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Frequently Asked Questions for Print and E-Reserves

How does copyright law affect Reserve policy?

Title 17, section 106 of the United States Code grants to copyright owners, the exclusive right to reproduce, display, and distribute their work. Section 107 (the fair use doctrine) provides that under certain circumstances, material protected by copyright may be used without permission from the copyright owner. However, contrary to popular belief, an "educational use" does not necessarily mean material may be used without copyright permission. The QU Library developed a Reserve policy based on the fair use doctrine, the Classroom Guidelines and ALA Model Policy.

What type of material may you place on reserve?

  • Library-owned books
  • Personal copies of books
  • Photocopies (i.e. articles, sample term papers, manuscripts, book excerpts)
  • Past semester/sample exams and quizzes
  • Homework assignments and solutions
  • Lecture notes and course syllabi
  • Audiocassette and CD-ROM recordings of lectures
  • Videos and DVDs - To place videos and DVDs on reserve, submit a Course Reserve Form or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


How many items may a faculty member place on Reserve?


How many items may a faculty member place on Reserve? A maximum of 20 titles may be placed on Reserve per semester, per class, per faculty member. The total includes print and media items. The Classroom Guidelines and ALA Model Policy, two of the documents upon which our Reserve policy is based, both clearly indicate that library reserves are not meant to supersede the need for a textbook or course pack. Reserve materials may be assigned readings or optional.

How many copies of any one item may be placed on Reserve? (Print Reserve only)

The maximum number of copies of any one item that can be placed on Reserve is 1 copy per 30 students, except for textbooks or course packs. For these items, Reserve will accept 1 copy per 50 students.

Will the Libraries place textbooks or course packs on Reserve?

Reserve does not purchase textbooks, but will place a faculty-supplied copy of a textbook or course pack on Print Reserve for one semester.

Will the Libraries place personal copies of videos on Reserve?

Reserve accepts only commercially-produced video recordings or video recordings with accompanying written permission from the copyright owner.

Will the Libraries place unpublished material on Reserve?

Reserve does not accept unpublished material (e.g. student papers, faculty notes, conference handouts, PowerPoint presentations, theses and dissertations) without written permission from the copyright owner.

Will the Libraries make copies or is the faculty member required to provide copies of the material they wish to place on Reserve?

Due to staffing and workflow in Reserve, it is preferred that faculty members provide copies.

If the Libraries own the material, is copyright permission required?

If the limits listed above are not exceeded and the Libraries own the material, copyright permission is not required.

What is the procedure if the Libraries do not own the material requested for Reserve?

The Libraries will purchase a book if possible. For journal and newspaper articles, the faculty member must submit a personal copy or request the material through ILL. The Libraries will obtain copyright permission to place the material on Reserve.

From whom do the Libraries seek permission to use material we do not own?

The Libraries will pursue copyright permission only from Copyright Clearance Center (CCC). If CCC cannot give permission, once an item has been on Reserve for 1 semester (fair use), the faculty member will be responsible for obtaining copyright permission. The Libraries will notify the faculty member immediately if he or she must pursue copyright permissions for subsequent semesters. A copyright permission packet will be provided to assist in obtaining permission from the copyright owner. The Libraries will pay up to $150 per item for if the faculty member is able to obtain copyright permission. (Proof of copyright permission required.)

Is there a limit on the amount the Libraries will pay for copyright permission?

If the fee for copyright permission exceeds $150 per item per semester, Reserve will return the request to the faculty member and suggest the subject specialist and/or liaison that can assist him or her in substituting a different item. What happens to the Reserve material at the end of the course period? Originals will be returned to faculty after scanning (Ereserves) or at the end of the semester (Print Reserve).

What happens to the Reserve material at the end of the course period?

Originals will be returned to faculty after scanning (E-reserves) or at the end of the semester (Print Reserve).