General Info

Course Reserves are materials and resources that professors have identified to use for a class. They can be either print (set aside for the class in a specific library) or electronic (accessible via the course Moodle page). Requests for material to be placed on reserve should be made at least 3 weeks before material is needed. The earlier reading lists are received, the more time library staff will have to recall books that have been checked out, to purchase or borrow books and articles not in the general library collection, or to scan materials.


Watch this video for faculty to learn more about Course Reserves!


Amherst College's Course Reserves team includes:

Contact us at if you have any questions or concerns.

    Print Reserves

    Placing Print Material or Media on Physical Reserves

    The Course Reserves Collection in all libraries is a semester by semester grouping of print and other physical materials required for classes. The Collection can include books, videos, CDs, DVDs, etc. The loan period for reserve items is usually four (4) hours, although materials may be checked out for overnight use anytime within four hours of library closing.


    To place print or media items on physical reserves:

    • Download the Print Reserves Template:
    • Fill out a different form for each course you teach.
    • Check the library Discovery search to see if the library owns the items you want to place on reserve.
    • For each item you list on the form, please complete all fields. If no edition is specified, staff will assume that any edition will do.
    • Use the Request Service webform to request the purchase of new material. Be sure to fill out your course's information under the "For Reserves" section.
      • If asking for an eBook, make sure to note the expected number of students enrolled so we can determine how many copies of the eBook to purchase. (note: not every eBook has unlimited users - we determine the number of copies to buy based on the number of enrolled students in the course)
    • Email the completed form(s) to


    Workflow of our Library Print Reserves Timeline. A pictorial representation of previous text.

    Link to PDF of Course Reserves Handout


        Placing Digital Material on eReserve

        The Library will put journal articles, eBooks, and book chapters (up to 20% of a book) on eReserve for Amherst College courses. These materials will be made available for students to access online via your course Moodle page. The Library will not create eReserves for material that is already included in a printed course pack.


        To place items on eReserve, email your course syllabi or reading lists to

        Please be sure that all readings include complete citation information (including page numbers) and, if possible, the dates the readings are due.


        You can edit the way your eReserves look on Moodle! IT has created a great webpage to guide you through the process. Here is the link to the guide.


        Important Information About eReserves

        Don't pay copyright fees before you send the Library your reading list for Reserve. Let the library staff link to available online copies for eReserve first. The College should not pay for links to items already in the Library's online collections. If the material already exists in electronic format and is freely available or licensed by the Amherst College Library, a link will be created to it on the eReserves section of the course Moodle page rather than scanning it.

        Longer works such as complete or large portions of books (anything over 20% of the book) cannot be scanned due to copyright restrictions. The PDFs that the library staff creates are now prepared for students to search and annotate. Linked content may not contain all the features locally scanned PDFs offer.

        While many individual journal articles and book chapters in PDF form will work with digital annotation tools like Perusall, the library's licensed resources may not extend to the use of the resource within Perusall. Sources using Digital Rights Management, like many eBooks, may not be compatible with Perusall. 


        Workflow of our Library eReserves Timeline. A pictorial representation of previous text.

        Link to PDF of Course Reserves Handout

          Streaming Video

          Streaming Video

          For streaming films and videos, you can find more information on IT's Audio and Video eReserves webpage. Videos appear in the Video Reserves link on your course Moodle page.



            The focus of the Library's Reserves is material for which copyright might apply. Class syllabi, practice exams, and problem sets are not covered by the service. Items will be placed on reserve at the request of the course instructor. Course reserve materials are intended solely for non-commercial, educational use.


            Amherst College adheres to and promotes observance of US Copyright laws. Please refer to additional information about copyright and fair use.


            The College subscribes to the Annual Copyright License for academic institutions from the Copyright Clearance Center. Be sure to check all scanned or copied book chapters and journal articles to see whether they are covered. Apply for pay-per-use permissions only if readings are not included. Don't pay fees for licensed material! 


            For each scanned or photocopied text, faculty themselves are responsible for guaranteeing either that the material is covered by the College's Annual Copyright License or that permission of the copyright holder is obtained. Academic Department Coordinators can often assist with obtaining permissions. eReserve links to the Library's online collections incur no copyright fee. Whenever possible, the Library will purchase copies of entire books or videos intended for extended Reserves use.


            At the end of each semester, access to eReserves will be discontinued for enrolled students.

            Rightsholders should direct any complaints about possible copyright infringements to:

            John Manly  (dmca[at]
            Director of Systems & Networking
            Rm B-15 Converse Hall
            Amherst College
            Amherst, MA  01002-5000