HSLS Course Reserve Guidelines and Best Practices

HSLS course reserves provide opportunities for instructors to assign a variety of reading materials to students.

  • Course reserve items are not to be considered a replacement for course textbooks or course packs. Instead, course reserves are supplemental readings to enhance student learning.  
  • HSLS course reserve requests must adhere to fair use, as defined by U.S. Code: Title 17, Section 107 (see Sec. 107 - Limitations on Exclusive Rights: Fair Use) and the University of Pittsburgh policy “Copying Copyrighted Materials” - particularly the guidelines on “Library Reserve Use of Copyrighted Material"
  • Items from the HSLS collection and instructors’ personal copies of print books and articles (up to five personal copies of each book/article) may be placed on course reserve. For items not currently in the HSLS collection, instructors may submit purchase requests via the same course reserve request.
    • HSLS funds to purchase e-books and print books for course reserve are limited. After being assessed by HSLS staff, purchase requests will be fulfilled on a first come, first served basis. Please allow extra time for ordering and processing when an item must be purchased.
  • Details about e-course reserves:
    • Journal articles not currently in the HSLS collection placed on e-course reserve  may not exceed two articles from any publication.
    • Book selections placed on electronic reserve may not exceed 15% of the total pages in the book. Typically, this is one chapter.
    • The above limits do not apply to journals and ebooks that are available online through the University of Pittsburgh libraries' licensed resources, or for which the copyright holder allows the use of the items.
    • For items not in the University of Pittsburgh libraries’ collections, please be prepared to share the copyright permission with HSLS.
    • Where possible, e-course reserve items will be accessed via links to the online platforms where the content resides.
    • Publishers’ restrictions on the use of their copyrighted content may prohibit specific items from being used within e-course reserves. In addition, lack of online availability or prohibitive costs to purchase/license may make it impossible to place a specific item on e-course reserve. If a specific item is unavailable, a suitable alternative may be found in our extensive e-book collection and streaming media pageHSLS Librarians may be able to assist in finding other suitable e-course reserve items for your course.
    • For course reserve items not held within in the University of Pittsburgh libraries’ collections, an instructor may place a personal copy of the book or article on course reserve for use in Falk Library.  In addition to the physical copy available in the library, some items may be eligible for e-course reserves. Please contact HSLS’s Main Desk for additional information.
  • Circulation and access of course reserve items are covered by the same confidentiality provisions as other library materials. HSLS will not release the names of those who have checked out or viewed course reserve items. (Pennsylvania Act 184-90, Section 428).
  • Items placed on course reserve will be made available to students and faculty during only the course’s active term and will be removed after the course is no longer in session. If the course continues to be taught in subsequent terms, a new course reserve request will be needed.

For more information, please see: