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Lemieux Library

Course Reserves

This page provides general information on Lemieux Library’s course reserves and answers common instructor questions about utilizing course reserves to make material available to students.

Understanding Course Reserves

What are course reserves?

Lemieux Library supports instruction by offering access to course-related resources through course reserves. Upon instructor request, course reserve items may be set aside for limited-term loan from the Library’s Circulation Desk or made electronically available for digital access by students enrolled in the relevant course. The course reserve system facilitates student access to items that supplement core course materials but is not a substitute for assigning textbooks or coursepacks.

If you are unsure whether reserves are the best choice for your course, this table provides a detailed overview of instructor options for making both library and non-library materials available to students.

COVID-19 & Course Reserves

How have course reserves changed in response to COVID-19?

Due to health and safety concerns, physical course reserves are currently unavailable. Liaison Librarians are happy to assist instructors in identifying electronic alternatives to items that would otherwise be placed on physical reserve.  

The Library is expanding access to streaming media resources in response to increased need for video in remote teaching. Although it maintains a physical collection of video materials, the Library cannot make DVDs or VHS tapes available as electronic reserves or for classroom streaming without obtaining streaming rights. Instructors who planned to place DVDs, VHS tapes, or other media on physical reserve or to utilize them for screenings should contact their Liaison Librarian or Jan Hartley (Director of Resource Acquisitions and Management) with a list of titles needed. The Library will investigate the availability of requested titles for institutional leasing in streaming format and work with instructors to explore alternatives if necessary.


Will physical course reserves be available next quarter?

In order to promote access and affordability with regard to course materials, the Library plans to offer course reserves primarily in electronic format for the foreseeable future and encourages instructors to plan on using electronic materials when teaching. This table offers an overview of current instructor options for making a variety of course materials available to students and Liaison Librarians can assist instructors in identifying resources appropriate to online teaching.

Using Course Reserves

How do I request that material be placed on course reserve?

Instructors may request that material be placed on course reserve by following reserve request procedures. Instructors are responsible for compliance with applicable copyright law and should review the Library’s Course Reserves Policy prior to submitting a request.


How can I make material from the Library’s print collection available to students while physical reserves are unavailable?

Instructors may continue to submit requests to place materials from the Library’s print collection on reserve. The Library will investigate purchase or license of electronic versions of requested materials in order to fulfill such requests. When purchasing or licensing electronic materials is not feasible, the Library may create scans for electronic reserve and deliver them to instructors for upload to Canvas.

Scanning will be limited by applicable copyright laws. As described in the Library’s Course Reserves Policy, instructors are responsible for evaluating whether their reserve requests comply with copyright law. However, the Library may refuse to scan materials for placement on reserve when a request raises copyright or other legal or administrative concerns. In such cases, the Library will assist instructors in identifying electronic alternatives.


Can I place a textbook on reserve?

With physical reserves currently unavailable, instructors cannot place print copies of course textbooks on reserve at the Library. Although textbooks are often available in electronic format, instructors should be aware that many electronic textbooks specifically published for course instruction cannot be purchased by libraries. Publishers often restrict electronic textbook sales and licenses to individual students, preventing libraries from obtaining copies that can be made available to students who do not purchase or rent them. Scanning of chapters from print textbooks for placement on electronic reserve may also be restricted by applicable copyright laws.

Liaison Librarians are available to assist instructors in exploring electronic textbook alternatives and may be able to identify options within existing Library collections or electronic materials available for library license. When it is not possible to identify an alternative to which the library can provide electronic access, the Campus Store offers a limited scholarship fund that may be able to assist students unable to purchase or rent assigned materials.


How can I show a video from the Library’s collection in my online course or make it available for students to stream?

The Library offers a wide variety of streaming film and media and is expanding access to these resources in response to increased need for video in online teaching. Learn more about streaming media options in the Library’s Streaming Film and Media Guide.

The Library cannot make DVDs or VHS tapes from its collection available as electronic reserves or for classroom streaming without obtaining streaming rights. Instructors who planned to place DVDs or VHS tapes on physical reserve or to utilize them for screenings should contact their Liaison Librarian or Jan Hartley (Director of Resource Acquisitions and Management) with a list of titles needed. The Library will investigate the availability of requested titles for institutional leasing in streaming format and work with instructors to explore alternatives if necessary.


Can I link to the Library’s electronic resources from Canvas rather than place them on Course Reserve?

Yes! The Library maintains a guide on Direct Linking to Library Resources that explains how to create links to Library materials. Linking to Library resources is a best practice that avoids copyright complications and prevents redistribution of materials to users beyond your course. If the Library receives a reserve request for materials owned or licensed by the Library in electronic format, it will fulfill the request by providing links to the material rather than creating a reserve copy.


I already have electronic copies of the Library material I would like my students to read. Can I upload the files to Canvas?

Please provide direct links to any electronic Library resources you wish to make available to students rather than uploading copies of the material to Canvas. The Library maintains a guide on Direct Linking to Library Resources that explains how to create links to Library materials.

Instructors may choose to host or link to other course materials within Canvas. However, under Seattle University's copyright policy, instructors are responsible for complying with copyright law when uploading and sharing materials on Canvas. Seattle University’s Center for Digital Learning and Innovation (CDLI) provides further guidance on copyright compliance when using Canvas.

Other Options for Course Material Access

What other options do I have for providing students with access to Library and non-Library materials?

This table offers an overview of instructor options for making a variety of course materials available to students and includes links to relevant campus resources.