Faculty/Instructor Course Reserves FAQ

what are Course Reserves?

  • "Course reserves" refers to items set aside by instructors for use by a specific group of students for a specific course and semester.
  • These materials may be either Physical Reserves or Electronic Reserves.

What are Physical course Reserves?

  • "Physical Reserves" refers to personally-owned and library-owned hard copies of books and other media that are held at the Newcomb Reading Room or the University Downtown Center (UDC) Library.
  • These items may be checked out by patrons with valid BU IDs for short periods of time, designated by the instructor of the course.
  • Loan periods of 2hr, 3hr, and Next Day ensure that these items remain in circulation.
  • Fees are associated with late returns: $.02/minute for 2hr and 3hr loans, and $3.00/day for Next Day loans.

what are Electronic Course Reserves?

  • "Electronic Reserves" refers to electronic copies of book chapters and journal articles that the Reserves department uploads to Blackboard on the instructor's behalf.
  • These materials are available to students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What can be placed on Electronic Reserve?

  • One scanned chapter from a book in PDF format.
  • One scanned article from a journal in PDF format.
  • Links to articles in journals owned in electronic full-text by Binghamton University Libraries.
  • Links to books owned in electronic full-text by Binghamton University Libraries.
  • Materials written by the instructor (e.g.: syllabi, lecture notes, sample exams, problem sets, homework solutions).

What cannot be placed on Electronic Reserve?

  • Incomplete or partial articles or chapters.
  • Multiple articles from the same journal or multiple chapters from the same book.
    • If multiple chapters or multiple articles are requested, the Reserves department will post one of them to Blackboard and will place the entire book or journal on physical reserve, if possible.
  • Book chapters and journal articles with page totals greater than 50.
    • If a page total is greater than 50, the Reserves department will place the entire book or journal on physical reserve, if possible.

How do I submit a request for items to be placed on Reserve?

Please fill out a Reserve Request Form
  • Links to our Online Reserve Request Forms may be found here.
  • Alternatively, you may fill out a paper request form.

Who may submit reserve requests?

All individuals who are acting as instructors of record or as teaching assistants may submit reserves requests. This includes both faculty members and graduate students.

Students enrolled in a course may not submit reserve requests for that course; however, any student in need of class materials is encouraged to suggest to his or her instructor that these items be placed on reserve.

what are some tips for successful processing?

  • Submit your Reserve Request Form by the following dates:
    • August 5th for Fall
    • December 5th for Winter/Spring
    • May 5th for Summer I, II, & III
  • Supply us with current personal copies of textbooks and other required course purchases.
  • Bring items from the Libraries' collections directly to Reserves staff.
  • If you are a new instructor or this is a new course, consider contacting your subject librarian about materials that the Libraries do not own.
  • NOTE: Ordering decisions are made through collaboration between Reserves staff and the selector for your discipline. There is no separate fund for Reserves and subject-area collection budgets are limited. Requests for textbooks and other required course purchases tend to strain existing collection budgets. The Libraries may not be able to purchase all requests for these items.

When do I need to submit my reserve requests?

You may submit reserve requests throughout the year; however, if you want your items to be available by the start of term, please submit your requests by the following deadlines:


August 5th for Fall

December 5th for Winter/Spring

May 5th for Summer I, II, & III


  • All requests are processed in the order in which they are received.
  • Any requests submitted after the deadlines are not guaranteed to be ready by the start of the term.

How will my students find course materials?

Patrons may search for items held on physical reserve by going to our Libraries' Catalog. Select "Reserves Course Number" from the drop-down menu, and enter the course number you are searching for in the text box.

Students may access electronic reserves for those courses they are enrolled in by accessing their Blackboard accounts. All electronic reserve items posted by the Reserves Department will be located under the "Course Reserves" tab in each Blackboard course.

How can I get more information?

You can stop by a service desk or contact the Reserves departments directly:

Main Campus Reserves:
Newcomb Reading Room, LN
(607) 777-3939


University Downtown Center Reserves:
(60) 777-9225

Last Updated: 8/14/14