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 2 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 documents.

    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 hours, although materials may be checked out for overnight use anytime within four hours of library closing.

    To place print or media items on in-person reserves:

    • Download the Reserves Form. Use a different form for each course you teach.
    • Check the library catalog 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 to purchase new material. Be sure to enter the course number under "For Reserves"
    • Email the completed form to:


      Placing Digital Material on E-reserve

      The Library will put journal articles, book chapters, and e-books on E-reserve for Amherst College courses. These materials will be made available for students to access online via your course Moodle page.

      To place items on E-reserve mail your course syllabi or reading lists to:

      Please be sure that all readings include complete citation information.

      Important Information About E-reserves

      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 E-reserve 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 E-reserves section of the course Moodle page rather than scanning it.

      Text should be short enough to scan into reasonably sized PDF files. Longer works such as complete or large portions of books cannot be scanned due to copyright restrictions. Materials will be listed by complete citation on the e-reserve page for each course. 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.

        Streaming Video

        Streaming Video

        For films and videos you would like to have digitized, use Academic Technology Services' (ATS) streaming video request form. Digitized videos appear in the Video Reserves link on your course Moodle page.

        If the Library doesn’t already own a copy, we’ll purchase a DVD (if available), so please allow 3 weeks’ notice for digitization of the DVD. All streaming videos stay online until the end of final exams.



          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. E-reserve 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.

          Remember that scanned materials are PDFs  on the E-reserve page; a globeindicates a library link. At the end of each semester, access to E-reserves 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