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Circulation Desk

Accessing Course Reserves

Course Reserves are fully searchable in the JKM Library's online catalog. Either click on the name of your course, or search the for a book or professor to see if what you need is available.

To check out course reserves, visit the Circulation Desk. In order to access these materials you will need: 

  • to present a valid Chatham University ID or photo ID 
  • your instructor's last name
  • the title of the item you'd like to borrow

Depending on what you professor chose, you may be able to check out the item for:

  • 2 hours - to be used in the library only
  • 4 hours - can leave the library
  • 24 hours - can leave the library

For more details on loan time, renewals, late fines, and replacement charges see our Borrowing Policies for Chatham Community tab and select your patron type. 

Placing Items on Course Reserves

Standard loan period options include:

  • 2 hours: In-library use only
  • 4 hours: Item may leave the library
  • 24 hours: May be checked out at any time, may leave the library

Instructors: Need a different loan time? Talk to the Head of Access Services about other possible options.

Instructors interested in placing items on Course Reserve should do the following:

  • Ensure that your materials are in compliance with copyright law and JKM Library policies, including:
    • All photocopies and other reproductions fall within fair use guidelines
    • Statements of permissions are included when copies exceed the dictates of fair use. Information on obtaining copyright permissions is available here.
  • Print out or pick up a Course Reserve Request Form and fill it out completely. Make sure you sign the copyright compliance portion and complete the citation list.
  • Bring the materials and the completed Course Reserve Request Form with the citation list to the Circulation Desk.

Materials should be available in approximately two business days.

Usage statistics for your materials are calculated and provided to you after the end of the semester to help you gauge student use of these items.

Items Currently Accepted for Course Reserve:

  • Books: Faculty may place on reserve books owned by JKM Library as well as personal copies of books. 
  • Photocopies of journal articles, book chapters, elements from anthologies, etc: Faculty may place these on course reserve under the guidelines regarding the quantity and type of reproductions allowed. Generally, this is one chapter or one article per book or journal.
  • Video and audio recordings: Commercially produced (not recorded privately) recordings may be placed on reserve, as well as those owned by the JKM Library. Recordings which have been recorded privately may be placed on reserve once and once only. 
  • Copies of student papers and tutorials: Faculty may place these on reserve provided that written permission from the student author is included with each item.
  • Faculty-created course-related documents: Old class exams, homework problems and solutions, syllabi, and similar documents may be placed on reserve.


Items Currently Not Accepted for Course Reserve:

  • Consumables: Workbooks, copies of standardized tests, coursepacks, and other single-use items will not be accepted for course reserve.
  • Books borrowed from other libraries may not be placed on reserve.
  • Items borrowed from other libraries and/or rented from commercial establishments may not be placed on reserve.

Notes about Personal Copies


  • Personal copies require several labels and/or stamps on each item. This will result in some minor cosmetic changes to your book or other item.
  • The library cannot be held responsible for loss or damage to personal copies of materials placed on reserve. We make every effort to ensure that your materials are clearly marked as belonging to course reserves and that items are used properly and returned in timely fashion.
  • Within two weeks of the last day of exams your materials will be removed from course reserves. You will be sent an email letting you know that your items are ready for you to pick up. All materials will be held for you to PICK UP at the REFERENCE DESK. Any item(s) not picked up within a year of being removed from course reserves will be added to the library's collections at staff discretion. Materials not added to the collection will be donated or discarded.

Course Reserve Copyright Compliance Policy

There are limits on the type and quantity of material which may be submitted for Course Reserve. The following guidelines are offered by JKM Library. Please note: these are only guidelines! Copyright law is extremely complex, and it is difficult to give any absolutes. These guidelines are pending approval by University legal counsel. These guidelines exist because the JKM Library endeavors to abide by the legal requirements of copyright law, as well as to maintain the principles of academic integrity. 


  • Each item placed on reserve must include the full bibliographic citation. Materials lacking such information will not be accepted or may be delayed in processing.
  • Students must not be assessed any charges for use of reserve materials beyond their own photocopying costs and late fines or replacement fees.
  • Individual instructors are responsible for copyright compliance including obtaining publisher permission to exceed fair use guidelines.
  • JKM Library reserves the right to decline placing any item on reserve that lacks copyright permission if the nature, scope, or extent is judged by the library to exceed the reasonable limits of fair use.

Placing items on course reserve can involve relatively few, or very complicated copyright issues, as well as everywhere in between. Here are some rules for when you should seek permissions, based upon the Guidelines for Classroom Copying (1976). 

