Course Reserves

What are Course Reserves?

Course Reserves is a library service offered to instructors to make materials available to their students. Materials can include print/physical items, electronic reserves, and media formats. This service enables students enrolled in a relevant course access to course-related print and electronic resources. Course Reserves are an excellent option to provide course content to students. Reserves help to alleviate the effect of ever-increasing textbook costs on students, foster student and faculty engagement, and create opportunities for library outreach.


For Faculty

Placing materials on course reserve

Instructors must submit a completed ULS Course Reserve Service online form. To ensure that course reserve materials are available to students by the first day of term, we recommend submitting the form at least one month before the start of the semester. 

Loan Periods

Items may be placed on reserve for one the following lengths: 2-Hour, 1-Day, 3-Day, or 7-Day

What can be put on course reserve? 

  • Library books, e-books and DVDS
  • Personal copies of books and DVDs
  • Any barcodable item, examples include: 3D models, flashcard sets, and visual materials
  • Copyright-compliant photocopies (see E-Reserves for more information)

Ask Us to Buy Books

You may include books not currently owned by the ULS. These will be reviewed for potential purchase.

Personal Copies

  • Faculty may choose to provide personal copies of books and multimedia materials to be placed on course reserve.
  • Staff will attempt to assure the security of any personal copies on reserve, but we cannot guarantee against or assume responsibility for the theft, loss, or damage of personal copies.
  • Personal Copies may be lightly marked during processing (stickered, taped, and barcode stapled to front end page) 


  • Please refer to our Copyright Guide and be sure that your request adheres to these basic guidelines:
    • Items can appear on reserve in only one format (book, photocopy, or e-reserve).
    • Only one continuous excerpt of 10% or less of each source text can be placed on any one reserve list.
  • After your E-Reserve has been processed and posted to PittCat, a member of the Course Reserves team will contact you with a password that grants access to the eReserves under your course. Instructors will need to provide students a password to access eReserve readings. The Library does not distribute passwords to students.

Course Reserve Policies

  • No more than 60 items (total) can be placed on reserve for one course. This includes electronic items.
  • Course Reserve lists will appear in PittCat approximately 2 weeks before the start of the term. You will receive an email when the list is complete.  
  • If you have items currently on reserve and wish those items to be kept on reserve for the upcoming term, please be sure to contact ULS Course Reserve Services before the end of the current term. Course Reserve lists will not be automatically held over

For Students

Locating and Accessing Course Reserves material

  1. Go to PittCat.
  2. Select the “Course Reserves” search scope by clicking the magnifying glass next to the search bar.
  3. Search for a course using the instructor name, class name, or course code and browse the list of items on reserve for the class.
  4. Select the title of the item you need.
  5. Select your library location to determine if a copy of the item is available for check-out.
  6. Write down the call number and take it to the Service Desk at the appropriate library location.
  7. A library staff member will retrieve the material and assist you with the check-out process.

Accessing E-Reserves

  1. Go to PittCat.
  2. Select the “Course Reserves” search scope by clicking the magnifying glass next to the search bar.
  3. Search for a course using the instructor name, class name, or course code and browse the list of items on reserve for the class.
  4. Select the *E-RESERVES* link for your course.
  5. In the item record, select “view full text”.
  6. Enter the password provided by your instructor. Passwords are case-sensitive.
  7. A list of assigned readings will appear. Click on the title to access individual items. If you are off campus, you may be prompted to enter your Pitt user name and password to view certain items.

Circulation Policies 

  • You must have a valid Pitt ID card.
  • There are no renewals of reserve items. If available, reserve materials can be checked out again after one hour.
  • When Hillman Library is closed overnight and for all other ULS libraries*: Print items placed on two-hour reserve may be checked out overnight two hours before the library closes, and must be returned the following morning within the first hour library opens to avoid any fines.
  • Students may check out 2 course reserve items at a time.
  • Please return course reserve materials to the Service Desk where they were checked out.
  • Fines for course reserve items are $1 per hour per item for 2-Hour loans and $1 per day per item for 1-Day, 3-Day, and 7-Day loans. There is a 1-hour grace period for course reserve items.

* Bradford Hanley Library two-hour reserve items are due at closing time.

Suggest Books to be placed on Course Reserve

Are the assigned readings for your course not on reserve, but you think they should be? Let us know!
We will communicate with your instructor about adding these materials to our library course reserve collections. 

Questions? Contact Us!