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Course Reserves Information


How to Put Items on Reserve

Reserve Requests may be submitted via email to the appropriate reserves department for your discipline (see table below). To facilitate the process, please include your syllabus or complete citations for the sources you would like placed on reserve.

Not sure which library you should submit your reserve request to?  Call 617-552-2297.





Fine Arts

Bapst Art Library


K-12 curriculum material

Educational Resource Center



Law Library


Arts and Sciences (except Fine Arts)
Education (Non K-12 curriculum)
Woods College of Advancing Studies

O'Neill Library


Media Reserve Requests

O'Neill Media  


Social Work

Social Work Library


Theology and Ministry

Theology and Ministry Library



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 which can cause a 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 have been processed and are ready for student use.

Items may be placed on reserves for Fall, Spring or Summer sessions. Each session is a distinct period and unless notified otherwise, print materials will be removed from reserves at the end of each semester. Electronic reserves lists display only for active courses i.e. those courses being taught during the current semester.

Viewing Course Reserves (Canvas and Library Course Reserves Service)

Students and faculty can access reserves for a specific course via Canvas. This is an unmediated service for faculty and only requires that a faculty member not remove the Course Reserve link from the left navigation panel. Once the library reserves staff completes a course reading list and makes it active, the course reserve readings will automatically appear under the Course Reserves Link in Canvas.

NOTE: Faculty may also use Canvas to post scanned material or links to external materials. These items would appear on the Canvas site, but not in the Libraries' course reserve system. Consult with the Canvas Administrator for assistance.

Alternatively students can sign-in to the Library Course Reserves Service to view their current courses and any readings on reserve 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 ENGL228.01 will display items currently on reserve for English 228, section 1).

Common Course Reserve 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 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 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.

When producing copies for course reserves, library staff will usually limit the amount of scanning that they will do to two chapters 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 scanning goes 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 may be placed on reserve. Media items, regardless of format, borrowed from libraries other than the libraries at Boston College cannot be placed on media reserve.

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, 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. Upon request, a copy can also be purchased to be placed on reserve.

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.