Michigan State University

Course Reserves FAQ for Instructors

Where may I place material on Reserve?

Every library in the MSU Library system offers Course Reserves services. Policies will vary with each location. Contact the Service Desk directly for specific information. You may drop off items at any library Service Desk all hours the desk is open.

Who can place items on Reserve?

Faculty members or their representatives (Teaching Assistants, Research Assistants, etc.) may submit Reserve requests. Students enrolled in the class may NOT place material on Reserve.

How can I submit a Reserve list?

You can send your list electronically. Go to the Reserve Request Form

What can be placed on Reserve?

Library-owned material, as well as personal material, sample exam questions, lecture notes, and photocopied articles may be placed on Reserve. Photocopies must meet Federal copyright standards. Copyright permission questions may be directed to the Copyright Permissions Center at permissions@mail.lib.msu.edu.

How soon should I submit my Reserve list?

While you may reserve material at any time, the sooner we receive your request list the better. In general, lists are processed in the order received. Typically, if your list is submitted 2 weeks before the first day of classes all items will be on Reserve by the start of classes. 

How long will it take before my list is ready?

Processing times will vary and all items may not be available immediately. Requests will be processed as quickly as possible in the order received. Material requiring recall from other borrowers, or material we have to order will be available as soon as we receive them and processing is completed. 

How can I view the status of my Reserve list request?

Search for your course by name or course number in the catalog. If you have questions about the progress of your list, please contact the appropriate Service Desk.

How can I expedite processing of my list?

You can expedite processing by providing accurate and complete citations for the titles you request, as well as clear information about the course, the instructor, enrollment, and loan period information. The more information you can supply, the fewer questions we need to follow-up with. You may also expedite processing by bringing the requested library material, personal copies or an already-spiral-bound coursepack directly to a staff member at the Service Desk.

Will you contact me when my list is ready?

Due to increased volume of Reserve requests, especially at the start of the semester, we regret not being able to contact each instructor regarding their list's status. 

Can material be made available electronically?

Currently the MSU Library does not offer centralized electronic course reserves. Course content is managed by individual course instructors within the course management system, Desire2Learn (D2L). Instructors are strongly encouraged to comply with copyright guidelines when posting material within the course. Please see Commonly Asked Questions about Copyright. Links can be created within D2L to the full-text of articles licensed by the MSU Libraries. See instructions for creating stable links to electronic articles. Explicit copyright permission is required to post the full text of articles within an online course. The MSU Library offers a Copyright Permissions Service.

How do I order material the Library doesn’t own?

You may provide material order information by going to the “Faculty Services” page, and then clicking on “Reserve Material Purchase Request.” We will notify the instructor when the material is received and available. If a requested title is no longer in print, we will contact the instructor to decide the next course of action.

Is there a limit to the number of titles I may reserve?

There is no limit to the number of titles you may place on Reserve. 

How many copies of a title will you reserve?

Generally, the Library will only own one copy of a title. Due to space limitations, no more than 3 copies of any title may be placed on reserve. 

Can I place a coursepack on Reserve?

Yes, provided that appropriate copyright permissions have been secured. To seek assistance in obtaining permissions, contact the Copyright Permissions Center.

What are the loan periods for Reserve material?

Loan periods vary by Library location. The information can be found on the Reserve Request Form.  All instructor-supplied personal materials will circulate with a 2 hour loan period and need to remain "building use only."

Are fines charged?

Fines are assessed at the rate of $1.00 per item/per hour and are charged 24 hours a day, every day. When Reserve material remains overdue overnight, the borrower is billed a minimum of $100 to replace the material. Once the material is returned, the bill for replacement is waived, but fines will still be charged. 

How long is material kept on Reserve?

Material remains on Reserve for the duration of the semester. Items may be taken off Reserve by the instructor at any time during the semester, provided they are not on Reserve for another course. 

What should I tell my students about using Reserves?

First, make sure the material is available before sending your students. Check the catalog for the most accurate information on available material for your course. Also make sure students know which Service Desk holds the material. Once the material is available, students will need to bring a picture ID (their MSU Student ID serves this purpose) to the appropriate desk. They will also need the call numbers for the material (available from the catalog) they wish to check out.

For help on how to find Reserves, view the instructional video on the Reserves resources page.