Course Reserves

Welcome to CMU Libraries’ Course Reserves and Copyright Services Office.

Course Reserves are supplemental materials for your classes.

We've compiled information for students about accessing course reserves, as well information for faculty about placing material on course reserves below.

Submit a Course Reserve Request

Course Reserves FAQ

We will help you put material on reserve in support of your class instruction.

We will:

Secure permission to use the material. Pay any usage fees associated with the item(s). Obtain copies of the requested material. Upload it directly into your Blackboard course shell.

To put material on reserve fill out this form or send an email to Please include the following information in an email or attachment:

Instructor's name, Instructor's email/phone, Course Designator (example MSA 600), CRN (course reference number), Semester/Year, Citation Information (as much as possible)

All requests for copyright permission should be submitted six to eight weeks prior to the start of class. If you cannot meet this deadline, please submit your request as soon as possible. Every effort will be made to have the material available by the start of the class.

You will receive an email confirmation once the material has been placed on reserve/loaded into Blackboard.

If your instructor has placed an item on course reserve, it will be available in the Blackboard course shell for that class. You can also search for course reserves materials in Smart Search.

Material will remain in Blackboard only for the duration of your class. It cannot be available beyond the last class date without permission from the copyright holder.

Yes, provided that the copyright is not held by another party (a journal publisher, for example). If you hold the copyright and want to place the material on reserve, you may do so without limitation.

Using copyrighted material one time without obtaining permission is allowed under fair use, but you must get permission (and pay applicable usage charges) for each subsequent use.

Some rights holders reply within a few days, while others take longer. It is best to submit your requests to us as far in advance of the course start date as you can. The more lead time we have, the more likely the material will be ready for your class.

  • Linking to material does not require permission, since you are not creating a copy of the content. Linking is a great way to provide information to your students without having to consider copyright ramifications.

  • Self-authored material (unpublished) — Since you are the copyright holder, you can use it as you wish.

  • Government publications — United States government publications are considered public domain and, therefore, can be used freely.

  • Material in the public domain — When an item enters the public domain, it is no longer protected by copyright and can be used without limitation.

  • Open access material — Many authors create material that is intended to be used and shared freely. In most cases, all the author asks is an acknowledgement of the source of the material.

  • Material from the CMU Libraries collections — According to our licensing agreements, material from our print and electronic collections may be placed on reserve without having to obtain permission or pay usage charges.