Course Reserves

Reserve items

  • Cannot leave the building, unless specified by the circulation period
  • Can be renewed only at the circulation desk, if not in high demand
  • Accrue higher fines than "regular items" not on reserve at a rate $1 per hour, up to a maximum of $5 per item

Loan Periods

Loan periods for reserve materials are determined by faculty, but here's what you can expect:

Loan Period   Details
3 hours Usually applies to photocopies and books
4 hours Usually applies to DVDs
Overnight Materials will be due 24 hours from the loan date and time. 

E-reserves and Copyright:

Faculty are responsible for ensuring that their reserve requests are compliant with copyright law and W&M’s Policy and Guidelines for Use of Copyrighted Works. This policy indicates faculty are responsible for abiding by copyright law and explains the fair use argument. W&M Libraries are committed to complying with all applicable intellectual property laws, and expect faculty to respect copyright. It is the responsibility of the faculty member to determine if the material placed on reserve is in compliance with copyright law. The libraries have compiled a Guide on Copyright which contains resources for learning about copyright and fair use. No one should submit digital course content consisting of copyrighted material without first either obtaining the permission of the copyright owner; or determining in good faith after reasonable inquiry, and with the benefit of resources made available by W&M for these purposes, that the intended educational use of copyrighted material is covered by fair use tenets. 

The following tips apply specifically to electronic reserves:

  • Sharing a URL that goes to a document subscribed to by the library carries less burden than saving a copy of a document on Blackboard so that students can download it from our campus system. 
  • Our understanding is that digitizing an entire work from the audio/visual realm (image, CD, DVD) for hosting online in Blackboard does not qualify as fair use under copyright.  However, some copies of works can be digitized for educational use under specific circumstances if the equipment to view that copy is not readily available.  The most clear example is a VHS tape: 
    • You are allowed to digitize a VHS tape that is already in the library’s collection if: (a) no DVD or digital copy of the film is for sale in the world for a reasonable cost; AND (b) the copy will be used in Blackboard (behind a password) for a specific course; AND (c) the digital file resides on a server under the library’s control. 
    • In general, first try to obtain a streaming license or DVD copy of the film.
  • Our understanding is that digitizing a small clip (the length/amount/size of the clip is not defined by law) of a DVD may qualify as fair use if several conditions are all met:
    • Purpose:  the clip is a required reading and will be used in teaching a course that is regularly offered at the institution.
    • Access:  access is restricted (with a password) to students in that specific course (e.g. Blackboard) and access to the file is protected on a library controlled server or storage solution.
    • Amount: the clip is not a significant part or portion of the movie that would negate the need for a normal person to buy / watch a DVD or streaming version of the whole movie. 
    • Market Effect:  the DVD has been lawfully acquired by the library or faculty member.
    • DMCA Technology Restrictions:  the CSS (Content Scrambling System) of the DVD has not been bypassed or circumvented in order to make a digital copy of a clip of the DVD.

Overall, you will want to run these scenarios through the fair use checklists, such as the one offered by the University of Minnesota Libraries. Faculty are encouraged to save a copy of their completed fair use checklist for their records. If none of the above options apply, you must obtain permission to use the item. Permissions can generally be obtained from the Copyright Clearance Center or from the copyright holder (generally the publisher). Evidence of permission must be submitted to the library with your reserve request. Because these qualifications are so rigorous, you may want to try finding a streaming copy of the content first or to consult with your library liaison before agreeing to create digital clips.

Copyright tools:

See UT Austin’s Copyright Crash Course or Indiana University’s Copyright Program for copyright basics or to answer common questions about copyright issues related to e-reserves.

The Copyright Clearance Center also has published a guide titled Using Electronic Reserves: Guidelines and Best Practices for Copyright Compliance which offers best practices.  The Copyright Clearance Center has a more conservative approach to copyright.  They offer fee-based online permissions to use content from thousands of rights holders for a variety of needs including e-reserves, library reserves, interlibrary loan, document delivery, print and electronic course packs, classroom handouts, distance education, and administrative uses. 

W&M Libraries does not purchase the copyright permissions on behalf of faculty, but those requests can be directed through the Print Shop which works to obtain permissions on faculty behalf or to put together course packs for purchase by students. These course packs cannot be placed on reserve.