Materials which do not usually require permissions for reproductions:

  • Works in the public domain:
    • U.S. Government publications
    • See this chart from Cornell University to determine if items fall into the public domain based on the date they were published.
  • Copyrighted works whose use can be considered fair use are not required as long as the reproduction and use of these materials does not violate the provisions of fair use. Such works include:
    • one article from one issue of a journal, periodical, or newspaper
    • one chapter from a book, anthology, or conference proceeding
    • one short story, essay, or poem from a collection
    • one chart, graph, diagram, drawing, cartoon, or picture from a book, periodical, or newspaper
  • Multiple copies of copyrighted works: Permissions are not required as long as the reproduction and use of these materials does not violate the provisions of fair use, and meet the additional criteria of brevity, spontaneity, and cumulative effect as described in the Guidelines for Classroom Copying. Such items include:
    • One reproduction of an item may be placed on reserve for every 20 students enrolled in a course
    • Up to nine such instances of multiple copies may be allowed for a single course; the tenth and subsequent items may only be placed on reserve in single-copies
  • Faculty exams, homework or problem set answers, lecture notes: If a faculty member chooses to place materials they themselves have created, these items have automatically received permission to be placed on course reserve.
  • Student Papers: Student papers may be placed on course reserve only if written permission from the student accompanies each item.
  • Materials which require permissions for reproductions:
    • Items which violate the doctrine of Fair Use
    • Multiple articles from a single issue of a journal, periodical, or newspaper
    • Multiple chapters from a single book, anthology, or conference proceeding
    • Multiple elements of a collection of short stories, essays, or poems
    • Reproductions needed for more than one semester

Q: What if I'm using an out-of-print book, is there still a limit on the number of copies I can place on reserve? 

A: No distinction is made between in-print and out-of-print materials with respect to fair use guidelines. In fact, because of recent technological developments which have made print and electronic reproductions both inexpensive and fast, the market for out-of-print (but still under copyright) materials may be stronger now than ever. Note that some out-of-print materials may now be in the public domain and no longer subject to fair use guidelines.


Q: The text I want to use for my class is out-of-print and copies are scarce and prohibitively expensive.  I'd like to place copies of 4 or 5 chapters of this 12 chapter book on reserve for the semester.  Is this allowed?

A: No, this exceeds both the fair use and the classroom use guidelines. If you have a copy or two of the book itself, you may place the entire book on reserve and avoid the problem with photocopies.


Q: Am I still responsible for copyright if someone else makes the copies? 

A: No, as either the copy center or library would simply be the agents of the faculty member, it is still, in effect, the faculty member making the copy. Please note that library staff will not make copies of articles to be placed on reserve individual faculty members are responsible for providing their own copies.


Q: Why do I have to pick up my photocopies at the end of the semester? 

A: The copyright law does not specifically address the length of time a print copy may be retained, though remember that permissions must be obtained from the publisher to place photocopies on reserve for more than one semester. Additionally, space constraints prohibit the library from retention of course reserves past the end-of-semester pickup time.


Q: How do I get permission to use a copy of an article for more than one semester? 

A: You'll need to seek permission from the copyright holder (for journal articles this is frequently the publisher). If you need assistance in determining the copyright holder, or an example of a permission letter, please visit the Requesting Copyright Permissions page, or ask to look at the copies at the Circulation Desk.


Q: It looks like most course reserve use is probably within the fair use guidelines, so why does the library need me to sign the Course Reserve Request Form?

A: The library can't guarantee what is or is not fair use; we can only make recommendations and suggest you err on the side of caution and seek permissions when in doubt. JKM Library needs to comply with copyright law and fair use, and our policies and procedures are designed to recognize the intent of the law. Your signature on the form indicates our good faith effort to be in full compliance with the law.


Q: It sounds like I need to get permissions for just about everything I want to put on reserve, do I?

A: No the fair use restrictions apply to reproductions or photocopies of originals. Whole books can be placed on reserve without problems, as can materials in the public domain.


Q: I wrote this article, so I can put as many copies on reserve as I want, right?

A: Well, yes and no. Frequently, when an article is published, the author signs a transfer of copyright to the publisher. If you agreed to such a transfer, the publisher, not you, is the copyright holder, and so use of the article falls under fair use guidelines. If you retained your rights, then we ask only that you carefully consider the minimum number of copies which is reasonable to ensure that the students in your class have adequate access to the material.


Q: I know I need to get permission to use some materials for my course how do I do this?

A: You'll need to contact the publisher (or copyright holder) requesting permission for use in class or as a course reserve item. Visit the Requesting Copyright Permissions page for a sample letter. If you're having difficulty determining who the copyright holder is, the library staff may be able to give you some suggestions.


Q: I recorded a documentary from TV over the summer and would like to place it on reserve for my students to watch. Is that okay?

A: Yes, but only once. After that you'll need to seek permissions. If you purchase a copy and would like to place that on reserve, that would be fine.


Q: If I received an article through Interlibrary Loan, can I place it on reserve?

A: No, Copyright Law (specifically Section 108(d)) states that a library may copy no more than one article or other contribution to a copyrighted collection or periodical issue, or to a small part of any other copyrighted work. The copy you have received is limited by law to private study, scholarship, or research.