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Course Reserves Frequently Asked Questions

What is an e-reserve (electronic reserve)?

An e-reserve is an electronic copy of a reading, or a link to streaming media that is posted on the e-reserve portion of the library website. These can be scanned PDFs of book chapters, articles from journals, poems, etc., or they can be links to articles in library databases, or to anywhere on the open internet.

What is a print reserve?

A print reserve is a physical copy of a book that is held behind the Information and Assistance Desk at Boatwright and has a short check-out period. Professors place books on reserve in order to give students equal access to in-demand material. Both library books and professor-owned books can be placed on reserve.

What are some benefits of using e-reserves?

Like posting readings on Blackboard, using e-reserves gives professors the opportunity to assign a wide variety of reading material that may be impractical or impossible for students to purchase on their own. Unlike Blackboard, with e-reserves, professors simply provide citations for the material they want to use and library staff members do the rest. Our team uses high resolution scanners and computer editing to get premium quality scans. We are able to eliminate dark shadows at the edges of scans and are able to format scans to fit properly on 8.5 x 11 paper, no matter the size of the original material. These benefits ensure that e-reserves print properly without causing printer jams and guarantee the legibility of the scans. Also, when professors post readings on Blackboard that require copyright permission, they and their departments must handle and pay for that permission. For materials posted on e-reserve, the library handles and pays for all copyright requests.

What are some benefits of using print reserves?

Placing books on reserve gives students equal access to in-demand materials. For example, professors can place their personal copy of an expensive or heavy textbook on reserve for their students to use at the library. Professors can also place a selection of books on reserve that will be highly useful for their students’ research. Any time that you want multiple students to be able to have equal access to a single book, using our print reserve service is a great option.

What are the possible check-out periods for print reserves?

The possible check-out periods are: 2 hours, 4 hours, 8 hours, 1 day and 3 days. 2 hours is the default, so if you do not indicate a preferred check-out period on your request form, your reserves will be set to a 2 hour check-out period. If you’d like to choose a different option, please indicate this in the special instructions section of the reserve request form.

What is the "title as listed on syllabus," and how should I fill out this field of the request form?

The "title as listed on syllabus" field on the reserve request form allows you to ensure that the display title of the e-reserve matches how you've titled the reading on your syllabus. If the "title as listed on syllabus" field is filled out, our staff will use what has been entered there as the title of the e-reserve. If this field is not filled out, we will title the e-reserve to match the name of the article or chapter, or will choose another suitable name as necessary. For example, if your syllabus lists a reading as "Moby Dick: Chapter 1," it's a good idea to enter this in the "title as listed on syllabus" field. Otherwise, your students might not know to look for the reading under "L" for "Loomings."

What is a media reserve?

A media reserve is a physical copy of a DVD, Blu-ray, VHS, or audiobook that is held behind the Media Resource Center service desk at Boatwright and has a short check-out period. Professors place media on reserve in order to give students equal access to in-demand material. Both library media and professor-owned media can be placed on reserve. The check-out period for media reserves is 4 hours in order to allow students enough time to view feature-length films.

Can I put music or movies on reserve?

Yes, physical copies of movies are put on reserve in the MRC.

Can I reuse reserves that I've used in previous semesters?

Yes. For e-reserves, choose "yes" in the "Reactivating" field of the reserve request form. Please be aware that when e-reserves are reused by the same professor for the same course, copyright permission may need to be acquired and the reserve request may take longer than usual.  For print reserves, just provide the book citation on the reserve request form.

Can I use an article that's available in a library database?

Articles available through library databases can be posted as e-reserves by linking directly to the article in the database. Please see the procedures section on the reserves home page for instructions on permalinks.

Can I post links to places on the internet as e-reserves?

Yes, anywhere on the free, open internet can be linked to on our e-reserve page. For example, you might link to an online news article from the Washington Post, or a recent essay in the New Yorker. Please see the procedures section on the reserves home page for instructions on permalinks.

Can I use an electronic book (e-book) as an e-reserve?

In many situations, we are able to post portions of e-books as e-reserves. However, due to individual publisher restrictions, each e-book has its own particular copyright situation. Please contact the reserves department for advice on making a particular e-book available to your students.

Can I email you scans I've made myself to place on e-reserve?

We prefer to scan e-reserves ourselves for several reasons. At Boatwright, our staff members use high resolution scanners and computer editing to get premium quality scans. We are able to eliminate dark shadows at the edges of scans and are able to format scans to fit properly on 8.5 x 11 paper, no matter the size of the original material. These benefits ensure that e-reserves print properly without causing printer jams and guarantee the legibility of the PDFs. However, any PDF can be placed on e-reserve as long as it follows our copyright guidelines.

Can I bring you photocopies to be scanned for e-reserve?

Yes, however, we always prefer to scan from an original source if possible. Scanning from an original ensures the highest quality scan and the greatest legibility. Scanning from a photocopy reduces the quality of the scan and can decrease legibility.

Can I put my course text book on reserve?

Yes. The library generally does not purchase text books, but personal copies of text books may be placed on reserve.

Can I have the library order books to be scanned or placed on reserve?

Please contact your liaison librarian to discuss book purchasing. Please be aware that book purchase and delivery can take several weeks.

Why do I need to fill out a form for each reserve request?

There are several reasons why we ask for a separate reserve request form for each item. First, the information on reserve request forms helps us decide whether or not we need to apply for copyright permission for each reading. If we do apply for copyright permission, having the citation information for the reading is essential. Also, our workflow procedures require that multiple people handle different portions of the reserves process. Reserve request forms help us keep everything straight as items move around the department.

Why won't the request form self-populate with my name and email?

Self-population of fields is not a feature that is currently available with URPoster, the form processor for all University of Richmond web sites. Keep in mind that professor name, course name, and date needed are the only required fields on the form. Email, telephone number etc. are useful, but not required.

How do I know if my requests fall under copyright protection?

Please view our Copyright Guidelines. If you have questions, please contact the reserves department.

How long do copyright permission requests take?

Copyright permission requests can take several weeks. If your requests will require copyright permission, please allow several extra weeks of processing time. If you have questions, please refer to our copyright guidelines.

How long will it take for my reserves to be posted or my Blackboard scans to be sent to me?

Please view our course reserve deadlines on the reserve home page. Be aware that books that need to be ordered and e-reserves that need copyright permission may take several weeks longer to process.

How long will my personal book take to get back to me if I bring it in to be scanned?

Personal books will be returned as soon as they have been processed. For estimated processing times please see the deadlines portion of the course reserve home page. If you need your book back by any certain date, please note this in the special instructions box on the reserve request form.

Will I be notified when my reserves are ready?

At this time, due to the volume of requests that we receive, we are unable to provide individual notices when reserves are ready. You can always check the reserves portion of the library website to verify your reserves. If you would like a status update on any of your reserves, feel free to contact the library staff member in charge of course reserves.