Course Reserves Policy

  • Our course reserves collection is made up of course related materials and high use items that support the University’s academic programs.
  • All materials placed on course reserve will be at the initiative of University of Houston Instructors for non-commercial, educational use by students.
  • Course reserves may not be used to create, replace or substitute anthologies, compilations, or collective works. Faculty wishing to create readings/course packs should work with the University Bookstore. The Libraries will not place course packs or articles included in course packs on reserve.
  • Whenever possible, materials to be used for course reserve will be those purchased or licensed by the Libraries. Materials not owned by the libraries will be RUSH ordered, but timely acquisition cannot be guaranteed.
  • When submitting hard copies of materials for course reserves, please provide original or first generation copies with minimal black margins or center stripe. Originals must be 8 ½ x 11 inches or smaller with no holes or staples.
  • The Libraries will not charge for using course reserve. Authorized users may view, download, or print copies from the reserves system (Ares), available via Blackboard.

How to submit reserve requests

  1. In conjunction with the initial request for materials to be put on reserve, the instructor is required to sign and submit the Instructor Reserve Agreement. Reserves will not be processed for the instructor if a signed copy of the agreement is not on file with our reserves department.
  2. The instructor must complete a Reserves Request Form in its entirety. Please list full and accurate information in order to avoid delays. Requests submitted without a full citation may be returned to the instructor without being processed.
  3. Submit both the Instructor Reserve Agreement Form and the Reserves Request Form to our reserves department.
    • Course reserve materials are processed on a “first come, first served” basis.
    • The reserves department has three peak times during every semester which include the first 3 weeks, mid-terms, and finals. Processing of requests may take up to 3 weeks during these times.
    • During off-peak times, instructors should plan on at least 3-5 days from the date requests are received before items will be available.
    • Material submitted at the last minute may not be available when desired.
  4. It is suggested that instructors make sure materials are on reserve before making assignments.
    • To confirm availability, log in to Blackboard, select the course to manage reserves for, select Course Tools, select Course Reserve Administration, and the reserves management system (Ares) will appear.
  5. The Libraries will provide access to course reserve materials for the duration of the semester. When using the same reserve materials for subsequent semesters, it will be necessary for instructors to re-submit requests.

Materials that may be placed on course reserve

In order to provide students with greater access to course materials, the University of Houston Libraries will no longer provide print copies of journal articles, selected readings, quizzes, homework notes, tests, or any other materials that we find reasonable for electronic formatting.


  • Books owned by the library can be placed on reserve at the request of the instructor.
  • During the semester a total of 2 chapters or 20% of any one work owned by the Libraries may be made available electronically as long as only one chapter or 10% of an item is available at one time.
  • At the request of the instructor, we will make a diligent and expedient attempt to purchase course reserve titles that are not owned by the Libraries.
  • Personal copies of books may be placed on reserve at request of the instructor. Please be aware that the University of Houston Libraries are not responsible for items that are lost, damaged or stolen.
  • Books borrowed from another library or via an interlibrary loan request will not be placed on reserve.

Videos, DVDs and sound recordings

  • Only original and purchased copies of videos, DVDs and other sound recordings may be placed on reserve. Home VHS tapes or burned DVDs will not be accepted.
  • Videos, DVDs and sound recordings produced by the instructor during or in conjunction with UH instruction may be reproduced at the discretion of the instructor and placed on reserve.
  • Videos, DVDs and sound recordings produced by students as a result of an instructor’s assignment will not be placed on reserve or duplicated without permission from the student.

CDs and Computer Disks

  • CDs and computer disks are not preferred for reserve but may be submitted if the content is compliant with the University of Houston Libraries Copyright Policy.
  • Instructors should verify that documents on a CD or computer disk are accessible on computers in the Libraries.

Journal articles

  • Journal articles from either print or electronic resources may be placed on reserve.
  • Personal print copies of journal articles will be accepted.
  • Reserves will not request articles through the Interlibrary Loan department.

Homework, course notes and textbooks

  • Homework submitted from students must have written permission from the student author to be posted.
  • Class notes must have a title and handwritten notes must be accompanied by copyright permission from the author.
  • Pictures and graphs must have full citation and copyright permission to be posted electronically.
  • Consumable tests will not be made available electronically (e.g. workbooks, exercises, standardized tests, test booklets, etc.)
  • Only one chapter of the textbook may be made available electronically for students at a time, with only two chapters of any one work being made available for the entirety of the semester.

Additional items

  • Three dimensional items, slides, photographs and equipment may be placed on reserve.
  • Submission of such items may be rejected if their maintenance will cause an unreasonable amount of supplementary work for library staff.
  • The Head of Access Services or the branch manager will make the final decision concerning the item(s) in question.