The library can provide access to a variety of materials including books, ebooks, scores, DVDs and streaming film, via course reserves.

Course Reserve Policy

  • Up to 25 physical items can be placed on reserve at Norlin Library, Gemmill Library and the Music Library.
    • The Earth Science and Business Libraries can only accommodate up to 15 items due to space limitations. 
  • Materials remain on reserve for one semester only. To keep an item currently on reserve on reserve for another semester, please submit a roll over form prior to the end of current semester.
  • Correct Call Numbers must be supplied for library materials.
  • Library materials that are currently checked out will be recalled by library staff. Please be aware that this will often result in a delay of one week or more.
  • The Library cannot guarantee the condition, or even the survival, of personal copy materials. During reserve processing, personal copies will receive several non-removable stickers, tape and a barcode.
  • Personal copy materials will be returned to the requestor at the end of the semester via campus mail.
  • Reserve materials will be processed in the order in which they are received.
  • Time sensitive requests should be submitted to the Reserves unit at least one week prior to their need by date.
  • Requests submitted at the beginning of a semester may take several weeks to process due to the high volume of requests.
  • Electronic materials are limited to library owned e-books, streaming film or streaming music. 
    • Articles or book chapters may be uploaded directly to Canvas by the instructor for student use.
  • Prohibited materials include:

    • Unauthorized (pirated) copies of commercially available materials;
    • Materials borrowed from another library or rented from a commercial establishment; and
    • Photocopies of single or collected articles or other writings.

Last updated August 2022

Course Reserve Guidelines

Physical materials (books, DVDs, maps, scores, etc) and library owned online resources (ebooks, streaming film) can be placed on course reserve.  

Articles and book chapters can be directly uploaded or linked on Canvas by the instructor. Course reserves doesn’t scan, locate or host these files. If you need help finding an article or book chapter, please use Illiad (link).

Additional information

Physical Materials 

Physical materials can check out for 2 hours, 4 hours, 24 hours or 72 hours. The checkout time is up to the instructor. 

Physical reserve materials can either be library materials or personal/departmental items provided by the instructor such as textbooks.   

All physical reserve materials will include information in the record to show the library that the item is held at, the fact that it is on reserve and its check out time.  

  • (e.g.) Norlin Library--Reserves--2 Hrs 
  • (e.g) Business Library--Reserves--24 Hrs 

Physical items must be returned to the library service desk in order to be promptly checked in. Do not put reserves in outside or inside return bins. 

Physical reserve items accrue hourly fines. 

  • This is done to make sure materials come back on time and are available for other students to use.  
  • Anyone who checks out reserve materials will be told by the service desk staff when the item is due back. Additionally, each user is sent an email with the due date and time.  
  • Hours in which the library is closed do not count toward the checkout time. Also, items are never due back when the library is closed. 

Online/Electronic Materials 

Ebooks (with the exception of titles available through Overdrive) don’t check out in the traditional sense.  

  • A user has access to an ebook when they are actively using the item. If there is no activity (scrolling, page turning, etc) after a set period of time, often 15-30 minutes, the user loses access to the title and the license becomes available again for another user to use. 

Each ebook has an assigned number of user licenses that can be anywhere from one user license to unlimited user licenses. The number of licenses is the number of users who can access the item at the same time. (e.g. an ebook with 2 licenses can have two different users using the book at the same time).  

Each ebook will have its own rules regarding whether pages or chapters can be printed or saved. These rules are decided by the publisher and cannot be changed. 

An unlimited number of online resources can be placed on reserve. 


The CU libraries will attempt to buy materials (physical or electronic) that the libraries do not currently own which are needed for courses. 

Requests for purchases can be made via the course reserves request form. 

Requests should be made several weeks in advance to ensure that materials can be purchased, shipped, cataloged, processed and made available through reserve. 

For textbooks, please contact the publisher of the textbook you are using and inquire about getting a free copy. Most publishers will do this. You can then put this personal copy on reserve for the course. 

Some ebooks are not available for purchase by libraries. Just because an individual can purchase an ebook, doesn’t mean that the library can purchase it as well. 


Search across audio content (recommended), or search a specific database: 


To check for a specific film title, search across video content via OneSearch (recommended). Additionally, see our Guide to Finding Film and Video.


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Last updated October 2023