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Library Resources as Course Materials

General Info

The Library’s Course Reserves service provides students access to common course-related materials, such as textbooks, course readers, media (Blue-Ray, DVD, VHS), e-Books, and less common materials, such as bones. Materials in Course Reserves generally have a shorter loan period than regular Library material, allowing more students access to the material during the semester.

Information for Faculty

The Course Reserves service allows instructors to make course material available for a short loan period. We offer loan periods of two hours, four hours, one day, three days, one week, and 28 days. The material provided must be owned by the SDSU Library, the course instructor or the course department. We cannot accept material that is borrowed from resource sharing (Interlibrary Loan, Circuit, CSU+) or any other library.

The subject liaisons have monetary allocations to buy monographs that support student and faculty research, but it is possible that the liaison could use these funds to buy a Digital Rights Management (DRM) - Free or Unlimited Access eBooks that could be used in a course. Several books, especially commercial textbooks, are not available with these licenses, and the liaison may not have enough funds to purchase these books in addition to the monographs that support student and faculty research. Email the liaison for your discipline by viewing the Subject Specialist list to explore the possible options. If the monograph is not available for purchase with an Unlimited Access or DRM-Free license or there are not enough funds available for the purchase, please contact the Bookstore

Type of Material How to Add to Course Reserves
SDSU Library Owned Material

If the material to be placed on Course Reserves is owned by the SDSU Library, we ask that the Instructor/TA pick up the material from the stacks and bring to the Circulation Desk for processing.

Personal Material If the library does not own the material and you would like to provide a personal copy to Course Reserves, simply drop off your material to the Circulation Desk along with a completed Course Reserves - Add Personal Items (PDF download) form.
Work belonging to a Current or Former Student In order to place student-authored or -created material on Course Reserves, the SDSU Library requires instructors to include a signed release form from the student (PDF download) with the material to be placed on Course Reserves to comply with the terms of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the 1976 Copyright Act.


Considerations in Preparing Materials for Course Reserves

Copyright Law

The Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproduction of copyrighted materials. 17 USC Section 107 establishes the principle, commonly called "fair use," that the reproduction of copyrighted works for certain limited, educational purposes does not constitute copyright infringement.

Four factors are considered in the determination of fair use:

  1. The purpose and character of the use including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. The nature of the copyrighted work
  3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. The effect of the use upon the potential mark for or value of the copyrighted work

Local guidelines are outlined in the SDSU Copyright and Fair Use Policy under the Copyright Act of 1976.

The Library policy incorporates only those policies and procedures which copyright law clearly intends libraries to perform. The University Library policy is to operate within both the spirit and letter of the law blended with the criteria for fair use.

Faculty members have the responsibility of knowing the law on copyright.

Fair Use

Fair use guidelines apply to materials (whether or not they are copyrighted) the first semester they are available via Reserve Services. In order to meet fair use guidelines, the material item must be one of the following:

  • 1 poem, short story, or essay from a collected work
  • 1 article from any one journal issue or newspaper
  • 1 chapter from any one book
  • A chart, graph, diagram, cartoon or picture from a book, periodical or newspaper
  • A short excerpt not to exceed 10% of work without chapters or articles

Unsupervised Copying

Reprographic machines in the library for public use are the responsibility of the. Notices similar to the following will be displayed on all unsupervised copying machines in the University Library:

NOTICE: The U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of the copyrighted material. The person using this equipment is liable for any infringement.