Information for Faculty

NOTE: Beginning next year, Cole Library will no longer place photocopies of copyrighted material on reserve.   To adapt to this change, we encourage faculty to post links to full text in Moodle or to create course packs through the Bookstore. For more information, please take a look at the Reserve Guidelines handout.


The library's policies regarding reserves are based on U.S. Copyright Law, The National Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States, and the University of Texas's Guidelines for Educational Fair Use. We seek a balance between higher education's need to easily access and use information for scholarship and the right of owners of the document to exercise reasonable control of its use. Placing items on reserve allows all members of the class to have access to those items during a course.

All items for reserve must comply with copyright law and practice of fair use provisions of the copyright law of the United States as found in Section 107 of Title 17 of the United States Code.

This means members of the College community who willfully disregard copyright policy assume all liability for their actions.

Copyright is a form of legal protection for authors and creators of original works, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and other intellectual products. Neither publication nor the © symbol is essential for copyright protection. Section 106 of the Copyright Act generally gives the owner of copyright the exclusive right to do and authorize others to do the following:

  • Reproduce copies of the work
  • Prepare derivative works based on the copyrighted work
  • Distribute copies of the work by sale, rental, lease or lending
  • Publicly perform the work
  • Publicly display the work

These rights are subject to “Fair Use” limitations. The doctrine of fair use addresses the needs of scholars and students by mitigating the rights of copyright ownership. To determine fair use, all four of the following standards must be met:

  • Purpose and character asks whether the copied material will be for nonprofit, educational or commercial use. Be aware that several courts have held that absence of financial gain is insufficient on its own for a finding of fair use.
  • Nature of the copyrighted work makes special distinction between a creative work and an informational work, where informational works are more likely to meet the standard for fair use than creative works.
  • Amount and substantiality requires consideration of the proportion of a larger work that is copied and used, as well as the significance of the copied portion.
  • Market effect requires consideration of whether the use will reduce the potential market and sales. This factor means fundamentally that if purchase of an original theoretically should have occurred, then this factor may weigh against fair use.

From What Educators Should Know About Copyright by Virginia M. Helm. Bloomington, IN: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, 1986.

Materials Acceptable for Reserves:

  • Books or other original materials. However, faculty should not place materials on reserve unless the instructor, the library, or some other unit of the College owns a lawfully obtained copy.
  • Instructor's lecture notes.
  • Until Fall 2011: Photocopies of articles, poems, a book chapter, as long as the materials meet the Fair Use Guidelines for brevity, spontaneity, and market effect may be placed physically on course reserve.

Materials Not Acceptable for Reserves:

  • Consumable materials, including workbooks, exercises, standardized tests, etc. are not appropriate for reserve because of the effect on market value.
  • Beginning Fall 2011: Photocopies of articles, poems, a book chapter, as long as the materials meet the Fair Use Guidelines for brevity, spontaneity, and market effect, may be placed on Moodle, but may not be placed on physical reserve in the library. For more information, please take a look at the Reserve Guidelines handout.
  • Photocopies of entire books because this violates Fair Use Guidelines. Given adequate notice, the library will acquire the book, if possible.
  • Course packs because of market effect.
  • Materials borrowed via Interlibrary Loan. The National Interlibrary Loan Code for the United States disallows this use of borrowed material out of concern for the wear and tear on another library's materials that may result from the heavy use in Reserve collections. Given adequate notice, the library will attempt to acquire a copy of a requested item.


For best service, please deliver materials for reserve to the circulation desk by noon on Thursday of block break. This provides time for you to confirm that we have the correct items on reserve. Although we will make every effort to have the material ready on the 1st day of classes we often have limited staff during block break and the first Monday of the block. It is possible that processing of reserve requests may occasionally be delayed.

When you deliver your materials for reserve, we will provide a slip for your name, the course name and number, the block(s) of your course, and any special instructions your have for us.

To help deter theft of materials, we can place security strips in personally owned items. Although security strips do not guarantee that materials will not be taken, it will decrease the chances. If you would like your personal item(s) security stripped, please let us know when you leave them for reserve.

All reserve material will be removed at the end of each block; materials will be returned to faculty via campus mail.

For special circumstances or arrangements, contact Andrea Dusenberry, 319-895-4144.  If you have specific questions or concerns regarding copyright or fair use, contact the consulting librarian for your academic division.

Information for Students

Materials placed on reserve circulate from the 3rd floor circulation desk. Materials may be borrowed for up to three hours. You may check out reserve materials for overnight use during the last hour the library is open. Overnight reserves are due within the first hour the library is open the following day.

Fines for overdue reserve materials are $1.00 per hour. This fine is necessary to encourage prompt return of materials so that the items are accessible to all students in the class.