Frequently Asked Questions

Shelf Reserve

Electronic Reserve

Shelf Reserve

What is Shelf Reserve?

Shelf Reserve is a library service which makes books or other large format items available for check-out to students in a specific course. The materials are “reserved” for the course for a semester (or longer), and have a short loan period to ensure that they are accessible to all students in the class. Shelf Reserve items are kept at the Loan & Reserve Desk, and may not be put on hold.

What kinds of materials can be put on Shelf Reserve?

Items that can be placed on Shelf Reserve include physical items, such as books, but also other materials that cannot be scanned and used electronically including DVDs, audio recordings, bone sets for anatomy courses, etc. Both library materials owned by CSU and personal items may be placed on Shelf Reserve.

How do I put something on Shelf Reserve?

Instructors can put items on Shelf Reserve by logging on to the online Course Reserve system, which is shared with, but separate from, the Electronic Reserves service. The system automatically loads course lists based on the University Registrar’s records, so instructors see only courses that they are currently teaching.

Once logged in, the instructor submits a Shelf Reserve request and then brings the item(s) to the Loan & Reserve Desk for processing. If the item is from the library’s collection, library staff will retrieve the item for you. It can take up to one week for an item to be added to Shelf Reserve. Therefore, instructors should submit requests well in advance of when the item will be needed.

Can TAs put items on Shelf Reserve?

Yes, Teaching Assistants can submit materials, but they first must be manually added to the course within the Course Reserve system so they are recognized as an instructor (only the primary instructor is automatically recognized). Contact library reserve staff to request this addition.

Can I request the purchase of an item for Shelf Reserve?

Yes, instructors can request a new purchase to be placed on Shelf Reserve. To do so, fill out the online Shelf Reserve request form. In answer to the question, “How will this item be supplied?”, choose the option, “Please consider this item for purchase and make it available to my students through course reserves.”

How do I find out what materials are available on Shelf Reserve?

To search Shelf Reserves from the library home page, select “Course Reserves” from the drop-down menu next to the search box. Then search by instructor or course number (such as SOC562) to see information about reserve holdings for that course.

Who can check out Shelf Reserve materials?

Anyone with a valid library account may check out materials on Shelf Reserve. Reserve items are not limited to students in a specified course.

How long can I use a Shelf Reserve item?

Shelf Reserve materials are typically available for checkout periods of 2 hours, 24 hours, or 72 hours. The instructor selects the loan period for the item.

Can I use Shelf Reserve materials outside the library?

Yes, all Shelf Reserve items can be taken out of the building.

What are overdue fines for Shelf Reserve items?

Overdue fines are $5.00/item for the first hour overdue and $2.50/item for each additional hour, up to a maximum of $25.00/item.

I’m an instructor and I need to use my reserve item in class, but the 2/24/72-hour loan period isn’t long enough. What are my options?

We can make special arrangements for course instructors who need to use a reserve item for an extended length of time. If you are an instructor, email us at to make this request. Please include course number, title of the item(s), and when and how long you need the item(s). If a TA will be picking up the item, include that individual’s name. We cannot guarantee availability, but will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Electronic Reserve (ER)

How does Electronic Reserve work?

Instructors can put items on Electronic Reserve by logging on to the online Course Reserve system. The system automatically loads course lists based on the University Registrar’s records, so instructors see only courses that they are currently teaching. Once logged in, navigation tools on the page allow instructors to look at classes and sections, add Electronic Reserve items, and more. Requests are processed by library staff. If instructors opt-in for email notifications, they will also receive email once an item becomes available on the Electronic Reserve system.

What kind of materials can be placed on Electronic Reserve?

Instructors can make a variety of digital objects available via Electronic Reserve, including journal and magazine articles, book chapters, quiz and homework answers, or examples of assignments or papers.

How do I format a submission for Electronic Reserve?

The Electronic Reserve online form requires instructors to provide certain citation information, such as title, author, pages, and date of publication when making a request. The more information you provide, the faster and more accurately the materials can be made available via Electronic Reserve.

Can I submit a photocopied document for Electronic Reserve?

Yes. If you provide a photocopied item, you must include the title and copyright pages of the book or journal issue. Reserve staff can scan and digitize items of varying sizes. To help maintain image quality, please submit single-sided copies and do not staple pages together. Library staff reserve the right to obtain and post a higher-quality version of the item if the material provided to us does not fit these requirements.

Instructors may drop off photocopies or items for scanning at the Loan & Reserve Desk, or bring them to the Interlibrary Loan office in Room 28.

Can I re-use items from a previous semester?

Yes. Everything added to any course in ER is archived for future use. Once you’re signed in, find your Upcoming or Current course and open it. Under Instructor Tools on the left toolbar select Add Reserve Items. You can add new material using the appropriate icon from the options across the top of the screen. Just under that you’ll see the option to import items from a previously taught course. Find the proper course and select Import Items. The resulting list will default to all selected so simply uncheck the box of any item you don’t want to use and click on the Import Items button at the bottom of the page.

What are the copyright restrictions for Electronic Reserve items?

Instructors can submit multiple chapters, poems, or articles for Electronic Reserve, but each one must be submitted as a distinct and separate item. Entire books/publications cannot be displayed on E-Reserve unless we are providing a link to the full text online. The number of chapters allowed from each text is determined by a fair use analysis. Please submit the individual chapters you would like, and we will contact you if we have questions or need to enforce limits. Exceptions to this would include supplying us with written permission by the copyright holder of said publication. The Libraries cannot accept created anthologies (i.e. a single submission cannot contain items from multiple sources) for Electronic Reserve.

Who can view Electronic Reserve Items?

Due to copyright restrictions, only the instructor, TAs, and students registered for a specific section of each course can view Electronic Reserve items for that course.

Can my TA or co-instructor have access to Electronic Reserve items?

Yes. However, since teaching assistants are not generally registered for the courses they assist with, please contact us to have them added as course proxy users.

How long does it take before Electronic Reserve items are available online?

Instructors are encouraged to submit items, particularly during high-volume weeks at the beginning of semesters. During busy times, turn-around time for Electronic Reserve materials is no more than two business days if the item is properly submitted. At other times during the semester, same-day turnaround for properly submitted items is common, but not guaranteed—please allow up to 24 hours for processing of submitted items. If they have opted-in for email notifications, instructors will receive email when items are active in Electronic Reserve.

Can ILL or Prospector books be placed on reserve?

Borrowed ILL or Prospector books may only be used for Electronic Reserve; they may not be placed on Shelf Reserve. To request that chapters be scanned from an ILL or Prospector item, the instructor should bring it to the ILL office (Room 28 in Morgan Library) with clear instructions regarding whether the item should be returned to you or to the owning library.


Contact Us

Electronic Reserve

Phone:  (970) 491-4662
Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Shelf Reserve

Phone: (970) 491-0665

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