Library Services

Information for Students

Course reserves are items (textbooks, course packets, films, articles, etc.) that professors put behind the circulation desk or make available online for the class they are teaching.

Not all classes will have course reserves and the library does not have textbooks for every class. The library does not actively collect textbooks because of their cost and the number and frequency of editions.

To search for course reserves follow the link below and put in your class number, e.g. if you wanted to know what books or articles were on reserve for Sociology 100 you would type in SOC 100.

Information for Faculty

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
    • journal articles
    • streaming films
  • Personal copies of books (provided they are legally obtained)
  • Personal copies of media (provided they are legally obtained)
  • Items created by the course instructor (not published), including:
    • Course syllabi
    • Lecture notes and presentations
    • Links to web sites
    • Practice exams and exercises
    • Media creations
  • Electronic copies of material evaluated for Fair Use, such as:
    • 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

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.


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 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, Head of Circulation, at esvoboda@umich.edu.

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