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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." This image shows the drop down menu in Canvas that indicated which semester corresponds to your Course Reserves
  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 now."                                                                               

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 now" or click "Add Reserve Items" to add individual items to your reserve list.

2. You can request either a print or electronic reserve:

  • for an eReserve, leave the box checked
  • for a print reserve, uncheck the box
  • Note that you can also place other file formats, including images, short videos, and audio files on eReserve. Just leave the box unchecked.

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

  • Article or Book Chapter Title (if you are requesting an e-reserve)
  • Book, Journal, or Work Title
  • Author/Editor
  • Date

4. Tag the item - students will be able to filter by these tags (e.g.week 2, assignment 1) otherwise all materials will appear in one long list. We recommend that you tag by week or class number so as not to have to retag items if you reuse the items next year.

5. Let us know how to obtain the item:

  • I'll upload a file: Upload a PDF to be placed on reserve
  • It's already online: Provide us with a link that goes to the item. We will monitor the link to make sure it stays active and accessible.
  • I'll bring a copy in: If you wish to put your own copy of an item on reserve, then select this option and let us know where you would like to drop the item off and for how long you would like it to circulate.
  • Let us find it: The library will take over the request from here. Just let us know where you want it physically placed on reserve and what circulation policy you would like to apply. For eReserve requsets, we will scan the reading and make it available online through the Course Reserves module in Canvas.

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

Reusing items from a previous class can save significant time in both data entry and reserves processing. Follow the subsequent steps to import items in Canvas.

  1. Click on the "Course Reserves" tab on the left side of the page.

  2. You should see a list of any active courses for the upcoming semester. Click on either the "Add Reserves Items" button or the "Add Reserve Items Now" hyperlink.                                                   

  3. A new page will open. Select the link at the top "Import materials from a previous list instead." If you do not see the class you wish to import, please contact our reserves team at            

  4. On the following page, you will have the option to select the course you would like to use to resubmit materials.

  5. Select the items you'd like to reuse for the current semester.

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

Film Study Center
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