Faculty FAQ



How do I know if I need to use this system before posting digital material on Canvas/MyClasses?
You can take this short questionnaire to find out.
What are Course Reserves?

Course Reserves are resources that professors ask the library to set aside or manage so that they can be fairly accessed by all students in a certain course. They may be required readings, recommended sources for writing papers, DVDs, or even textbooks.

The course reserves system serves two purposes:

For physical items, putting a source on course reserve makes it available in the library for your students to use specifically for your course. We place the item on a shelf behind the library service desk, and your students can request it just by looking up your name or your course. You are able to determine the amount of time students are allowed to keep it. You may require that the item only be used within the library. This system makes sure that all the students in your class have the opportunity to use it.

For electronic items (ie., online readings you share with students), the course reserve system allows you to make sure you are complying with United States copyright law. We can help you make "Fair Use" determinations on readings that you post on Canvas/MyClasses. Due to the complex nature of the law and the fees that can be associated with using items, the SU Libraries will keep track of electronic articles, book chapters, etc. that you request approval to use for your course, and make sure that the required copyright fees, if any, are paid. For this reason, it is extremely important that you submit a course reserve request for all electronic items that you post to MyClasses that are even possibly copyright-protected.

Why should I request a course reserve?

For physical items, you should submit a course reserve if you would like to make an item available to your students for short-term use in the library. Doing this prevents one student from monopolizing a critical text for the course, and ensures that all the students in your class have ready access to the item. You can determine how long a student should be able to keep the item, from as little as 1 hour to as long as 7 days. Keeping a reserve item classified as "in-library-use only" also minimizes risk of damage or loss. (We will place security strips in all faculty-owned items that you loan to us.) As the faculty member placing any item on reserve, you may check it out for any loan period, at any time.

For electronic items, you should submit a reserves request so that the library can ensure that all copyright law is being followed. Copyright law can be confusing and it is difficult to know when it is appropriate to provide the full text of an article or book chapter to your students, and when it is not. The library will do that work for you as long as you submit a reserves request to us, and we will pay the associated fees.

When can/should I submit my requests?

You can submit a course reserve request at any time, even if the semester has already started. However, we strongly encourage you to submit your requests as soon as possible. This gives our staff ample time to process your requests and make your items available to your students. As you can imagine, we get a lot of requests during the few days before a semester starts, so it is best to submit your requests before that if possible. If you have > 10 items, please give us an idea which items are your top priority -- it is very helpful if we know that certain items are not needed until later dates during the semester, in the midst of the rush at the start of each term.

I want to put a book on reserve for my students. How do I start?
First, look up the book in our library catalog. If we DO own the book, go ahead and use this system to make the request. (Submit Request) Staff will pull the book from the stacks, or recall the book if someone currently has it checked out. If the library does NOT own the book, there are two options. 1) You can put your own copy on reserve (or an extra copy that your department has). 2) The library MIGHT be able to purchase the book for our permanent collection. Be aware that his process could take a few weeks, or more. You will need to contact your Library Liaison (Librarian assigned to your department) as soon as possible if you want to pursue this possibility.
What about Textbooks?

Unfortunately, the library does not have the resources needed to purchase every book that our faculty assign as required texts for courses. In order to relieve some of the financial burden on students, we have established the Textbooks on Reserve Program. We have purchased copies of the textbooks of some courses to keep on Reserve behind the Library Service Desk. Students can check these out for 2-hour periods of in-library use. The Dean selects the courses based on enrollment, with weight given to those courses with high withdraw/failure rates. In addition, we are happy to place "donated" textbooks on reserve for your students. If you have an extra copy or can obtain one through your department, please loan it to us.

Over half of our Textbooks on Reserve are faculty donations or personal copies on loan to us.

How do I request a course reserve?

To submit a request for an item that you have never had on reserve before, click the "Request Item" button in the Faculty menu on the course reserves homepage (or click here: Submit Request).

To re-request an item that is currently on reserve, or that has been on reserve for you in the past, click the "Faculty Login" button on the course reserves homepage. Once you log in, you will see a list of all the items you have requested in the past, and you can re-request an item from there without having to re-enter the item's detailed information.

How do I see my pending requests, access my course reserve history, and re-request items I have used before?

You can see your pending requests by clicking the Faculty Login link on the course reserves home page. Enter your email address, and you will instantly be sent a temporary login URL, which will work for the next 15 minutes to get you in to the system. (You will need to request and use a new, unique URL each time you want to log in -- this process frees us from needing to create/manage personal passwords.) Clicking the URL from your email will take you to a page where you can see your pending requests, as well as all of the items that you have already had on reserve in the past. From this page, your "faculty page," you can easily see the titles (with years and editions) you have used, terms they have been active, and which items are still physically here on our shelves. Also, you can go down the list and click on any items that you want to RE-request for the upcoming term (without having to submit the citation information again).

How do students get to their electronic reserves?

They must log in to Canvas, and go to their MyClasses course page, to access all digital materials (including COPYRIGHT-PROTECTED e-reserves).

E-reserves that are open-access or in SU-licensed databases can be accessed through links going through the online SU library page (not the database directly) -- faculty should post these links in their MyClasses pages, so that students can get all of their readings in one place.

Do I need to submit a Course Reserve request for every article or reading I post on Canvas?

In general, if you submit e-reserve requests for any articles or book chapters you intend to post on Canvas that MIGHT need copyright clearance, we can ensure that all copyright requirements are taken care of. The library will handle contacting the necessary organizations to determine the required copyright fees, and we will pay any reasonable fees associated with your items, as we have in the past.

For more details see Library Guide to Copyright for Faculty.

When can I just go ahead and post an article or book excerpt directly on Canvas?

It is OK to post open-access articles, freely-available web-based material, your own unpublished items, or LINKS to material in SU-subscribed library databases (including films available for streaming). You do not need to notify the library staff or request permission for these uses on your MyClasses pages.

You may be suprised to find out that material you assume you can post under "fair use" actually does need copyright clearance! The library does this process for you, so if you are in doubt, submit a Course Reserves request. Library staff will review the usage, assess copyright restrictions, and apply for permissions and process payments of fees when necessary. We will respond to your request within a workday, and permission may be granted in under 3 days.

What about posting articles found in SU databases? (Posting Links vs. PDFs in Canvas)

It is always preferable to post the LINKS that take the students to articles through our databases, instead of the PDFs. This benefits both the library and the faculty -- each viewing of the article is documented as usage, so that we can continue to justify paying for the databases that are being used.

The link from your Canvas page can take the students straight to the database's article record -- from here, students click on the PDF or full-text html version of the article. You just have to be sure to use a good permalink, easily available in most of our databases. Both Library and ID&D staff members are happy to help you identify/use stable permalinks to ensure quick, easy access to course readings.

What requirements do I need to meet to post copyright-protected material on my Canvas page?

If your item is not open-access or in an SU-subscribed database, and its usage is not clearly covered under the Fair Use provision of Copyright guidelines, you should use the library e-reserve request process. Then, given that you request permission to use the item as a course e-reserve, and the library pays the fees to the publisher or rights-holder, faculty can make the digital material accessible to their students. These requirements must be met:

* Access is restricted to students registered for the course (Canvas login takes care of this requirement)

* The complete bibliographic information is displayed, or attached to the file (Be sure the document/scan, or your syllabus/assignment in Canvas, includes the citation giving credit to the source!)

Please see our Faculty Guide to Copyright issues! Library Guide to Copyright for Faculty