Course Reserves Policy

General Information

The McConnell Library Course Reserve Service supports the academic mission of Radford University and acts as an extension of the classroom by providing access to supplementary course materials for specific classes.

The service is provided upon instructor initiation, within the bounds of the Fair Use guidelines of the Copyright Act as described in Title 17, United States Code. This service is for the use of all faculty, students, and staff of Radford University.

The service is not designed to replace textbooks or course packs. Materials are placed on Course Reserve only during the time period they are required by a particular course. The Reserves Supervisor determines whether instructor requests fall within the Course Reserve policy. We are not able to process requests that fall outside the scope of the service.

What Can Be Placed on Course Reserve?

Items that can be placed on Course Reserve include: books; media;* instructor-owned copies of materials;** sound recordings. There is a limit of 30 reserve items per course.

*Media: original editions of sound recordings, videotapes, DVDs, microforms, and any other library-owned or instructor-owned media may be placed on Course Reserve.

**Instructor-Owned Materials: a personal copy of an item will be accepted when a library-owned copy is unavailable. However, every attempt will be made to acquire a library copy. Instructors may be required to show proof of copyright compliance. Instructors may lend their personally-owned, legally obtained books, articles, or other materials to the Library for the use of library patrons. If an item is lent to the library, it will be affixed with identification and circulation labels and security strips. The library will not be liable for damage or loss of such materials.

Items that cannot be placed on Course Reserve include: archival materials; consumable workbooks, exercise sheets, standardized test booklets, etc. that are intended primarily for use in the classroom or by individual students; digitized works; materials belonging to other libraries; materials printed from the internet.

Fair Use and Copyright

McConnell Library makes a good faith effort to adhere to the U.S. Copyright Law and Fair Use Guidelines. The following sources are among those reviewed in the creation of this policy.

  • United States Code, Title 17, Copyright Law. Sections 107 and 108 are applicable for library use. The Fair Use Guidelines, from Section 107, allows limited use of copyrighted works without permission; it suggests examination of these four factors: purpose and character of use; nature of the copyrighted work; amount and substantiality of work; and effect on the market for the original work.
  • Association of Research Libraries Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries
  • ALA’s Model Policy Concerning College and University Photocopying for Classroom, Research and Library Reserve Use

The Library can place items such as the following on Course Reserve without needing to obtain permission from a rights holder:

  •  Exams, exam keys, and homework solutions
  • Lecture notes
  • Student papers (however, instructors must submit written permission from the student authors)
  •  U.S. Government publications
  •  Material within the public domain
  •  Material for which the instructor is the copyright holder

If an instructor’s request falls outside of Fair Use, the Reserves Supervisor will attempt to acquire permission from the rights holder. Items in the public domain do not have a copyright holder and therefore do not require permission. However, there may be cases where the proscribed use is prohibited (streaming audio, for example). When it is determined that a Course Reserve request cannot be processed, the Reserves Supervisor will contact the person submitting the request.