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Course Reserves: Using Canvas for Reserves

Reserves Basics

The Yale University Library has significantly expanded its reserves service with a new reserves management system that is fully integrated with Canvas*. This page provides step-by-step instructions for submitting course reserve requests through Canvas.

Please contact or your local reserves staff with any questions.

*Please note that only persons designated as either an Instructor or TA in Canvas will be able to add/edit Course Reserves. A persons role can be changed by using the People Tool in Canvas. 

Starting A Reserve List in Canvas

To start a reserves list in Canvas, please do the following.

  1. Log into Canvas and select "Course Reserves" from the navigation pane on the left side of the webpage.
  2. Select your semester from the drop down menu in the center of the page. Then select "Create Course." 
  3. On the following page, confirm your course information. Make sure you select a pickup location.
  4. Click "Modify class."                                                                                                        
  5. The page will refresh. If you would like to place a request to add course materials to your newly created class, click on the "Course Home" link.
  6. Click "Add Reserve Items."                                                                               

Placing an Item on Reserve in Canvas

Items can be added individually to a reserve list in Canvas. This can be done even after items have been imported from a previous class.

1. Click the link "Add Reserve Items" to add individual items to your reserve list.

2. Fill in as much information as you know. The following information is required:

  • eReserve Requests:
    • Article or Book Chapter Title 
    • Book, Journal, or Work Title
    • Author/Editor
    • Date
  • Audio Visual Requests:
    • Title
    • Director, Composer, or Artist
    • Item Type (audio or video)

3. Make a copyright consideration choice. For more information about Course Reserves copyright see Information for Faculty.

4. Tag the item - students will be able to filter by these tags otherwise all materials will appear in one long list. For single digit numerals, use a 0 in front of the digit to keep everything in order (i.e. week 02, assignment 01).

5. Let us know how to obtain the item:

  • I'll upload a file: Upload a PDF to be placed on reserve. (eReserve only)
  • It's already online: Provide us with a link that goes to the full text or full version of the item.
  • Let us find it: The library will take over sourcing the materials requested. 

6. If you are uploading a file, you will be prompted to select the file and upload it. Otherwise, you're done - library staff will contact you if there are any questions or problems that merge while processing your request.

Importing Items from a Previous Class (Clone)

Reusing items from a previous class can save significant time in both data entry and reserves processing. This is also known as "cloning." 

Import Materials from a Previous List - Use this option if you want to pick and choose materials from previous courses to reuse

  1. Go to "Class Tools" and click "Add a Reserve Items"                                               
  2. Select the link at the top "Import materials from a previous list instead."
  3. Select the items you'd like to reuse for the current semester
  4. Repeat these steps to clone items from multiple past courses

If you do not see the class or item you wish to import or need help, please contact our reserves team at or your local reserves unit.           

Learn more about Canvas

Click here for more information about our new course management system, Canvas!

Click here to set up a consultation with the Center for Teaching and Learning to learn more about Canvas.

Contact Reserves Staff

For specific Yale course reserves:

Arts Library
Phone: 203-432-2643

Bass Library
Phone: 203-432-1872

Marx Library
Phone: 203-432-3439

Divinity Library
Phone: 203-432-5288

Yale Film Archive
Phone: 203-432-0149

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

Chat with us!

Warning of Copyright Restrictions


The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of the copyright materials. Under certain conditions specified in the law, library and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be “used for any purpose other than in private study, scholarship, or research.” If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The Yale University Library reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order, if, in its judgement fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.

1 37 C.F.R. §201.14