider must identify themselves as a Rutgers user by logging-in with their NetID before they can access reserve materials.

Electronic materials will be removed from reserve at the end of the term. Scanned copies will be destroyed when they are no longer used for reserve.

We will not place materials, including electronic files or web pages, on reserve if the nature, scope, or extent of copying is judged to exceed limits of fair use.

In some cases, placing photocopied or scanned material on reserve may require copyright permission. Use of the same photocopied or scanned material in multiple courses or for successive years will generally require permission. Faculty may wish to consider the following options:

  • The Rutgers University Bookstore will obtain copyright approval and pay royalties for materials in course packs ordered by Rutgers faculty. Contact the bookstore at 732-246-8448 for additional information.
  • The Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) offers an Academic Permission Service (APS) and will secure copyright permissions for faculty course packs or course handouts for a fee. Visit CCC Online ( for more information.
  • A model letter faculty may use to request copyright permission for electronic reserve is available online at the Copyright Advisory Office.

See our Rutgers University Website on Copyright for Faculty, Students, and Staff for additional copyright information and a guide to resources.