Reserves & Digital Services

Reserves & Digital Services


Finding Reserves

General reserves, including books and audio-visual materials, are kept behind the circulation desks at each library; honors reserve materials are typically on open shelves, arranged by department and course number. The circulation period for each reserve type differs. Please review the borrowing information on the library website.

Want to see an active list of items currently on reserve for your course? Visit the Reserves page on Tripod and search by either your name or the name of the course.

Print Reserves

To expedite processing for any materials which instructional staff determine should be available in print, please email with a list of those works, including course number, semester and citation information that is as complete as possible, title, author, call number (optional) and the number of copies needed for the class. If the item on your list is not in Tripod, we will order the most recent edition. For books we already own, we will put the most recent edition in Tripod on reserve, unless specified otherwise. Instructional staff are encouraged to submit these lists as early as possible before the start of the new semester, as reserve lists can take up to one week to process in the first weeks of classes. After the first month of the semester, the Library usually processes reserves within three days.

The Library will order any materials needed for reserve which are not held in the collection, or where additional copies may be required; generally one copy of a work is sufficient for a class of twenty. If materials are out of print, we will attempt to secure them from an out of print bookseller; if those works are available at Bryn Mawr or Haverford, we will temporarily use their copy. If course materials are only available in the collection as an ebook, we will purchase a print copy for reserves as well.

Given the high cost of textbooks and the fact that students often cannot afford all the required books for their courses, the Libraries endeavor to acquire at least one copy of all required course texts and place these on Reserve in the appropriate library (McCabe, Cornell or Underhill). We will also be happy to place faculty’s personal copies on Reserve, especially where there is significant demand for materials. Occasionally, we will purchase additional copies of required materials as ebooks. Our course text program also helps students who may order books from Websites or textbook rental companies, and who have not yet received those books. 

Books may be transferred from any inactive honors reserve shelf to any active shelf or to general reserve. If such a title is included in the course reserve list submitted to the Library, it will be adequate notification to make such a transfer. Books that are transferred from an honors seminar, either active or inactive, to general reserve for the semester will be automatically returned to the original location following final exams.

Reference books circulate for one day. If there are class-related reference books that should be restricted from this open circulation, please include them on reserve lists. These titles will be put on General Reserve for the semester.

If you would like the Library to buy a title for reserves, please include it on the reserves list you submit, or complete the Suggest a Purchase form as early in advance as possible.

Online Reserves

Unless one is assigning substantial portions of a monograph or there are images better suited to print, online reserves should be used whenever possible to enable students easy access to course readings. Instructional staff may link to articles directly on their course page, or bring clean photocopies of course readings to the relevant library's circulation desk. If any photocopied work is available through one of our online journal subscriptions, the Reserves staff will send the instructional staff member a stable URL to the article instead of scanning the copies. If the course reading is available as an ebook, we will include it in the course reserve list in Tripod.

As web sites that are not password protected may violate copyright policy, the College uses Moodle course management software. Library staff can provide instruction on how to add .pdfs or links to a Moodle course page, or assist in uploading documents. Moodle training classes are also offered at the beginning of each semester for interested faculty and staff. There, one can learn how to build and manage a Moodle course, as well as utilize the many tools available. Please visit the Campus Calendar for class dates. In addition, ITS and the Library staff provide support year round.

Video Reserves

Instructional staff should email the list of film titles needed for course reserves to our Reserves staff, including as much information about the film as possible. The Library will try to purchase any titles we do not own, and will usually only purchases one copy of any film.

The Library has recently begun to stream video course reserves and provide access to them through Moodle upon request. Should instructional staff wish to stream videos, the title will also be placed on general reserve. In general, please allow two weeks for titles to be prepared for streaming. If you interested in offering streaming video reserves in your course, please contact a librarian.

Audio Reserves

Instructional staff should email lists of recordings that they want on general reserve to Donna Fournier, Music & Dance Librarian (dfourni1, x8231). Underhill Library also provides digitization services for audio course reserves upon request. These files, which can be accessed through Moodle, can be available for within three days of the request.

Honors Reserves

Honors reserve materials are considered active and have limited loan periods when the seminar is being taught and during the honors exam review period, which extends from April 1 through the end of honors exams.

Select honors exams are available to review here.

Reserve List Archive

The Reserve List Archive allows you to more easily indicate items they would like to place on general reserve by offering an account of those which were used when the course was last taught. Here, you'll find lists for McCabe Library's general reserve dating back to the Fall 2008 semester; lists for items on reserve Cornell Library begin with the Fall 2012 semester. Please contact our reserves staff for more information about lists from previous semesters or from Underhill Music & Dance Library.


The library is committed to fair use guidelines of the copyright laws. Library staff provide assistance in copyright compliance. The library will not seek permissions; however, it does have standard forms of inquiry for publishers and can assist with the location of the rights holders for materials. All copyrighted online reserves must be password protected and must display a copyright warning on the first page. For further information about copyright, please refer to that section of this handbook or the College's web page on copyright.

For additional information, please contact: