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Course Reserves: Reserve Policies

What can be put on reserve and in what format?

Nearly any object in the Yale University Library collections can be placed on reserve. Nonetheless, how various materials can be made available will vary by object type and location. Please note that reserve items that can be placed on eReserve (book chapters, short public domain works, short government documents, etc.) will generally be scanned and posted rather than put on print reserve.

Some of the basic policies follow:

  • Books and journals in the general circulating collection of any library can be placed on reserve at any other library. Items which are transferred from one library to another may be placed on closed reserves. Note that you cannot place Art and Architecture books for 24 hour or 3 day reserve at the Haas library.
  • Course packs may be placed on closed reserve only. To improve access to these readings, please consider submitting them as eReserves requests instead. Also, you may upload lecture notes or other non-published materials directly into the Course Reserves system, or contact reserves staff about scanning them on your behalf.
  • Media, including CDs, DVDs, Maps and other formats are generally incorporated into the main collection. You may also stream audio reserves through Canvas.
  • Materials from special collections may be placed on reserve but must be viewed in a special collections reading room, e.g., the Beinecke reading room. However, many of these items can be scanned and placed on eReserves - please contact your reserves staff for more information.
  • Only the Bass library shelves open reserve materials with the general circulating collection.
  • Microfilm may only be placed on closed reserve in the SML Microform Reading Room. To improve access to these materials, please consider submitting them as eReserves requests instead.

In general, the library will make any material available for course reserve. Nonetheless, many of the special circulation policies that apply to items in non-general collections will continue to apply to reserves.

What circulation policies are available for reserve materials?

Although any item may be placed on reserve, circulation policies will vary by item type and location.

The general categories of course reserve are:

  • eReserve: Item must be accessed electronically through Canvas
  • Open Reserve: Item is available for students to grab themselves although circulation policies vary
  • Closed Reserve: Students must ask for the item at the circulation desk

Note that even open reserve materials are shelved separately from the general collection. The exception is the Bass library, which intershelves reserve materials with non-reserve items in the stacks.

Circulation periods vary by location and are summarized below.

  • Closed reserve (non-circulating) items are usually checked out to a student for 1 or 2 hours at a time, depending on the location. Some closed reserves may be for library use only and may not leave the building.
  • 24 hour reserves give students a full business day with the book. They may take it in and out of any library.
  • 3 day reserves give students 3 business days with any book.

Materials in special collections will not be allowed to circulate due to preservation concerns. Media may or may not circulate depending on the location of the item.

In what order are reserve materials processed?

Before the early-submission deadline reserve requests are processed in the order in which they are received. Once this date passes, however, they are processed according to needed-by dates. This means that materials tagged for the first week are processed first for all lists, then materials for the second week, etc. This policy exists to ensure that all materials are processed in time for students to access.

Please note that to ensure availablility, reserve requests should still be submitted as early as possible.

eReserve policies

The library will attempt to provide electronic copies of materials whenever possible, within the boundaries of our licensing agreements and reserves copyright guidelines. 

If a material must be put on print reserve even though it is eligible for eReserve, please specify your preference in the notes field of the request form.

Can I put material I own on reserve?

If a book or object is unavailable at the library, a faculty member or designee may bring in a personal copy. These items will always be placed on closed reserve and will not be allowed to leave the library. The library will attempt to purchase or borrow a copy as soon as the situation appears, and will return the personal copy as soon as possible. The exception is the course pack, which the library will not purchase.

Get Started

To submit your course reserves, go to Canvas.

Contact Reserves Staff

For specific Yale course reserves:

Arts Library
Phone: 203-432-2643

Bass Library
Phone: 203-432-1872

Phone: 203-432-3439

Divinity Library
Phone: 203-432-5288

Medical Library

Music Library 
Phone: 203-432-5549

Get Help

Help is available Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Emal Email:

Call Call: (203) 432-1775

SMS text Text: (203) 826-2053

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