Course Reserves

Submit a Reserves Request

Log in to the Library Course Reserves tool at You can also access this tool via myCourses.

Course Reserves Basics

Course reserves are textbooks and other course materials that instructors have asked the Libraries to make easily accessible to students. There are two types of course reserves:

  • Electronic reserves are materials that Reserves staff scan and upload to the Library Course Reserves tool at an instructor's request. Electronic reserves may also include links to ebooks and other content owned by Binghamton University Libraries. Access is limited to students enrolled in the course.
  • Physical reserves are books and audiovisual materials that are located at the Newcomb Reading Room (LN-1302) or the University Downtown Center Library. These materials circulate for short loan periods (usually two hours).

Electronic reserves

  • Course Reserves staff can scan chapters for instructors. This ensures that all scanned course materials are accessible and copyright compliant. Binghamton University's Services for Students with Disabilities Office encourages instructors to check all their course materials for accessibility regardless of whether there are students in their classes who have registered with the SSD Office.
  • Course Reserves staff can make sure that all links to online content are stable (permanent) and are accessible off campus (have the proper proxy string).

Physical reserves

  • Many textbooks are prohibitively expensive. Placing copies on reserve at the library can help students to more easily afford the cost of attending university.
  • Even if students already own a textbook, they may find it more convenient to use the Libraries' copy for short study sessions away from their dorms or apartment than it would be to go back home to retrieve a book.
  • If the Libraries already own a copy of a book being used for a class, placing it on reserve with a two-hour loan allows many more students the opportunity to use it than circulating it out of the general collection, where items have six-week or one-year loan periods.

Yes. In a message to instructors on October 31, 2017, Provost Donald Neiman wrote, "Textbooks are increasingly expensive and represent a financial burden for many of our students. You can help. I encourage you to provide the Libraries with copies of your course materials. Please know that the Libraries will also be reaching out to you to solicit copies of books that you plan to use for your courses. Copies of currently assigned editions of books for upcoming courses are welcome and should be brought to the main circulation desk in Bartle Library, or the Reserves Desk in Newcomb Reading Room. Publisher-provided desk copies and personally-owned materials are equally appreciated."

General Questions

The Binghamton University Libraries offer electronic and physical reserve services.

Electronic reserves: Reserves staff can scan articles or chapters from a journal or book and upload them to the Library Course Reserves tool at This tool is embedded into myCourses and may be accessed there by both instructors and students.

Physical reserves: Reserves staff can place books, CDs, DVDs, and other material on reserve at the library. Students can generally borrow these materials for 2 hours (books) or 3 hours (videos), and renew them as many times as they like as long as another student isn't waiting to use them.

Submit course reserve requests via the Library Course Reserves tool at Sign in with your PODs login.

You can also access this tool via myCourses.

Once you open the tool:

  1. Choose "Add Reserve Items" from the navigation menu on the left.
  2. Choose whether you would like to add a new item or if you would like to reuse an item from a previous semester.
  3. If you are adding a new item, choose the type of material you would like to place on reserve.
  4. Fill in the request form for your selected material type, and click submit.
  5. If you are providing the item, drop it off at the location where you would like it to be processed

The status of the item is available on the item info screen in the Library Course Reserves tool.

Course reserves tool item screen 

To ensure that all of your materials are ready for the first day of the semester, submit requests by the following dates:

  • Fall: August 1st
  • Winter: December 1st
  • Spring: December 1st
  • Summer: May 1st

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) states that for institutions of higher education receiving federal financial assistance (participating in Title IV student aid programs), textbook prices must be made clear at the time of registration. If your course materials are going to be made available at the Libraries, then this is also information students should know at the time of registration. Given this, instructors ought to submit reserve requests as soon as possible after choosing materials for the semester.

Additional items can be put on reserve anytime. Submit additional course reserve requests via the Library Course Reserves tool at

Most requests are generally processed within 1-2 business days, but may take up to 5 business days.

We encourage you to submit reserve requests as soon as possible to ensure that material is available to students when they need it.

However, there are a few exceptions:

  • Requests for a large number of materials may be completed in batches, with materials needed for the beginning of the semester scanned or placed on reserve first, followed by other materials.
  • If the library does not own a book and we need to order it, it may take 4-6 weeks for the book to arrive. If you have a personal copy of a book that you would be willing to allow us to use, please bring it to a Reader Services Desk.
  • Around the beginning of the term and after the semester begins, items may take longer to be processed. If a book is checked out and needs to be recalled, for example, it may take 8-10 business days for us to receive the book.
  • Supply us with current personal copies of textbooks and other course materials.
  • Bring items from the Libraries' collections directly to Reader Services staff.
  • Provide full bibliographic citations to ensure we get the exact item(s) you're looking for; call numbers are helpful if you know them.
  • Keep copyright guidelines in mind when choosing materials--selections greater that 10% of a book cannot be copied and posted electronically.
  • Return any requested items that are on loan to you.
  • Please keep in mind that reserve requests do not "roll over" automatically from semester to semester. A new request must be submitted if materials will be used again. This can be done quickly and easily by choosing to "Reuse a past reserve item" via the Library Course Reserves tool at

Electronic reserves

  • Due to copyright restrictions we can typically only scan and post one chapter of a book (depending on the work), or one article from a journal issue.
  • Materials that exceed these limitations can be placed on physical reserve at the library.
  • If we own an electronic version, we may be able to link to content in excess of these restrictions.

Physical reserves

  • Fair use restrictions prohibit the Libraries from placing "consumables" on reserve, e.g. workbooks.
  • Items obtained via InterLibrary Loan cannot be placed on physical reserve. If you would like an item placed on reserve that the Libraries do not own, you may drop off a personal copy or we can request that it be ordered. Book orders can take up to 6 weeks, so the earlier we get your request, the better.