About Course Reserves

Definition and Purpose of Course Reserves

Course reserves are materials (including books, AV materials, journal articles, electronic resources, instructional equipment, and non-book items) chosen by the faculty to support class instruction. The materials are maintained in a separate location within a library, and access to the material is more restricted than is the access to items in general circulation. The purpose of a reserve collection is to:

  • Support the needs of a defined group of patrons within the Grinnell College community (usually a class)
  • Provide timely, convenient, and efficient access to high-demand materials; and
  • Protect materials that are at a high risk of theft or vandalism.

General Copyright Guidelines for Course Reserves

The Grinnell College guidelines on copying for course reserve reading services derive from the fair use provisions of the copyright law of the United States as found in Section 107 of Title 17 of the United States Code. The Libraries reserve the right to refuse to place on course reserve any material that appears to violate these copyright guidelines. The reproduction of copyright-protected works for library reserve services falls into an unsettled area of the law which may be addressed in future revisions of the copyright law or through adjudication. Grinnell College will monitor legal developments which may affect the fair use analysis of reserve services to ensure that library services are in compliance with the letter and spirit of the United States copyright law.

Placing Books, Journal Issues or Media on Reserve

General Guidelines

At the request of the instructor, the Libraries will place on physical reserve published copies of monographs, textbooks, media such as CDs and DVDs, and similar material for the non-commercial, educational use of students. Books, journal issues (bound or unbound), and media items that are owned by the Grinnell College Libraries, other College departments, or individual members of the College faculty may be placed on library reserve without restrictions. If class size justifies, the Libraries will order additional copies. For desired course reserves books not owned by the Libraries, the faculty member or the department, the Libraries will initiate expedited orders to purchase.

Course Reserves and Interlibrary Loan

The national interlibrary loan code prohibits borrowing books and other material from other libraries for the purpose of placing them on reserve at the borrowing institution.

How to place a book, journal issue, or media item on physical reserve

To place on reserve a physical book, journal issue, or media item owned by the Grinnell College Libraries, faculty, or department, bring the item to the Burling Circulation Desk and complete a reserve request form. (Please note: the reserve item must be the actual book, not a photocopied portion.) Note that media items may be placed on reserve at Burling Circulation, Kistle Circulation, or in the AV Center.

Placing Articles, Book Chapters, or Media on Electronic Reserve

General Guidelines

Under appropriate circumstances, electronic scans or files created from books, journal issues, or media, owned by the Grinnell College Libraries, other College departments, or the instructor may be used for course reserves readings.

If the College has licensed electronic access to a book, article, or media, a link will be created through the course reserve list in Pioneer Web. Copies of the electronic file will not be downloaded into the electronic reserve system.

Copies or scans created from journal issues or books that are not owned by the Grinnell College Libraries, other College departments, or the instructor may be used in course reserve only with permission of the copyright owner and payment of any requisite fee. Fair use does not apply in such cases.

In cases where Fair Use does not apply, the Libraries will request copyright permission on behalf of the College. Copyright royalty payments are limited to $300 for an individual item or a cumulative total of $1,000 for all the items on reserve for a particular course. Charges in excess will be the responsibility of the instructor, the department, or the concentration. Exceptions may be requested from the Librarian of the College.

Considerations Regarding "Fair Use" and Copyright

Reserve requests should be made through the Electronic Reserve Request Form. The Libraries work closely with Academic Support Assistants in completing faculty requests for course reserve. In general, the Support Assistants are responsible for copying and scanning course reserve materials and delivering those to the Library, while the Library is responsible for researching and managing copyright clearances, checking for online availability of requested texts, posting files in the electronic reserve system, and creating index entries. Faculty with electronic reserve requests should generally initiate those requests with their support assistants. Please keep in mind the following considerations:

  • The source of the reproduction must be "lawfully owned." Lawfully owned sources include:
    • Library-owned copies of books and journal issues.
    • Instructor-owned copies of books, journal issues, and media items.
  • The reproduction will include either the original copyright notice or - if there is no notice published in the item - a generic copyright warning: "This material may be protected by copyright. Further dissemination is prohibited."
  • The reproduction will represent a small proportion of the whole copyrighted work. Requests for amounts that exceed these guidelines may require copyright permission and (as determined by the copyright owner) payment of a royalty.
  • The duration of access will be limited: access to electronic copies will be removed at the end of the course and photocopies supplied by faculty will be returned by the end of the semester (or sooner if not needed for physical reserve).
  • Access to the reproduction will be limited to enrolled students of the course.

The Libraries will not reproduce or accept for print or electronic reserve works intended to be "consumable" in the course of studying or teaching such as published workbooks, exercises, standardized tests, test booklets, and answer sheets. However, exercises, tests, and similar material created by the instructor may be copied and/or placed on reserve at the instructor's request.