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Course Reserves Information


Blackboard Vista and Library Course Reserves


The Libraries have created technology that allows you to easily post a link to your course reserve list in your Blackboard Vista site. If you already have a link to course reserves that you put in as a Web Link in Blackboard Vista, we recommend that you remove that link and replace it with this new link. Why? Two reasons:

  • The new link is based on a dynamic technology that will regenerate the link in case the section number changes from one semester to another. You will never have to worry again about changing the link—it will automatically adapt.
  • The course reserve list generated by this new link is streamlined and easier for students to view and use.
Here are instructions for adding the new link in Blackboard Vista.
  1. Start in the Build tab.
  2. Click on the Add Content Link button and choose Library Course Reserves.
  3. Click on Create Library Course Reserves.
  4. Add a title, e.g., Course Reserves, in the Title box and click on the Save button.
  5. A Course Reserves link for your class list will appear.

For more detailed visual instructions try this tutorial
You may also use Blackboard Vista to post scanned material or links to external materials yourself.  These items would appear only on your Blackboard Vista site, and not in the Libraries' course reserve system.  Consult with the Blackboard Vista Administrator for assistance.


Students Viewing Course Reserves

  • Students can sign-in to the Library Course Reserves Service to view their current course schedule and any readings on reserve in the library for those courses.
  • The Course Reserves Service can also be used to search for items on reserve by Course Code and Section (For example, entering EN101.02 will display items currently on reserve for English 101, section 02).
  • Smart phone users can also access course reserves through the Libraries mobile services link.

How to Put Items on Reserve – Faculty Instructions

Items may be placed on course reserves for Fall, Spring or Summer sessions. Fall and Spring semester are two distinct periods, while the summer sessions make up the third reserve time period.

Requests (reading lists, syllabi) may be submitted to the email contacts listed at the end of this page. Contact the appropriate library on the campus where the course is taught. O'Neill Library (including Media) processes the Reserve collections for the School of Arts and Sciences (except Fine Arts), Education, Management, Nursing, and the Woods College of Advancing Studies. The Bapst Art Library, the Social Work Library, the Educational Resource Center, Theology and Ministry Library and the Law Library focus on subject-related materials for their specific user populations. Need clarification of reserve locations? Call 617-552-2297.

Time Frames

Course Reserves is a student-focused service. To ensure that students have access to all materials needed by the start of classes, please submit your course reserve requests in accordance with the following time frames:

Fall Semester: July 15
Spring Semester: November 15
Summer Sessions:  April 15

Some items may need to be ordered, scanned, recalled, or repaired and there may be a significant delay between the time requests are submitted and the time the material is available for student use. Because of this, requests submitted after the above dates may not be ready the first week of classes.

Before making assignments in class based on reserve readings, check Holmes or call the Reserves Department in the appropriate library to make sure your materials are listed in the Course Reserves catalog, ready for student use.


Common Course Materials

Books: Almost all Reserve books come from the circulating collections of the Libraries. New copies may be purchased for Reserve if there are no copies in the collection. In most cases one copy will suffice for each class. Additional copies may be added if there is demand based on use. Books borrowed from libraries other than the libraries at Boston College cannot be placed on Reserve.

Journal Articles/Book Chapters: Library staff will routinely scan and provide online access to journal articles, book chapters, lecture notes, sample exams, etc., if allowable under current copyright guidelines. The Libraries' policy for placing photocopied or scanned images of published copyrighted materials on Reserve is derived from the fair use provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976. The Libraries are also guided by the principles in the Association of Research Libraries' Applying Fair Use in the Development of Electronic Reserves Systems.

If there is already an online version of the article requested in the Libraries' electronic journal collection, a link will be made to the existing online article or the article will be downloaded and scanned and placed on a local server for ease of use by students. Each article or book chapter, must contain a complete bibliographic citation.

If making a copy does not fall within the fair use guidelines below, the copyright holder must give permission for you to use the material. When producing copies for Course Reserves, library staff will usually limit the amount of scanning that they will do to one chapter from a book or one article from a journal issue. When multiple chapters from books are requested, the book itself will be placed on reserve.

When copying/scanning goes much beyond these general guidelines it begins to substitute for purchasing the item which may have an effect on the potential market value of the copyrighted work. When preparing request lists for Course Reserves faculty members should consult with Reserves staff if there is a need to vary from these guidelines.

Media: All types of media and software may be placed on Reserve at the Media Center in O'Neill Library. Contact the Media Center directly at 617-552-4466 to learn more about the services offered there and how copyright may affect your reserve requests. Media items, regardless of format, borrowed from libraries other than the libraries at Boston College cannot be placed on Media Reserve.  To reserve a media item for class or a short term, use the Daily Reserve Request . For regular semester reserve, use the Closed Reserve Request. To request Media Center audio items to be streamed for placement in Blackboard courses, use the Digitization Request Form.

Course packets: When a large number of articles are needed for a course or when materials are restricted by copyright and require permission from the publisher before being placed on Course Reserves, a course pack is an alternative to using the Libraries Course Reserves.

The Course Pack Coordinator at the bookstore will obtain permissions from individual publishers. Once permissions are obtained the course packet will be sold at the bookstore like any other textbook for the convenience of students.


Course Reserves for Visually Impaired Students

Students with visual impairments should work with the Assistant Dean for Students with Disabilities to obtain textbooks or course readings in a format that can be used on text readers such as JAWS. If they are not yet available in text-reader format, the conversion may be performed in the O'Neill Library Digitization Lab. However, students needing this service must first contact the Assistant Dean at 617-552-3470 in order to get the process started.


End of Semester Activity

Unless notified otherwise, materials will be removed from Reserve at the end of the semester. Course packets will be returned to campus addresses or may be picked up with advance notice. Library owned materials are returned to the open shelves.  Electronic reserves lists display only for active courses i.e. those courses being used by the students during a single semester.



Need More Information?
More information about Course Reserves procedures at specific libraries may be found by contacting the library.

Bapst Art Library or 617-552-3200
Educational Resource Center or 617-552-4920
Law Library or 617-552-8602
O'Neill Library or 617-552-2297
O'Neill Media Center or 617-552-4466
Social Work Library or 617-552-3233
Theology and Ministry Library or 617-552-0549