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Library Services and Resources for Faculty

What are Course Reserves?

In support of the teaching and learning mission of the library and academic institution, reserve services will be made available in compliance with US copyright law, including user rights such as the first sale doctrine and fair use.

Course reserves are textbooks and other required or supplemental materials that the library makes available to students.

  • Physical materials can be put on reserve at the library's circulation desk with a variety of loan periods, but a 2 or 4 hour in-library period is the norm. If the library owns a copy of the book or film that can be put on reserve for the semester. If the library does not own a copy, an instructor's personal copy can be put on reserve as well.
  • Library licensed ebooks can be linked in the course reserve system.
  • Links to electronic articles and supplemental reading can also be put in the course reserve's online catalog. 

Items included in course reserves will have a "Course" icon associated with them in the library's search tool.

Course Reserve Form

To put materials on reserve, either fill out the following online form or pick up a paper form at the library circulation desk.

Email any questions to Liz Svoboda (, Instruction Librarian.

Instructors are encouraged to apply the Fair Use Checklist to any copyrighted work they are assigning students to read, view, or listen to, outside of the assigned textbook.

Frequently Asked Questions about Course Reserves

Who may place materials on reserve?

Only class instructors may put materials on reserve for the classes they are teaching in a given semester.

How do you place materials on reserve?

The instructor must complete a request form citing each item that is to be placed on reserve in the library. Complete the following form and submit any instructor-owned copies in person to the circulation desk.

How many copies may be placed on reserve?

Faculty may submit multiple copies of each item for larger classes. Please note that providing copies (duplicate folders or personal books) is the responsibility of the instructor. The library is not able to provide photocopy service.

What may be placed on reserve?

  • Library Books (from both the Flint and Ann Arbor campuses)
  • Library Media (from the Flint campus ONLY)
  • Materials from library database subscriptions (as long as licenses allow)
    • ebooks
    • streaming films
    • journal articles
  • Personal copies of books (provided they are legally obtained)
  • Personal copies of media (provided they are legally obtained)
  • Electronic copies of scanned material evaluated for Fair Use. This option is currently unavailable due to an issue with the new system. Please see how to Link to Library Texts on the Integrating the Library into Canvas Courses for more information.
    • Journal or magazine articles
    • Book chapters

How long can materials be placed on reserve?

Most materials can be placed on reserve for multiple semesters if the use is deemed fair by the circulation staff. Electronic reserves will only be uploaded for the semesters in which the associated class will be taught.

Copyright Information & Fair Use

While providing course reserves, the library complies with copyright law. For more information about the copyright at the University of Michigan please see the following resources from the UM-AA Copyright Office and the U.S. Copyright Office.

Fair Use

Fair use is a limitation on the rights of the copyright holder that allows others to use portions of a copyrighted work or the whole work without permission from the holder (Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act). It is determined by a balanced application of the four factors set forth in the statute:

  1. Purpose of the use
  2. Nature of the copyrighted work
  3. Amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. Effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

The library also consults the Association of Research Libraries Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries (2012).

Instructors who want to use copyrighted material as additional reading or viewing material, should determine whether their use is fair before posting or uploading items to their online courses or submitting additional readings for course reserve. Not all educational use is fair use.

The library has created a Fair Use Checklist to help faculty work through their use of copyrighted works. All materials submitted for library course reserves, especially e-reserves, will be assessed for Fair Use.

Additional information can be found through the UM-AA Copyright Office. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Liz Svoboda, Instruction Librarian, at

Creating Persistent and Proxied Links to Library Content

To comply with copyright law and licensing agreements it is better to link to library content in your Canvas courses instead of uploading PDFs downloaded from the databases.

To ensure that links to library resources will work for any UM-Flint affiliate whether they are on campus or not, they need to be persistent and sometimes proxied. 

Persistent - The URLs that appear in the address bar of library resources are often session-specific, meaning they will expire. Persistent, or stable, links should be used instead. 

Proxied - Links that include the library’s proxy server prefix ( or infix allow off-campus users to login, be recognized as affiliated with UM-Flint, and entitled to access the content.

Use persistent and proxied link for rich text links in Canvas to ensure access in new windows.

Finding a Persistent Link

Many resources provide an option to copy and paste a persistent link but they are sometimes tricky to find since the term used and the location for doing so can vary depending on which resource you are using. Some common terms to look for include:

  • Permalink
  • Bookmark
  • Jumpstart
  • Document URL
  • Stable URL
  • DOI link.

Proxied Links

If you are linking to the article in rich text, make sure it includes either the proxy server prefix or that the infix is included in the middle of the URL. If the link opens in a new browser window, it will ensure access by logging in.

Some resources automatically include the proxy server prefix or infix but, if they don’t, it can be added manually to the beginning of the persistent URL. For example:

This information was updated on May 2, 2023.

If you need help locating or constructing links, please contact a librarian or attend our ODE-partnered workshops "Course Readings, Copyright, and Online Classrooms" and "Integrating the Library into Your Canvas Course."