Electronic Reserves

The growing popularity of online classes and the introduction of course management systems like Blackboard have instructors moving away from traditional print reserves toward electronic reserves. The round-the-clock, electronic access to this material is a convenience that today’s students not only appreciate, but expect. Below are guidelines related to electronic reserves.

  • Items placed on reserve should be part of the instructional objectives of the class and intended for the use of students in the class.
  • An item may be placed on electronic reserve one time under fair use guidelines without having to obtain permission, but each subsequent use requires permission and payment of usage charges, if necessary.
  • Access to reserve material must be limited to those students enrolled in the class.
  • Electronic reserves may only be made available for the duration of the class. Access to them must be disabled when the class ends.
  • Students may make a copy of an electronic reserve item for the purpose of individual study or research.
  • Each reserve item must include a notice of copyright.
  • Material owned by the CMU Libraries –including items from our print and electronic collections—can be placed on e-reserve without having to obtain permission or pay usage charges. Instructors are encouraged to draw on these collections when assembling reserve materials.
  • Linking to a reserve item is preferable to creating a copy of the item. Since linking does not involve appropriating content but is simply pointing the student to an item, copyright doesn’t actually come into play. You can link to anything you want without having to obtain permission.
  • It’s a good idea to take advantage of the library’s electronic reserve service when you want to make material available to your class. Be aware that distributing material to your class outside of the electronic reserves format may be construed as a violation of copyright.

If you wish to place material on electronic reserve, please contact the library's Course Reserves and Copyright Services office. The staff will locate a full text copy of the item for you, obtain the necessary usage permissions and pay any usage charges, and provide a link to it or load the item directly into your Blackboard course shell.

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