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Course Reserves

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Course reserves are supplementary teaching materials reserved by a professor for students to use in a specific course. By placing materials on reserve, they are ensured to each student in the class in a fair and equal manner. Shorter checkout periods allow the materials to be returned quickly and ready for the next student.

Course Reserves Basics:
Check our "Copyright Restrictions for Reserves" tab to ensure the reserve item is in compliance with copyright laws.

  • All items placed on reserve at the USC Upstate Library must be either owned by the university or the instructor.
  • If placing personal materials on reserve, please deliver the copy to the library as soon as possible after submitting the request form.
  • After approval, materials will be placed on course reserve starting on the first day of the semester and removed from course reserve on the last day of the term. Please allow three (3) business days for processing all reserve requests.
  • Reserve stickers and barcodes will be affixed to all materials on course reserve. Please note that, in some cases, the removal of these stickers and barcodes may cause damage to those materials.
  • E-Reserves are electronic materials (PDFs of articles, book chapters, sample texts, etc.) placed on reserve for a specific course. In order to comply with copyright laws, all e-reserves will be placed on Blackboard for student access.
  • The library is not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged personal materials.

Click here to submit Course Reserve materials

Course reserves are physical items (such as books or AV material) or digital content (PDFs, streaming video) that instructors can use to supplement their curriculum.

Physical course reserves can be library-owned or personal instructor copies, and each course is limited to 25 items per semester. Checkout periods can range from one hour to one week at the instructor’s request.

Digital reserves are managed through Blackboard and are subject to copyright compliance, and all course reserve requests are subject to approval by the library circulation department.

Electronic Course Reserve allows the library to place items, such as journal articles or book chapters, on digital reserve with appropriate copyright protections in place.

In order to comply with copyright law, all eReserves are placed on Blackboard in a course-specific folder within the Content Collection. Every course in the USC System has a Blackboard shell and corresponding Content Collection folder capable of this function.

Please fill out the Course Reserves Request Form for all eReserve items and allow three business days for processing. 

After a request is placed and processed, faculty must link to the item(s) within Blackboard. The course reserves specialist will send an email to faculty when materials are ready for linking with the course-specific search information needed. For help locating and linking to item(s) from the Content Collection, please contact the Course Reserves Specialist

Copyright Restrictions for Reserves

U.S. copyright laws (17 U.S.C.) prohibit the unauthorized reproduction and/or distribution, in part or in whole, of any copyrighted publication. However, professional educators are granted a little flexibility in this area due to the "Fair Use" agreement (H.R. Rep. No. 94-1733, 94th Cong., 2d Sess., September 29, 1976).

Use the questions below to quickly identify whether or not your requested item(s) complies with copyright rules and may be placed on reserve or e-reserve.

  •  Is the original source either owned by USC Upstate or your personal property?
  • Is the selection a small amount of the whole publication?
  • Is the selection intended for use in only one course? (Use in multiple sections of one course is permissible.)
  • Is this the first time this particular selection has ever been requested for e-reserve?
  • Is the selection from a non-consumable source? (Consumables are workbooks, standardized tests, answer sheets, etc., and are specifically prohibited from unauthorized reproduction.)

If you answered Yes to all the questions above, then your selection is probably in accordance with U.S. copyright laws and Fair Use agreement guidelines and therefore eligible for reserve and e-reserve.

If you answered No to any of the questions above, please contact our Course Reserve Specialist for more information on U.S. copyright laws, the Fair Use agreement, and e-reserve eligibility.

If the item an instructor wants to use does not comply with the copyright restrictions and is rejected for placement on reserve without clearance from the publisher, the responsibility of obtaining clearance is the responsibility of the instructor, not the library or its staff. Proof of copyright clearance, once obtained, must be provided to the Course Reserve Specialist before the item may be processed for course reserves.

A more in-depth Fair Use checklist has been developed by the University System of Georgia's Board of Regents and can be very useful for determining the strength of a Fair Use claim. Find that checklist here.

Where can I check out items that are on reserve? 

Any item that is placed on reserve is located at the USC Upstate Library Circulation Desk and must be checked out with a valid Carolina Card.

How long can I keep checked out items?

Check out terms vary from library use only up to one week. Check the current course reserve lists for specific check out terms.

Can course reserve items be renewed?

Course reserves have no renewal options and no grace period. 

My professor says something is on reserve, but I don't see it on the lists.

The item may be in process. Email us or call the Circulation Desk at 864-503-5611 for the most current information on items that are not on the lists.

What kind of items can be placed on reserve?

Books, DVDs, CDs, study guides, and other similar items may be placed on reserve at the library. All items must be either owned by the library or a personal copy. Other items that may be accessed electronically can be put on e-reserve on Blackboard, like articles or book chapters. All reserve items are subject to copyright compliance review.

How long are books kept on reserve?

All reserve materials are taken off reserve at the end of each academic term and either returned to the library stacks or, if a personal item, to their owner. A new reserve request form must be submitted for each term.